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Our Aging Dogs and Cats

Updated on May 3, 2012

Most have either a dog or cat, many have both. We love our animals as much as our relatives and sons and daughters. When they are sick or simply old, we take care of them at just about any expense.

According to the AMVA (American Vet Medical Association), small dogs are old at age seven years, large dogs, at six yrs. These are equivalent to a person who is 50-55 yrs. According to their records, the oldest dog is 29 yrs, while the oldest cat is 34 yrs. According to the AMVA, a seven yr. old dog is equal to 44 - 47 human years, a 10 yr. old animal = 56-60 yrs., while 15 years equals a person who is 76-83 yrs. Yet, other members feel otherwise, saying a dog at age 12 is an elderly animal like a person who is 65 yrs. old. Many animal shelters for dogs states age eight is an elderly dog.

Like a person, animals show outward signs, like turning gray, refusing to run with you, unable to jump on the bed or chair, lazy, overweight, health issues. Some owners at this stage will avoid the end stage and put them in a shelter for old dogs. These are like a hospice or care home humans to live out their lives.

The end stage of life, whether for humans or animals, is never easy. Seeing a loved one in their final stage simply reminds those who are much younger that their turn is coming.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      The cycle of life- joy, love and sadness.

    • profile image

      Jayfort 5 years ago

      My son's beagle, Kodi, is rapidly reaching his later years. Soon, my son will go off to college and his buddy will be staying at home with us. I know it break Kodi's heart that his boy won't be around all the time. I don't expect Kodi to be with us much longer.

      Thanks, Perry.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Yeah. Our cats are 10 and 6 years old. I refuse to even think about the inevitable. As long as they are healthy, I can pretend.