Geriatric or senior pets often require special considerations when they board, especially if you are travelling during the busy holiday periods. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and routine, and do best when they can maintain a consistent daily pattern. Seniors may be more set in their ways, and any disruption to their schedule may cause additional stress to an ageing body.
At what age, exactly, is a furry friend considered a “senior” or “geriatric” pet? The actual age varies depending on breed (with larger breeds aging more quickly than smaller dogs), but generally any dog over the age of 7 – 9 years will be noted as a senior pet and any cat 8-10 is considered a senior guest.
Older guests will typically require more attention from our staff, or even veterinary care, during their stay as they generally have more pre-existing medical conditions than our younger pets. For example, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney and/or liver dysfunction, low thyroid, arthritis and other joint problems, are commonly seen in senior pets.
Some conditions may be underlying and not previously diagnosed prior to boarding. When older pets experiences higher than usual levels of stress (in this case, due to changes in their environment and schedule), their body will react and any underlying symptoms may begin to show.
Therefore, before making arrangements for your senior pet to board, first make an assessment as to his/her overall health and temperament. It may also be a good idea to book your pet in for a veterinary health check just prior to boarding to ensure that all is well (or at least stable) with his/her health.
If your senior pet has a number of medical conditions, gets very stressed in new situations or is not an experienced boarder, you may want to consider alternative boarding options such as a home pet-sitting service. If you do need to board your pet outside of the home and they have a serious or unpredictable medical condition, your veterinarian may be a better choice, as they will be able to spot an impending crisis quickly and take the appropriate action.
If, however, your pet is relatively healthy, happy and active, if he/she has boarded previously, and if he/she has an outgoing personality with a relatively laid-back reaction to new things, then you may choose to board him/her at Pet Resorts. In choosing this option, we would recommend that you take a tour of our facility to give you the opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns as far as the care of our senior citizens.