We all wish that our pets would live forever. However, part of being a good pet parent is paying attention to our furry friends and making note of changes as they get older. Knowing about the key signs of aging in pets can help you spot potential health issues before they get more serious and they can also help you stay alert so that you know when to make the painful decision to say goodbye. 
Below, you’ll learn more about the signs to watch for so you can continue giving your pet the best care possible. 

Physical Signs of Aging in Pets

Pay close attention to your pet’s physical appearance and see if you notice any of the following. 

Vision Issues

If your dog’s or cat’s eyes look cloudy, it may be a sign of an eye disease like cataracts. Your vet may be able to treat this, especially if caught early. 
Have you noticed that your pet is bumping into objects or having trouble spotting their favorite toys? That can indicate vision loss, in which case you’ll want to talk to your vet about how to provide quality care for your pet. 

Dental Changes

It’s not uncommon to notice your pet’s breath get worse over the years, but you may not realize this can be a sign of periodontal disease or gingivitis. If left untreated, these issues may lead to tooth loss, which could impact your pet’s quality of life. 

Weight Loss

When your pet loses weight, it may be a sign that they aren’t properly absorbing nutrients or they have digestive issues. Unfortunately, it can also be indicative of more serious issues like kidney disease. Unintentional weight loss should always be discussed with your vet to help you determine the root cause and determine the best course of treatment. 

Behavioral Signs of Aging in Pets

Aside from the physical changes in your pet, you may also notice they start acting differently as they get older. 

Personality Changes

Even subtle changes in your pet’s personality can indicate that larger health issues are happening in your pet’s body. For example, if your normally docile cat starts hissing, biting, or scratching, these changes could be a result of him not feeling his best as he’s getting older. It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet when your pet’s personality changes to see if there’s a medical reason behind it.

Different Sleep and Wake Habits

Similarly, it’s common for older pets to exhibit changes in their sleep and wake habits, such as acting lethargic for long periods or pacing around restlessly at night. When this happens, it could mean they’re not feeling their best and need a trip to the vet for further testing. 

Confusion or Disorientation

Much like older humans can become disoriented, a pet’s cognitive function can change as it gets older. If your pet looks to be confused or forgetful, they may be developing a cognitive disease that could impact their quality of life. 

Why It’s Important to Pay Attention to These Signs

When you stay in tune with your pet’s physical and emotional behavior, you may be able to spot early warning signs of disease and develop a treatment plan with your vet to help keep your beloved companion happy and healthy for as long as possible. Closely monitoring your pet’s health will also help you better understand when their quality of life declines to the point where it’s time to say goodbye

Here for You When Your Pet Passes

Unfortunately, even when you pay close attention to the signs of aging in pets, you will eventually have to say goodbye to your beloved companion. When that day comes, Pet Passages is here to help you in the days and weeks following your farewell. We offer bereavement support, humane euthanasia services, and memorial urns to help you keep your pet’s memory alive forever. 
If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Pet Passages office today.