Congratulations! Your pet has reached a milestone at around the 7th birthday and considered to be of 'senior' status. In fact, most pets need to be examined more closely each year once they become seniors. Has your pet become a senior yet? Using your pet's actual age and weight, look on the chart below to see what his or her human years are. We recommend that pets have what is called a "geriatric health panel" annually when they become 'seniors'. Here are some questions you may ask:
My pet still has many good years left. Why start now?
These golden years seem to come on quickly for the pet members of our family. Since pets age much quicker than people, it is imperative that we get these diagnostic tests done early for two reasons. First, the results are considered a 'baseline' with which to compare future diagnostic results. Should your pet need testing for preventive health reasons or for illness, these baseline results are critical in terms of comparative study. For instance, of the many results, should one value be considered low-normal and a future test reveals a high-normal, even though it is still in the normal range this change could be very significant and without the early test results, the doctor may not have enough evidence to make a diagnosis.
Second, sometimes even a change in diet or a simple medication could not only extend their life, but also make them much more comfortable. We need to catch these subtle changes early before symptoms are obvious to make a a difference and possibly stave off serious age related diseases such as kidney or heart disease.
Do we have to do this every year?
Just like with our own family members, yearly studies and comparisons are necessary for best results. In fact, the doctor will recommend twice yearly studies for our oldest 'geriatric' patients.
Is it expensive?
These results are bundled together and are discounted as such. Preventive medicine, in the long run, is a cost saver. Even knowing that your senior pet is healthy provides peace of mind.
For more information about your senior pet, click on Your Geriatric Dog or Your Geriatric Cat.
Is my pet over "45"?
Pet's True Age Human Equivalent Age
0-20 lbs. 21-50 lbs. 51-90 lbs. >90 lbs.
6 40 42 45 49
7 44 47 50 56
8 48 51 55 64
9 52 56 61 71
10 56 60 66 78
11 60 65 72 86
12 64 69 77 93
13 68 74 82 101
14 72 78 88 108
15 76 83 93 115
16 80 87 99 123
17 84 92 104
18 88 96 109
19 92 101 115
20 96 105
Ages highlighted in purple are our senior pets.
Ages highlighted in red are our senior/geriatric pets.