Tips for Giving an Aging Pet the Best Care



Is your furry friend growing gray around the whiskers? It can be challenging to navigate care for an aging pet, especially if you’re unsure of how to keep up with their needs. Keeping them happy and healthy as they get older isn’t hard, but it does require a special approach. Here are a few tips that can help you give your pet everything they need to thrive.


Focus on Nutrition

 Your pet’s nutritional needs are always important, but maintaining a healthy digestive system is even more so in their later years. Make sure you’re feeding them high-quality pet food, whether wet or dry, and ask your vet if you should look for a particular nutrient balance; for example, some older pets may need food that’s higher or lower in sodium.

 In addition to getting your pet the right foods, you may want to consider giving them a supplement. For example, you may want to give your cat a probiotic to ensure their digestive system has all the good bacteria it needs for them to thrive. Dogs can benefit from a daily multivitamin or probiotic as well. Read online reviews and check in with your vet before starting your pet on any new regimen.


 Giving Medicine

 As they get older, your pal could develop a chronic condition that might require regular medication. If your pet is particularly food motivated, you may be able to tuck the medicine away in a piece of cheese or pill-holding treat. Make sure you get the vet’s okay to do this, as not all pills should be chewed. If you can’t go this route, it’s a matter of getting your pet’s jaw open and getting the pill toward the back of their mouth. This is easier said than done, but here are some tips for nailing it.

Focus on lifting the upper jaw up, rather than the bottom down. This is much easier, and it will open their throat so they’ll be more likely to swallow quickly. Once the medication is in there, hold their mouth closed for 30 seconds or so to give them a chance to swallow. 

If your pal is too wiggly, you can turn them into a pet burrito with a large towel. Wrap them up so that their legs are tight against their body and they can’t writhe away. If they fight so hard you’re worried you’ll hurt them, talk to your vet about another method of administering the meds. You may be able to get medicated food or an injectable version of their medicine, which can be easier to administer.


 Saving on Expenses

 Vet visits and medication can get pricey very quickly. If you don’t already have it, consider investing in pet insurance. This can go a long way toward mitigating your pet’s medical costs and save you from having to make important decisions based on expenses alone. 

The cost of pet supplies can add up as well. A senior pet may require special food, steps to climb onto the couch or into your car, and a senior-friendly bed. You can save on these items and much more by shopping at large online retailers like PetSmart, Chewy, or Kohl’s. Save even more by finding Kohl’s coupons, discounts, and promo codes online.  

Many senior pets can find help through over the counter options. Aging joints can often be helped with CBD products, for example. A little research can uncover which options have quality formulation, strength, ingredients. You can also learn from the experiences of other users, so do some digging to find what will be best for your aging pet.


Safe Play

 Your pet might have less energy and limited mobility as they get older, but they still need plenty of play. Without it, they’ll get listless and bored, and can also develop worsening health issues. If you take your dog on walks, consider taking them a bit slower, or go on shorter walks more often. Give cats short play sessions throughout the day to exercise their hunting instinct. Always stop or take a break if your pet looks tired, and follow their lead on starting back up again. 

Your older pet may need extra help with mobility, nutrition, and entertainment, but the work is worthwhile. By putting in the time and effort, you make sure they get the care they need. There’s no better way to show your pal just how much you love them.

The Loudoun Pet Expo is dedicated to promoting awareness and support for pet businesses, organizations, and rescues. Our next event will be on September 12, 2021!

Photo Credit: Unsplash 

Written by Jessica Brody

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