Senior Pet Care FAQ

Many pet owners consider their dogs and cats as part of the family. Your pet will start to have different health issues after a number of years, just like a human would. At Oakland Park Animal Hospital we treat many senior pets, and their owners like to keep themselves informed. Here are some of the most common questions we get:

Senior Pet FAQ at Oakland Park Animal Hospital

How Old is a Senior Pet?

There is no specific age at which your pet becomes a "senior citizen," but in most cases we consider cats and small dogs senior at the age of 7. Larger dogs don't live as long, so we treat them as seniors when they turn 6.

Should I Keep Exercising My Senior Pet?

Exercise is important for your pet at any age. You may have to adjust the length and frequency of the exercise sessions as your pet gets older. Swimming and slower walks are more appropriate than frequent jogging or chasing after balls for hours. Always take your cues from your pet's behavior.

What are the Most Common Physical Changes in Senior Pets?

The most common problem our veterinarian sees in senior pets is dental disease. The best way to prevent this is to follow a good dental cleaning program throughout your pet's life. This should include regular checkups, weekly tooth brushing and professional teeth cleaning when it's needed. 

What About My Senior Pet's Diet?

Older pets slow down naturally as the years go by, so they don't burn off as many calories as they did when they were young. Obesity is a growing problem in the pet community. Talk with our vet during your pet's regular wellness exam to find out the best way to feed your pet while avoiding adding excess weight.

How Will My Pet's Skin and Coat Change as it Ages?

All animals tend to have thinner hair or fur as they age, as well as getting gray hairs. Your dog will develop a gray muzzle as it gets older. If your pet has a dull and thinning coat and our veterinarian doesn't find any contributing causes, he may recommend a supplement to add to your pet's diet. In addition, your pet's skin will become thinner and easier to tear. Inspect your pet regularly to look for cuts and scrapes as well as lumps under the skin.

Can Senior Pets get Senile?

Older pets can develop cognitive problems just like humans can. If your dog develops Cognitive Canine Disfunction, it can exhibit a range of symptoms such as change of sleep patterns, confusion, loss of housetraining and decrease in attention. If you see these symptoms in your pet, tell our vet on your next visit. There are treatments we can administer that can help.

Getting older is a natural part of life, and this includes your furry family members. With some common sense and the right veterinary care, your pet can live a long and healthy life with you. That care includes regular trips for veterinary wellness care. Call our office at (954) 731-4228 for an appointment.

New patients receive $25 OFF First Exam.

Office Hours


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm



Oakland Animal Hospital New Patient Special001.png

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Animal Health Products in Oakland Park FL


  • "Dr. Ratnoff has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years."
    John / Oakland Park, FL

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Lost Pets

    Has your pet wriggled their way through the fence or dashed out the front door? When searching for your lost pet, make sure you include these steps in your hunt. ...

    Read More
  • Should You Leave Your Cat Alone for a Long Weekend?

    So you have a trip planned for the weekend, but what should you do with your cat? Learn how to best care for your cat while you're away. ...

    Read More
  • Flea and Tick Season

    Want to protect your pet from fleas and ticks? These tips can help. ...

    Read More
  • Summer Grooming Tips

    Want to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer? A few changes to your normal grooming routine can help. ...

    Read More
  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup