Caring for Middle Aged and Elderly Pets

by Angela Hickey | 2 min read

March 7th, 2019

The average lifespan of our pets is unfortunately much shorter than our own. It is therefore important to look out for signs of ageing to provide the best care possible for our middle aged and elderly dogs and cats.


Large Breeds of Dogs Age Faster

Average lifespans for larger dog breeds tend to range from 6-10 years, while smaller breeds can often live to 16-17 years on average, with a higher likelihood of reaching even their 20s. Because of their shorter life span, larger dogs could be described as ‘middle aged’ at 3 to 5 years old! Crossbreed dogs  frequently live longer than purebred dogs because of less genetic illnesses.

Indoor Cats Often Live Longer

Cats have an average lifespan of 12-16 years depending on whether they live mostly indoors or outdoors. Indoor cats often live up to 18 years and even into their20’s. They avoid risks like road traffic accidents, attacks by dogs and other cats, and life threatening viruses like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus.

Regular Check ups

When we consider an average lifespan of 12 years, it means that a veterinary check up once a year is equivalent to a human seeing a doctor only once every 7 years! As our pets progress beyond the middle age years of 4-6 it is clear that they need a check up at least twice a year to catch and treat early symptoms of illnesses.

Increasing Health Issues

Unfortunately, from their middle years onwards, our pets can experience the following:

Some pets will have a number of these illnesses at the same time and will need a lot of care and daily medication.

How to Help Your Ageing Pet

There are many things we can do at home to help our older pets live more happily.

At Allianz, we know your pet is just as much a part of your family as anyone else. Following these steps may help to give them a better quality of life for longer.

This guidance is for general information purposes only. Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance.

About the author

bio image for Angela Hickey
Angela Hickey

Allianz in-house vet and qualified psychotherapist.