Dogs and cats reach their senior years much sooner than people do. The exact age at which seniorhood begins for a dog or cat depends on breed and size, but as a general rule, these pets enter old age between age eleven and twelve years old. Many pets are living longer lives, and as they age, their health care needs change as well.
Our geriatric mobile veterinary services encompass all areas of an older pet’s physical and emotional needs. This includes medications for managing pain, anxiety, and chronic disease, such as medication for arthritis and thyroid conditions. We also provide our clients with recommendations for pet mobility aids and changes in exercise and dietary regimens, resources for environmental enrichment such as special pet toys, referrals to alternative therapies, and suggestions for alterations in the home environment to maximize your pet’s comfort and life span.
Assessing Your Older Pet’s Physical and Emotional Needs
As animals age, they can develop many of the same problems as people. These include:
- Internal medical diseases
- Cognitive decline
- Mobility problems
As your pet ages, you may begin noticing them sleeping more, having difficulty negotiating stairs, vocalizing more often, drinking more water, eating less or more, or exhibiting changes in behavior, such as increased anxiety, less activity, and changes in appetite. Additionally, Quality of Life (QOL) Assessment tools can help gain a better understanding of your pet’s emotional health.
Behavioral changes can indicate that your pet is needing more specialized geriatric veterinary care along with a professional assessment of your home environment to make life safer, healthier, and more comfortable for your older dog or cat.
Mobile Geriatric Veterinary Services
Visiting Vet can provide almost all of our clinical services in the comfort and familiarity of your home for a reasonable house-call fee. Our mobile veterinary services cover:
- Complete wellness examinations
- Blood tests
- Prescription medications
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Assessment of the home environment for the comfort, wellness, and safety
- Recommendations for mobility aids and toys for senior dogs and cats
- Recommendations for changes to diet and exercise tailored to the needs of aging pets
- Referrals for alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and herbal treatments
- Pet palliation/hospice care
- In home euthanasia services
Advantages of In-Home Geriatric Pet Care
In-home geriatric veterinary care has many advantages over taking your older dog or cat to a clinic. Older pets are especially sensitive to stress, and it can take up to several days for a dog or cat to recover fully from a trip in the car to the veterinary clinic. Visits to the clinic can also have an effect on a pet’s vital signs. Heart rate and blood pressure often go up when a dog or cat has just taken an unpleasant car ride to an unfamiliar location. Senior dogs and cats are especially prone to these reactions. When Visiting Vet comes to you, your pet is calmer, and their vital signs are more likely to be accurately measured and not artificially elevated during the examination.
At home examinations provide another benefit. When our staff visits you and your beloved pet in your home, we have an opportunity to make observations and recommendations about the physical environment which can greatly improve your pet’s well being. This is especially valuable for senior pets needing lifestyle changes in accordance with their current condition. Older animals frequently have difficulty negotiating stairs, getting into and out of their beds, or on and off furniture where they enjoy hanging out. By visiting your pet at home, we can help you analyze the physical situation where your pet lives and provide real solutions for improving the safety and comfort of your older pet’s life experience.