Senior Pets

Dogs, Pets, Senior Pets

Looking after our Senior Pets

Many of us have had a ‘senior moment’ or two as we get on in years – keys in the fridge, anyone? But did you realise that as they age, your dog or cat will have their own senior moments too? In this article, we explore some signs your dog or cat may exhibit as they reach their senior stage and what you can do to ensure you keep them in tip-top shape and with you for as long as possible.

The signs Whether you’ve got a cat or a dog, the tell-tale signs of age are fairly similar. Here’s a quick rundown (and we know you’ll have a chuckle when you realise how akin they are to ours).

Your dog or cat’s key signs:

  • hair greys
  • their reflexes aren’t as sharp
  • their senses diminish, particularly their hearing, eyesight and smell
  • there’s a marked decrease in their activity
  • they sleep longer and more soundly (can be hard to distinguish with cats as they love to nap!)
  • their movements may appear stiff, laboured or painful
Generally speaking, these signs start to crop up in dogs 10+ years of age. In bigger breeds, like Great Danes, it may be as early as 8. For cats who live indoors – and especially if desexed – it could be anywhere between the ages of 7 to 11. Who’s the best person to help you judge if your pet’s reached their senior years? The prize goes to anyone who answered – my vet! And that brings us to our first top tip in helping you and your animal in their older years …

Health care tips for senior cats/dogs

Up your vet visits:

Just like their human counterparts, senior pets should visit their doctor regularly for check-ups. Aim for a thorough examination every 6 months, as adult cats and dogs can age as much as 3-4 years (in human terms) in a year. Thank the universe we don’t, right?
While you’re there, tell your Vet if you notice changes in your animal’s physical condition or behaviour. Often fur-parents assume changes are related to their pet’s advanced age but they could also be symptoms of a treatable medical condition like osteoarthritis. Early detection means fast and more effective treatment – a win for you and your pet.

Bonus tip: Schedule a visit in the lead up to the colder months to ensure your best mate is fit and ready before the cold sets in.

Rethink their diet:

You might notice your pet eats less which is quite natural if they’re not moving around as much. However, even if they’re eating less, they may gain weight and that’s thanks to the slowing of their metabolism (yep, we’re talking about your pet’s version of the dreaded ‘middle age spread’!).
It could also go the other way and they lose weight. No matter which one, diet is paramount. Excess weight or nutritional deficiencies can contribute to a variety of health-related issues in older pets (diabetes, gum/teeth disease etc). Smaller quantities of low-calorie food are a good idea. If you’re worried about their weight, seek your vet’s advice.

Bonus tip: to beat the podgy-pet syndrome, don’t feed them table scraps or snacks and consider two smaller meals per day, rather than one big one.

Make ‘em comfy:

As they age – particularly if they are overweight or have sore joints – pets may find it difficult to bend down to eat or drink. To make it easier for them, consider investing in a specially designed table with cut-outs for food and drink at variable heights. If you’re handy, you can make a DIY one out of a crate – or perhaps something fancier!

Grooming & exercise:

  • Keep up their worm and parasite control
  • Brush those toothy-pegs on a daily basis
  • Get them out and about as appropriate to their capabilities – short bursts of activity may be better
  • Do a weekly nail check for cats as they may not use their scratching post as often

How to enter

Simply share a photo on your Facebook page of your dog rugged up for winter or enjoying the winter sunshine and use the hashtag relevant to your state.

What you can win

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined prize. Each prize includes a winter pet pack to the value of $100.

Click on your state to reveal the hashtag you need to use to enter!

QLD Residents

Share a photo of your dog enjoying the winter sunshine or snoozing in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetQLD

VIC Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetVIC

NSW Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetNSW

TAS Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetTAS

Terms & Conditions

Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these conditions. Entries must comply with these conditions to be valid.

Entry is open to Australian residents that meet the competition requirements outlined below during the Competition period 1 June 2022 – 31 August 2022. Employees and their immediate families of the Promoter and its agencies associated with this competition are ineligible to enter.

To enter, each entrant must, during the Entry Period, upload a photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile) and use the hashtag corresponding to the state they are in (e.g. #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS).

Winner of the competition will be determined by:

  1. Appropriate photo uploaded (photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile)
  2. Relevant hashtag used (state residing in: #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS)
  3. Number of likes (photo with highest number of likes at end of competition period with all other criteria completed will win)

The competition will close for entries Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 12:00pm [AEST]. Failure to meet any of the competition requirements will deem entry invalid and will not be eligible to win.

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined.


Competition requirements:

Entrants must be a current client of a participating Apiam/Fur Life Vet clinic.

Entries must be received by the Promoter during the Entry Period. Entries received after 12:00pm [AEST] 31 August 2022 not be accepted.

The competition commences at 00:01 [AEST] on 01/06/2022 and closes at 12:00 [AEDT] 31/08/2022.

Queensland prize includes a pet pack to the value of $100.00.

Victorian, New South Wales, and Tasmanian prize includes two separate pet packs to the value of $100.00.

All taxes (excluding GST) which may be payable as a consequence of receiving a prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

The Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any failure to receive an entry or for inaccurate information or for any loss, damage or injury as a result of technical or telecommunications problems, including security breaches. If such problems arise, then the Promoter may modify, cancel, terminate or suspend the competition.

If the prize becomes unavailable for reasons beyond the Promoter’s control, the Promoter may substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

The winner will be notified by email on or by 10/09/2022.

Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, images submitted, pets name, comment, and/or voice in the event that they are a winner in any media for an unlimited period of time without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome), as well as any other communications outside of this competition, and/or promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter. If you are not willing for these uses or disclosures to occur you cannot participate in the competition.

Further, entrants agree that the Promoter has an unrestricted, irrevocable, transferable, divisible right and licence to use and modify their entry for the purposes of the Promoter’s business including for promotional purposes without the payment of any further fee or compensation.

If requested by the Promoter, the entrant agrees to sign any further documentation required by the Promoter to give effect to this arrangement. To the extent permitted by law, entrants unconditionally and irrevocably consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any moral rights in their entry. Entries remain the property of the Promoter. Details from entries will be collected and used for the purposes of conducting this competition (which may include disclosure to third parties for the purpose of processing and conducting the competition) and for promotional purposes surrounding this competition. By entering this competition entrants consent to the use of their information as described and agree that the Promoter may use this information, or disclose it to other organisations that may use it, in any media for future promotional purposes without any further reference or payment to the entrant.

By entering this competition, entrants consent for the Promoter to use entrant’s name, email address, phone number which entrants submitted to enter for the purposes of administering and operating the competition. Entry is conditional on the Promoter acquiring the aforementioned information. All personal information collected by the Promoter will be handled by the Promoter in accordance with the Promoter’s privacy policy (PRIVACY) Entrants have the right to access their personal information, request correction of any errors and/or obtain a copy of the Promoter’s privacy policy by contacting getvetchecked@furlifevet.com.au.

The Promoter is Apiam Animal Health Pty Limited (ACN: 604 961 024) at 27-33 Piper Lane East Bendigo, 3550, Victoria, Australia.

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