Ark Animal Hospital Blog
You may have heard that one year in a dog or cat’s life is equivalent to seven years for a human. That isn’t quite accurate. According to the American Veterinary Association, the aging formula for companion animals goes more like this:
- Fifteen human years by the end of the first year
- An additional nine human years for the second year
- An additional five human years for each year thereafter
No matter how you calculate it, there’s no denying that dogs and cats age significantly faster than people do. Many begin to experience health problems associated with middle age around age seven and officially become seniors by age ten. That’s why we recommend more frequent preventive care exams for pets starting around midlife. When you consider that one year is like five years for an older pet, it makes sense to come in for a check-up at least twice a year.
f you only visit Ark Animal Hospital when your pet is injured or sick, you’re missing the opportunity to get a complete picture of her health. The preventive care exam allows our veterinarians to detect potential health issues and begin monitoring or treating them right away. By committing to preventive care, you could extend it by months or years. It’s well worth the investment when you consider how much love and joy your pet brings into your life.
Our Recommended Schedule for Preventive Care Exams
If your pet is normally healthy and between the ages of 12 months and seven years, an annual exam is usually sufficient. Pets enter middle-age around age seven and their senior years around age 10, so we recommend bi-annual check-ups for pets in this age group. This is when we most often start seeing issues such arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. Your puppy or kitten under one year will need to come in several times before his first birthday for routine vaccinations and monitoring.
Acute moist dermatitis, more commonly known as hot spots, occurs due to a bacterial infection on your pet’s skin. Your dog or cat will naturally bite, chew, lick or scratch his skin in response to an irritant. Unfortunately for your pet, this tends to increase rather than decrease his discomfort. Anal gland disease, allergies to fleas or food ingredients, mange, tick bites, and inadequate grooming are the primary causes of hot spots in companion animals.
Hot, humid weather can cause excess skin moisture that in turn causes hot spots to develop. It’s especially important to check your pet’s skin for evidence of hot spots now that the weather is consistently warm.