Veterinary professionals are taught to recognize that “old age is not a disease.” However, clients may have the perception that older dogs and cats undergo an unavoidable physical, mental, and behavioral decline attributable simply to old age. The veterinary team’s role includes providing medical care and support to senior pets to maintain their quality of life, as well as supporting and educating clients on proper senior animal care and addressing any misconceptions about the aging process. These Guidelines describe a systematic approach to the healthcare of the senior pet that is based on an evidence-guided assessment of both healthy and unhealthy canine and feline patients. By using evidence-guided medicine, which may include conventional and integrative approaches as well as environmental management for the senior pet, the patient’s quality of life can be enhanced and potentially extended during this vulnerable life stage. Developing a senior program for the veterinary practice requires appropriate training of the entire healthcare team and includes a robust client education program that focuses on the wellbeing of the senior pet. Palliative and hospice care should be included in the education and information provided for both the veterinary team and the families of senior pets.

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