Tips on Caring for Your Aging Pet
In a lot of ways, pets face the same issues as people as they age, such as hearing loss, appetite changes, and physical limitations. If you know your pet’s age in “human years,” it’s easier to understand what he needs as he gets older. Below, are some of the best tips on caring for your aging pet and keeping him healthy and happy.
Address Dietary Needs
Chances are that you will need to start feeding your dog different food as he ages. There are many things to consider when picking the right dog food, since your pet’s calorie, protein, and fiber needs will change. When selecting a type of dog food, choose fresh ingredients over processed foods so that your canine will absorb nutrients more easily. Look for brands that only use the highest-quality ingredients and contain added benefits like glucosamine for healthy joints.
In any case, diet is one area where you can spoil your pet in his old age. You don’t want to overdo it with treats or ignore dietary advice from your vet, but giving him a special snack like turkey jerky for dogs every now and then will make him feel pampered.
Keep in mind that your companion’s physical condition might limit what he can eat, despite how much you try to pamper him. Paying attention to how much your pet eats is important, as changes in appetite can indicate underlying health problems. For example, a pet refusing to eat might be one of the signs that his teeth are in poor condition.
It’s always a good idea to take your pet to the vet if you notice any dietary changes. Something as simple as getting a painful tooth pulled can help your pet have a much better quality of life. Even if there aren’t any underlying issues, your vet can often recommend different foods to help your pet eat better.
Speaking of vets, you’ll likely find that your pet needs more medical attention as he gets older. Whether he’s going in for routine care or needs special attention, it’s important that you budget for more frequent vet visits. Paying for veterinary care on your own can be costly, but pet insurance can help foot the bill.
When choosing a plan, be sure to compare deductibles as well as the types of services that are covered. If you have a senior pet, it’s good to find a pet insurance plan that covers many older animals. These plans are customizable and offer a high level of coverage.
If you’re not able to insure your pet due to his age, then you may have to find alternative ways to pay for vet visits and major procedures. You could take your senior pet to a low-cost facility, and some organizations offer pet owners financial assistance.
Accommodate Your Pet’s Needs
Pets’ physical abilities will also change as they get older. For example, you may find that your dog has a hard time jumping up into your vehicle or that he can’t get up on the couch anymore. But you can accommodate them with an elevated bed. If you’re handy, you can also try making your own ramp, such as this adjustable dog ramp from the DIY Network.
Older pets also need special attention when it comes to taking medication – including joint support. If your pet is prescribed meds, administering them can be challenging for you and uncomfortable for your pet. However, by taking the right approach, you can turn this into an opportunity to pamper your pet by concealing meds in a tasty treat. This also rings true for supplements.
Make a Plan for Care
Senior pets tend to need more attention than younger animals, which you’ll have to consider when you go out of town. Hiring a pet sitter is a great way to ensure that your companion is well looked after. Some pet sitters specialize in day care, while others will do overnight stays with your pet.
When choosing a sitter, look for someone who has experience working with older pets who may have special needs. A good pet sitter will be also responsible enough to administer medication on time and handle other types of care your pet needs.
For times when you can’t be home but don’t need a sitter, consider setting up a security camera indoors that allows you to monitor your pet. If you cordoned them off to a certain area, you’ll be able to check in regularly to determine if you need to make a beeline home.
Caring for an older pet can be challenging not just because of the work involved, but also because of the emotional toll. By finding compassionate ways to meet your pet’s dietary and physical needs, you can help provide the best quality of life possible.
The goal of American BioSciences is to help people enhance their lives and health with the most effective, natural dietary supplements that are supported by outstanding research. Call 888-884-7770.
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