Looking after our pets takes a lot of commitment and devotion.

As they age, they may need more of our help, but by keeping a close eye on our pets, they can continue to lead happy and healthy lives into their twilight years.

Arthritis, dementia-like symptoms and most cancers are all more prevalent in older pets. They are also at risk of other diseases like diabetes, kidney and liver problems and hormone imbalances.

A check-up at the vet every six months, even if they seem healthy, will help ensure any illnesses your pet might be developing are spotted at an early stage, when there’s a better chance of successful treatment or management of many conditions.

PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan explains that many of the ailments old age pets can suffer from are similar to those we might expect to get ourselves.

She said: "It’s incredibly common for our pets to start to slow down as they reach their senior years but there’s quite often a medical reason for this.

"With regular vet check-ups and a little extra care and attention, we can diagnose and manage many of these so your pet can have the best possible quality of life in their twilight years.

"It’s important pet owners don’t dismiss signs of disease as inevitable due to old age. Stiffness, tiredness and changes to toileting habits are just some of the symptoms that may mean there’s a problem and it’s important to speak to your vet to see what you can do to alleviate symptoms and help your pet."

Signs your pet may be unwell are the same for older pets as they are for younger pets. In older pets, there are some subtle signs that it’s good to keep an eye out for: Changes in weight (i.e. unexplained loss or gain), changes in energy levels (most often tiredness, but an unusual increase in activity can also be symptom), stiffness when standing up or walking, or limping, changes in appetite (most often off their food, but being ravenous is also a sign.)