Having a pet grow up with you is like having a best friend with similar hobbies who’s always down for any activity and fun sleepovers. Over the years, you’re not the only one who had some growing up to do, your furry companion, who was busy having fun with you, also aged. Pets need lots of attention to keep them physically healthy throughout their lives. Shots, regular visits to the vet, and nutritious meals mainly help them be fit and healthy, but you’d also have to do more as they age.
Senior pets require more care than energetic pups or kittens. Like humans, their immunities also decline, and their bones grow brittle, making it hard for them to engage in vigorous activities they once enjoyed. As a fur parent, you can help them be more comfortable during their senior years by following the suggestions below.
Give Them a Nutrient-rich Diet
As your pet grows older, they most likely won’t have the appetite for food they liked before, so it’s better to opt for soft edibles they can easily digest. When preparing meals for your senior dog, you need to remember that it’s imperative to maintain balance and not choose ingredients high in sodium, sugar, and others that may compromise their health.
Calcium and vitamin K-enriched food like chicken, fish, and milk will help keep their bones stronger, letting you continue bringing them out for walks.
Keep Up With Their Vaccines
It’s natural for your pet’s health to decline, but you can help boost their immunity by staying updated with their vaccine shots. Given how your pet becomes susceptible to a host of diseases, you can do your part by giving them vaccines against Lyme disease, kennel cough, and others every three years or within a shorter period.
Keeping in touch with their vet and going on regular checkups is also imperative, especially when you notice a sudden change in your pet that may signify something wrong with their health.
Take Them to the Groomers Regularly
Although they’d have less time to get dirty since they won’t have as much energy to play as before, you still need to keep them clean and have their fur trimmed or shaved every once in a while. Comfort is a priority when caring for your senior pet, and letting their fur grow too much might irritate them and make it harder to move.
A fresh bath from professional groomers who know how to handle aging pets can also make your furry friend feel refreshed. However, if car rides make your pet uncomfortable, you can bathe and groom your dog at home instead.
Make Them Active
Keeping your pets comfortable does not mean letting them stay idle in their bed for days at a time; movement is also imperative. Regular exercise not only helps your senior pet maintain a fit physique, but it can also boost their mood.
After spending hours upon hours indoors, a walk in a nice trail with a fresh breeze and new sights will be just what your pet needs. Although going on a stroll around the neighborhood also brings a good change of pace, you can also embark on short trips and let your pet see the beach or smell different plants on a mountain.
Upgrade Their Things
Toys hold fond memories for your pet, so that should stay. On the other hand, it will be best to change their other belongings or add more. During their senior years, your pets might no longer have the strength to jump or reach high places, making it best to switch to low-lying things, like food bowls and getting a ramp should they want to cuddle up with you on the couch or bed.
Giving them a softer and more spacious bed will also help alleviate muscle pains and help them enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Be Ready for the Inevitable
No matter how long you’ve been with your pet, the time will not always be enough. Whether you have been with your pet since you were young or have given your cat or dog a forever home when they’re a bit older, their presence is something you will never forget.
Inevitably, your beloved bet will eventually pass away, but there’s no use in feeling sad and dwelling on it. Instead, you can make each day you spend with them more memorable. Once the time comes, you can preserve their memories through aquamation or an eco-friendly cremation, and cherish your time together in a more solemn manner. While you still can, giving your senior pets, all the love and attention they deserve is the best way to show your appreciation.
Pets are easy to please; it doesn’t take much for you to show them your gratitude. You already make them feel appreciated by attending to their needs and showering them with love.