Reduce the Stress of Caring for Your Aging Pet With These Tips

Author: Nick Burton

Caring for an aging pet can be challenging, even under the best circumstances. For many pet owners, finding a way to pay for veterinary bills, worrying about medication and how to safely administer it, and providing good quality of life for an older animal can be stressful, to say the least. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to make the process as easy as possible for both you and your pet, and luckily there are many resources available for doing just that.

It can be helpful to organize a plan that will help you keep track of vet visits, manage medications and preventative care, and give your pet everything he needs to stay happy and healthy. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your elder pet and ensure that he’s feeling good:

Start by minimizing stress in your home

Whether you have a demanding job or suffer from anxiety yourself, it’s important to take steps to make your home a calm, relaxing place for your pet. Animals can feel tension in their environment and may be negatively affected, which can take a toll on their well-being. If you’ve noticed warning signs of anxiety in your pet, give him a stress-free home by taking steps to relax, such as by creating a quiet area to sit and read or practicing self-care when you get home from work. If you tend to put in long hours at your job, consider asking about working from home a couple of days a week in order to spend more time with your animal or hiring an experienced, qualified pet-sitter who can come and keep him company.

Keep costs down with regular checkups and insurance

While reducing stress is important for older pets, it’s also crucial to ensure he gets preventative care, which will both keep him healthy and keep costs down at the vet. Even if your pet has no immediate health issues that need attention, setting up regular appointments for checkups can go a long way toward early detection and keeping disease at bay. Managing vet bills is also made easier if you learn which questions to ask, especially where tests, medication, and surgeries are concerned. 

As a pet ages, there is always the worry of unexpected or sudden medical issues. With California pet insurance, you can lessen the financial impact of any such emergency. An older pet may require more frequent or specialized vet treatments and medications, so having coverage to help defray these expenses can make a big difference in deciding what care your pet might receive. Before choosing a policy, read reviews online and consider affordability and the maximum age for coverage. 

Purchase Age-Friendly Shampoo

Older pets often have more delicate skin than younger animals, requiring specially formulated shampoos to help keep their fur and skin soft and healthy. By using a shampoo specifically created for senior pets, you can ensure that their coat is as shiny and beautiful as ever. Before purchasing a shampoo, read online reviews to find a suitable shampoo without a strong scent

Manage his medication responsibly

If your pet does require medication–whether it’s for an illness or just preventative–it’s crucial to ensure that he gets the right dosage at the right times and that you’re able to keep up with it. Many animals dislike taking medicine, even when you try to disguise it in a treat, so talk to your veterinarian to find out whether they have suggestions on how to help him ingest it. Read the labels carefully, and make sure you ask questions about the medication itself in order to fully understand its side effects and the dosage.

Boost his quality of life

Whether your pet is living with an illness or is enjoying great health, you’ll likely want to ensure that he has the best possible quality of life. Spoiling a pet can be tricky when they’re older and require a special diet or exercise routine, so think of some small ways you can help him have fun, such as giving him a cool (pet-safe) treat or a gentle massage to help circulation and relieve pain. If he does well in public spaces, take him to the pet store and allow him to pick out his own toy, then take him to the park and have a playdate. There are plenty of ways to boost his quality of life and help him enjoy his golden years.

Taking care of a senior pet can be bittersweet, so it’s important to practice self-care. Not only will this help you reduce the stress that can come with caring for an aging animal, it can help eliminate those difficult feelings for him, too. You can also take steps to reduce costs by visiting the vet regularly and purchasing pet insurance. 

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