How You Can Give Your Senior Pet A Happy and Healthy Life In Old Age

Whether you’ve had Fido since he was a rambunctious puppy, or you’ve recently adopted an older animal, any pet parent is lucky to have the love and companionship of a senior pet. Older dogs and cats still have so much to give, and we owe it to them to give back the very best care for their golden years. Your vet is the first place to turn for medical guidance, but there’s a lot you can do at home to keep your senior pet as healthy and happy as possible.

Tips to Stay on Top of Vet Care

Your pet needs regular trips to the vet at every age, but older animals are at a greater risk of illness. That’s why one of the best things you can do as a senior pet parent is to become familiar with warning signs that they’re unwell, including both physical and behavioral changes. For example, Reader’s Digest explains how droopy ears may be a sign of an ear infection, but a recent interest in tail chasing is another possible sign of a specific type of ear infection. Some dogs that are sick will also act out aggressively in ways that are uncharacteristic of their usual personality. Both dog and cat owners should also watch for signs of arthritis. Many dog owners are choosing to treat muscle and joint pain in their older pups with CBD. There are many brands of CBD-infused treats available; be sure to take into consideration the ingredients, CBD dosage, and customer reviews.

The most important thing is to become familiar with your pet’s normal behavior and make note of any changes that may warrant a trip to the vet. And because senior pets typically need more vet visits, it may be smart to purchase a pet insurance policy. Having pet insurance can add up to significant savings if your dog or cat ends needs a good deal of vet care in the future. Before buying insurance, however, it’s especially important for senior pet parents to do their research because policies can vary by cost, coverage, and even certain limitations.

Things You Can Do at Home

Pay Attention to Sensitivities

Pet parents should always be cautious about extreme weather, but senior cats and dogs are especially sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. With this knowledge, it’s easy to take action both in and outside the home to keep them more comfortable. If you live in a cold climate, iHeartDogs recommends giving glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to help with joints, along with the extra protection of a coat and booties when you go for walks.

Both cats and dogs will appreciate a warm and cozy bed inside. Cats are especially prone to being affected by the cold, which is one reason why many seek sunny spots for a nap. Besides relying on the sun, you could also pamper your feline with a cat bed that’s dome-shaped or one with sides so they stay warmer.

Teach Them New Tricks

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in most cases, that’s far from the truth! Teaching a dog new tricks keeps their mind engaged, which is essential for good health. According to Mother Nature Network, the most important thing is to work within your dog’s physical limitations when teaching tricks so he doesn’t do anything painful.

Cats may not be able to learn tricks, but you still want to keep your senior cat active and engaged in playtime. If your senior cat seems reluctant to play, switch things up by getting a new toy or trying a new way of playing. For example, a cat who has arthritis may not be up for chasing a ball throughout the house, but he may love batting at some crinkled-up paper.

While your vet is the ultimate authority on your pet’s health, you’re the person who knows them best. With all their cute quirks (and maybe a few annoying habits here and there), you’re the one who knows their needs and gives them love. You also have the ability to give your senior pet the very best — and that includes a healthier, happier life.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Article credit: Jessica Brody

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