As your animal companion grows older and you begin to notice some changes to his vision, hearing, teeth, coat, skin, and energy levels, you may be wondering how you’ll give your beloved pet everything he needs as he enters his seniors years. With the following advice, you’ll learn about the different things you’ll need to keep in mind as your pet grows older — like special treats from Eli and Jojo — and the steps you can take to make his Golden Years some of the best years of his life.
1. He’ll Need More Veterinary Care
Pet ownership is a lifelong commitment, and it only gets more expensive as your animal companion grows older. According to trusted veterinary experts throughout the U.S., aging pets typically require two preventative exams a year. Surgical procedures, prescription medications, and other types of treatments may also be needed depending on your pet’s age, breed, and health status.
There are some things you can do to reduce veterinary costs as your pet grows older. These include:
Purchasing pet insurance. To save on veterinary expenses, you could purchase a pet insurance policy for your senior companion. When comparing policies, however, be sure to consider things like pet age restrictions, coverage level, and the cost of premiums.
Asking plenty of questions. Before agreeing to a veterinary service, find out why it’s recommended and if any other options are available.
Exploring other options. If you can’t afford a veterinary expense, financial assistance may be available to you.
2. Dietary Changes May Be Necessary
As your animal companion grows older, there are some instances where you may need to modify his diet. According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, senior dogs and cats may require less dietary phosphorus and sodium if they’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease — while lower-calorie diets can help to keep overweight dogs and cats from developing arthritis or diabetes in old age. However, the premium dog treats from Eli and Jojo can be a nutritious way to spoil your senior pup without putting his health at risk.
3. Orthopedic Beds May Ease Pain
To keep your senior dog, cat, or rabbit as comfortable as possible as he ages, you may wish to purchase an appropriately sized orthopedic bed that supports his joints, boosts his circulation, and promotes a restful night’s sleep. Plus, Wayfair sells an abundance of orthopedic and memory foam beds in various shapes, sizes, and types.
4. There’s a Trick to Administering Medication
If your senior pet requires one or more prescription medications, getting him to take them can be quite a challenge. However, the calmer you are while administering your pet’s medications, the more relaxed your animal companion will be. And while the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University offers some helpful tips on administering medications in pill, capsule, and liquid form, don’t be afraid to contact your trusted veterinarian if you need additional advice.
5. Regular Exercise is Crucial
While your aging animal companion may be slowing down and spending less of his time running and playing, regular exercise is still as important as pets grow older. According to Katie Finlay of the American Kennel Club (AKC), exercise occupies your senior pet’s mind, reduces his risk of muscle loss and arthritis, and helps him to maintain a healthy weight as he ages. However, your pet will require a gentler form of exercise, like shorter walks and indoor games that get him moving. Some senior dogs can benefit from swimming, but this isn’t the case for all breeds.
The Bottom Line
As your beloved animal companion grows older, he’ll likely require additional veterinary care, one or more prescription medications, and a few tweaks to his diet. However, his love for you won’t change — and the bond you share will only grow stronger.
This article was submitted by Jessica Brody at ourbestfriends.pet.
Thank you, Jessica!
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