Caring for An Older Pet: Tips for Senior Animals
- By Nick Burton
It’s no secret that caring for an older pet can be difficult, but taking extra steps to provide a healthy and active lifestyle throughout your animal’s life can make it easier. When your pet was new to your home, you may have found yourself making small changes to your home, adjusting your schedule or adapting to a new diet and exercise routine. While these efforts may seem small, they can be highly beneficial in providing a stable environment for your pet.
In addition to proper in-home care, regular visits to the vet are important. Routine visits will help you be proactive and prepare for any otherwise unforeseen circumstance. With the help of your vet, you and your pup will be able to stay on top of minor to major health issues and prevent new ones.
Similar to humans, older pets can become easily injured, some are prone to cancers, and others have to maintain a healthy weight in order to be able to move the way they need to. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is also imperative to maintaining their well-being. Your pet relies on you to give them the best care possible.
Simplify Your Life with Pet Accessories
The market has plenty of items that can help simplify life for you and your pet. Look for things that meet his specific needs, such as a set of plush stairs to assist him in climbing up into bed or a sturdy ramp that will allow him to remain independent when it’s time to get into the car. To ensure that you are getting the best deal, research, reach out to other animal parents, read reviews and even ask your vet for recommendations.
Get your dog outdoors! The fresh air and exercise will help him feel energized and keep his body and mind healthy. When frequenting a dog park, take precautions as disease and bacteria can easily spread and threaten an older pup’s immune system. Alternatives to a dog park include a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a hike.
Playing with your older pet can keep his mind agile and healthy and boost mental health. Many senior animals experience a decline in their brain health, which can lead to accidents and cognitive issues that can precede an injury. Engaging in fun games — such as hiding his favorite toy and encouraging him to find it — will help keep your best fur friend sharp.
Make Your Home a Safe Haven
Is your home safe for your pet? Whether your pup is indoors or outdoors, be aware of the surroundings. Keep an eye out for throw rugs that can cause a fall, exposed wires, toxic plants, stairs that may lead to a tumble, and human food that might look appetizing to him but could actually make him ill (such as chocolate or grapes). Once your home is safe, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet can remain independent without getting hurt. For more tips on accommodating your aging pet around the home, click here.
Caring for an older pet can be a lot of work; it’s important to take care of yourself at the same time in order to reduce stress and anxiety. Make a plan for both you and your pet to boost your mental health. With a little preparation, you can enjoy the time you have with your pet.