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Published: Apr 08, 2011

One of the sad truths about pet ownership is that our furry companions have much shorter lifespans than ourselves. Because aging animals are more susceptible to physical ailments, it's important for pet parents to keep an eye out for warning signs of pet health decline, according to

"Improvements in veterinary care, diagnostics and earlier intervention make it possible for us to enjoy our pets longer, but key to that enjoyment is helping them enjoy their later years to the fullest," veterinarian Lorraine Corriveau told the news source. "...The belief now is that age is not a disease and veterinary medicine is emphasizing senior pet health through preventive and wellness programs."

Taking your pet in for an annual exam is important, and more frequent visits to the vet's office may be necessary as pets age. Senior pets are often diagnosed with similar diseases to humans, such as pet diabetes, and dog or cat arthritis.