How to Best Care for Your Beloved Senior Pet
As anyone who has had a pet knows, our furry friends quickly become part of our family almost immediately after we’ve adopted them. This means that when they start to struggle with old age, we yearn to care for them as well as we possibly can. However, we don’t always know what that looks like.
If you’ve never cared for an aging pet before, your first foray can be a time fraught with grief, stress, and difficult decisions. This guide, courtesy of Comfy Carepacks, is meant to help you know what to expect and how to give them the very best.
Consider How You’ll Save on Expenses
It may feel callous to think of your older pet in terms of your budget, but securing the financing to care for your aging friend is vital. It’s important to make sure you’ll be able to afford their care, even if it grows more expensive as the years go by. Set aside a certain amount of money each week to go into a pet emergency budget; this nest egg will help keep you in good financial shape should anything unexpected happen.
It’s also wise to invest in pet insurance as your pet gets older. Pet insurance works basically the same way as your health insurance, although you sometimes need to be reimbursed for costs. Not all pet insurance is equal, however – do the legwork to find a quality company you can trust; YourFuzzy recommends comparing not only pricing, but what’s covered, what isn’t, and how long you can expect to wait for reimbursement. This way, you can ensure you have resources in place to financially support your pal throughout the golden years.
Focus on Accessibility
As pets get older, they often develop mobility problems such as arthritic hips. Blindness, deafness, and reduced memory are also common in aging pets. That’s why it’s important to make accommodations for your senior pet so that they can enjoy life like they always have.
One great way to do this is to lift their food and water bowls a few inches off the ground. This allows them to eat without hunching forward and putting excess pressure on their front legs and paws. You can also buy or build pet ramps or stairs to help them easily get to their favorite places.
Many older pets have trouble with their bathroom routine. VetsNow explains older dogs may have bathroom troubles, particularly if they’re unable to take the long walks they used to. It may take your pal a while to figure out that they should go to the bathroom at the start of a walk. Encourage frequent outside time, and remember to pay close attention to your dog’s outside signals, which may change with age.
If troubles continue, you should talk with your vet. Sometimes these issues can be helped with supplements and/or prescription medications, which can be purchased either through your vet or through online retailers like Chewy. Chewy also offers products like cat and doggy diapers that are comfortable for your pet and keep messes controlled. They offer frequent sales and discounts, and to stretch your pennies even more, you can always add a Chewy promo code.
Coping With Sadness
As our pets age, we are forced to face the uncomfortable reality that they will leave us someday. This becomes more apparent when they begin to have a harder time getting around. Each new visible marker of aging may leave a pang in your heartstrings.
This is normal and healthy. Allow yourself to feel the grief you’re experiencing, but try not to dwell on it. Wallowing is not only an unhealthy way to cope, but it also takes you away from the time you have with your pet now. Remember, you have given your furry friend a wonderful life. Continuing to do so in their senior years is a phenomenal display of your love for them.
Focus on ways to alleviate your pet’s discomfort and to make their lives as easy as possible. When in doubt on the best way to care for your furry friend, reach out to your vet for guidance. By doing so, you guarantee you’ll give your pet the love and care they deserve.
Consider donating to or volunteering with Comfy Carepacks to help us continue to provide free supplies to pets of individuals experiencing homelessness.
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