As with our human family members, with our pets, we need to meet certain new challenges to compensate for physical changes that happen with aging. As our pets grow older, their daily lives and their human families’ lives often require some adjustments to accommodate those changes. Senior dogs may slow down in their usual activities, and health issues can develop or worsen. If you’re adjusting to life with an aging pet, check out the following tips for caring for a senior dog!
Increasing Veterinary Care for Aging Pets
It is often recommended to have more frequent veterinary checkups for older pets to help identify developing health problems before they become more severe. Your pet may need additional exams and treatments for age-related health problems such as arthritis, dental disease, hearing loss, cancer, etc. You may look into pet healthcare insurance, or budget for healthcare savings to meet additional medical expenses for your older pet.
Managing Changes in Senior Dog Health
Transitioning to formulated senior dog food can help preserve energy levels and general health in aging pets. You may also need to learn the best methods for administering pet medications, which can initially be challenging. Your veterinarian can provide instructions and help you practice your technique. Some medicines can be hidden in dog’s or cat’s treats, or given orally by syringe. The latter method may require partnering with a loved one to perform the process smoothly.
Additional Home Care for Older Pets
It can be difficult for aged pets to be left alone for long periods. Not having someone available to open the door can be especially rough for an elderly pet that needs to go to the bathroom more frequently. If you work away from home all day or are frequently out for long hours, install a pet door to protect your dog or cat from experiencing that every day.
Also, you might consider hiring a pet sitter with whom you’re familiar or who comes with excellent verifiable references. A good pet sitter comes with knowledge of great tips for senior dogs and abundant patience and enthusiasm for lavishing the best of care on your pet in his or her golden years.
Modifying Your Home for Elder Pet Safety
Making some adaptations around the house for your elderly dog or cat can help ensure your pet stays comfortable and safe and can be independent for as long as possible.
- Pet care experts recommend placing no-slip pads under rugs and carpets to help senior pets feel more stable on their feet.
- Creating a few pet-sized ramps with glued rubber walkways can allow your pet safe access to the couch, bed, porch, yard, or other areas they most enjoy spending their time.
- A softer pet bed can also help relieve aching joints and protect against the development of pressure ulcers (sores from lying down for long periods).
Little Luxuries for Your Aging Pet
It’s time to pamper your pet with healthful toys, treats, and even puppy massages. Slow down the daily walks and make them shorter if necessary to allow plenty of time for your dog to wander around at his leisure and sniff to his heart’s content. Adapt to an appropriate pace for senior dog activities. Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your aging pet is to share as much of the precious time you have with him/her as you can.
Making the Most of Time with Your Aging Pet
We all want to make our pets’ senior years as cozy and comfortable as we can. So, do the extras that preserve the quality of life you’ve given your dear dog or cat over the years:
- Have the extra veterinary checkups for senior dogs.
- Modify things at home, as needed to make getting around easier.
- By all means, spend quality time together with your furry companion.
- Make your walks slower and/or shorter, as needed.
Remember to enjoy every minute of those times making memories with your best buddy.
The Greatest Gift of All for An Older Pet
Freedom is the greatest gift for any person or pet. Installing a new pet door saves your aging dog or cat from being forced to wait at the door until someone can come and let him or her out to go to the bathroom. Your older dog or cat can freely walk in and out of your home, feel the breeze, lie in the sunshine, smell the grass, or just breathe the fresh air and take in the world of so many other lovely pleasures in the great outdoors.
Solutions for Your Pet’s Comfort – Pet Door Products
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