As a pet owner, you easily pick up on changes in your pet’s behavior, and as your pet grows older, you might notice that they are not quite as energetic and perky as they used to be. Perhaps a medical condition has slowed them down, or maybe it seems like their joints have been stiff and achy. These tips will help you attend to your aging pet’s needs and give them the best care possible as the years go on. 

Handling Everyday Health Issues

Your pet is likely a bit more sluggish than they were in their younger years, so you’ll need to take it easy on an everyday basis. Establish a predictable routine that includes gentle exercise (a dog-friendly treadmill can help them stay active indoors), and keep their medications and any other necessary supplies on hand wherever you go with them. If your pet suffers from anxiety, inflammation, or chronic pain, you may also want to stock up on calming CBD treats. Before purchasing a particular brand of CBD treats, make sure the product is ideal for the kind of pet you have, and consider the CBD dosage, ingredient quality, and online reviews.

If your pet tends to perk up around other dogs or cats, you may even want to consider adopting a new four-legged friend so that they have a playmate in their golden years. Consider fostering or rescuing a new dog or cat from an organization that helps place pets in their forever homes. Senior pets may benefit from having a companion around! 

Managing Medication

Every pet owner knows how difficult it can be to ensure that your pet actually swallows their medication! Thankfully, there are a few techniques you can use to make this process easier. The American Kennel Club recommends hiding pills in their food or using a special “pill device” that is designed to place medication on the back of your pet’s tongue to make sure they consume it. These tactics will help you avoid being accidentally bitten! In addition to their medication, you may want to give your pet some helpful supplements like probiotics, essential fatty acids, or glucosamine. 

Covering Veterinary Expenses

Caring for an aging pet can get quite expensive. Your pet may need pricey medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. If your pet was already enrolled in a pet insurance policy, their plan may cover these costs, but if not, you do have other options for financing veterinary care. Should you receive a vet bill that you can’t afford out of pocket, Credit Karma suggests negotiating a payment installment plan with the vet’s office or contacting animal welfare charities for assistance. Sometimes, help can come from unexpected places, so don’t hesitate to ask!

Spoil Your Pet Safely

Naturally, you want to spoil your aging pet, but it’s important to keep safety in mind! You don’t want to aggravate any symptoms of their health conditions. For instance, if you’d like to purchase new toys for your pet, ask the staff at your local pet supply store if they have specific toys they would recommend for senior pets. If you want to experiment with making homemade treats, ensure that you don’t use any ingredients that aging pets might be sensitive too. Finally, remember that spoiling your pet doesn’t have to cost a dime – they will love any chance to spend extra time snuggling with you! 

Caring for a senior pet is certainly very different from caring for a kitten or puppy. Your pet may be far less active, and you and your pet may end up at the vet’s office more often. But even as they age, your pet will still love you unconditionally, and with these tips, you’ll have no trouble making their golden years feel special!

About the Author: Jessica Brody created Our Best Friends so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions.