When your dog reaches eight years of age (for very large breeds this occurs at 5 years) they are entering the “senior years” of their lives. For cats, this occurs a little later at about the age of 10. Although we do not think of the aging process as a disease in and of itself, the physiological changes associated with aging predispose pets to various disease processes. As animals age they are also more likely to develop multiple health problems. There is a great advantage to finding these problems and treating them early. We recommend twice yearly health visits once they reach the mature years. Even in the absence of symptoms, we recommend blood tests and urinanalysis for these patients.