When pets start to age they are much more susceptible to illness and poor health than when they were young. Cats and dogs over 10 years of age are around the equivalent in age to a 70 years old human. After the age of 7 you should start scheduling more frequent vet checks to check for illnesses and ailments that are common in older pets. These checks can include checking for heart disease, cancer, endocrine disease and diabetes. These are ailments that are often not detected until the animal is deathly ill. Early detection means they can be treated sooner and in this way they can enjoy a longer life. Pets that are getting on in years should also be screened for arthritis. Small to medium dogs and cats over 10 and larger to giant breed dogs over 8 should have a check at least every 6 months and these should include blood and urine tests.