Nutrition for Aging Cats and Dogs and the Importance of Body Condition

      The average age of pet dogs and cats continues to increase such that between one third and one half of pet dogs and cats are 7 years of age or older [
      • Lund E.M.
      • Armstrong P.J.
      • Kirk C.A.
      • et al.
      Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States.
      ]. In the United States, there has been a nearly twofold increase in the percentage of pet cats older than 6 years of age (from 24% to 47%) over the past 10 years [
      • Stratton-Phelps M.
      AAFP and AFM panel report of feline senior health care.
      ]. Likewise, in Europe the number of dogs considered to be “senior” (>7 years of age) increased by approximately 50%, whereas the number of cats older than 7 years of age increased by over 100% between 1983 and 1995 [
      • Kraft W.
      Geriatrics in canine and feline internal medicine.
      ].
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