Like us, as your pet gets older they may need extra visits to a health care professional to check up on them. Pets ‘age’ at different rates depending on their breed, lifestyle and DNA but they often suffer from similar problems; they may gain weight (see Struggling With Obesity), have dental issues, struggle with arthritis, or develop a disease of some kind.
Things you can do:
Schedule in regular vet check-ups (at least once per year) to have a full examination. Often diseases are hard to spot in the early stages and your vet can take tests to look more thoroughly at their health.
Keep an eye on their diet. As they age they may benefit from supplements that help with bone and muscle strength. Consider increasing their fatty acids or giving them glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis. Immunity boosters can also help them fight illnesses. They may also benefit from softer food and treats if their teeth are starting to trouble them.
If they develop kidney or heart issues make sure their diet is low in sodium and have their electrolytes checked by your vet.
Exercise your pet appropriately. This will help with their weight as well as their mental wellbeing. Provide steps or ramps to help them get in your car (or bed!) and consider rugs or carpeting on slippy floors for your arthritic pet. Keep them warm with winter coats and shoes and provide extra blankets; as their metabolism slows then so does their ability to keep themselves warm.
As with any health issue take advice from your vet about their care and treatment.