Every year at this time we honor those creatures who are now described as seniors. Just as we shower our grandmas and grandpas with love we need to remember to do all we can for senior animals. At Abandoned Pet Rescue this month we want to take the time to tell you about some of our seniors and to make sure you know how important it is to take extra special care of those that you may have.
Bessie is the oldest big dog living at the shelter. Now at 10+ years of age and weighing 50 pounds Bessie was found as a stray. She was very ill with an enlarged spleen but is fully recovered.
Bessie is a sweet girl. She loves to chew bones which are her favorite. She loves to cuddle and snuggle with blankets & loves attention from people of all ages. She is a real sweetheart but is sad without a home of her own.
She hopes that someone will come and meet her and take a chance on giving her a forever, loving home. You can see by looking at her that she has not had an ideal life but you would never know it by her nature. She is best as a loner… not good with dogs or cats.
Bessie is one of the first of APR’s adoptables to be chosen for the APR “Support A
Pet” program. Sponsorship is $100 per month and your commitment should be for a one year period. You can make your entire donation at one time or establish it as a recurring donation using our Network For Good link.
Pick a dog or cat. We will create a special posting for you at the shelter in support of “your support.” Pick the dog or cat from the adopt section of our web site and enter their name in the “Designation” box when you make your Network For Good donation by clicking above.
Ashton, who is now more than 16 years of age, has been at the shelter for several years. He is a very friendly cat. Ashton is all white with green eyes. He likes to sit on a shelf near the door and welcome you in to his room. Please come see Ashton in the Cheshire Cat’s Chamber room at APR any day of the week. He’ll be there to greet you!
VICTORIA AND BECKHAM
Victoria and Beckham are older Chihuahua mixes who were given up as the result of a nasty divorce. Instead of thinking of the dogs their dads only thought of themselves and could not ‘unload’ these two fast enough. Confused and abandoned they rely on each other for security and comfort. This has caused them to be protective of the other especially around other dogs. They would do best in a home together without other animals or small children. Once they find the right home and family we are certain they will settle down and show you how loving they can be.
One of the most beautiful cats in the shelter, Sylvester is still here because of his shyness. He came to us with his siblings when he was about 2 months old. However, he has been quiet and reserved since he was small. He has progressed quite a bit and now will let a lot of people brush and pet him; but he does prefer to observe and play by himself. If you are interested in this beautiful boy he will require multiple visits and a lot of patience from you before going home, he’s had applications in the past but he has chosen to stay here every time they come to pick him up and take him home. Oh well, I guess this boy just wants to choose who and when he goes home, will you be that special person he chooses?
Now some facts for you… The American Veterinary Medical Association generally defines an animal as geriatric at the age of 7. . Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet’s age in human terms. While it is not as simple as “1 human year = X cat/dog years”, there are calculations that can help put a pet’s age in human terms:
Age: Human Equivalents for Older Pets
|Cat years||Human years|
|Dog years||Human years (*dog size lbs)|
|7||Small – Medium: 44-47|
|Large – Very large: 50-56|
|10||Small – Medium: 56-60|
|Large – Very large: 66-78|
|15||Small – Medium: 76-83|
|Large – Very large: 93-115|
|20||Small – Medium: 96-105|
|*Small: 0-20 lbs; Medium: 21-50 lbs; Large: 51-90 lbs; Very large: >90 lbs
The oldest recorded age of a cat is 34 years. The oldest recorded age of a dog is 29 years.
Older Pet Care Considerations
|Area of concern||Description|
|Increased veterinary care||Geriatric pets should have semi-annual veterinary visits instead of annual visits so signs of illness or other problems can be detected early and treated. Senior pet exams are similar to those for younger pets, but are more in depth, and may include dental care, possible bloodwork, and specific checks for physical signs of diseases that are more likely in older pets.|
|Diet and nutrition||Geriatric pets often need foods that are more readily digested, and have different calorie levels and ingredients, and anti-aging nutrients|
|Weight control||Weight gain in geriatric dogs increases the risk of health problems, whereas weight loss is a bigger concern for geriatric cats.|
|Parasite control||Older pets’ immune systems are not as healthy as those of younger animals; as a result, they can’t fight off diseases or heal as fast as younger pets|
|Maintaining mobility||As with older people, keeping older pets mobile through appropriate exercise helps keep them healthier and more mobile.|
|Vaccination||Your pet’s vaccination needs may change with age. Talk to your veterinarian about a vaccination program for your geriatric pet.|
|Mental health||Pets can show signs of senility. Stimulating them through interactions can help keep them mentally active. If any changes in your pet’s behavior are noticed, please consult your veterinarian.|
|Environmental considerations||Older pets may need changes in their lifestyle, such as sleeping areas to avoid stairs, more time indoors, etc. Disabled pets have special needs which can be discussed with your veterinarian|
|Reproductive diseases||Non-neutered/non-spayed geriatric pets are at higher risk of mammary, testicular, and prostate cancers.|
Remember to pay special attention all year long to your senior pets.
The reward will be ten fold.