Older pets are a growing and very diverse group of animals. Nutritional requirements of senior and geriatric pets are not well defined, as each should be treated as an individual case.
Pets are generally considered to be a senior in the last half of their expected life span. An indoor 10 year old cat may be considered a senior animal as its life expectancy is approximately 18-20 years. When a dog is considered a senior depends upon the breed as smaller breeds have longer life spans than large and giant breeds.
Nutritional requirements of senior pets have not been documented to be different than the nutritional needs of adult animals; however, senior diets generally have nutrient profiles adjusted for the most commonly diagnosed diseases in older pets (kidney, heart & obesity).
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Pets are generally considered geriatric in the last fourth of their expected life span. Indoor cats are considered geriatric generally after 15 yrs of age. As with senior dogs, when a dog is considered geriatric depends upon the breed. The nutritional needs of geriatric pets are very difficult to predict because most of them have clinical signs of one or more diseases that may alter nutritional needs.
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