How to Care for an Aging Pet While Taking Care of Your Health as Well

As our pets age, we can expect various changes in our furry companion’s lifestyles. Senior pets are less mobile, for instance, and also have reduced appetite and can be more prone to falling sick. Additionally, pets are considered seniors at different ages, for instance, while most dogs are considered old at 10 years old, cats become geriatric past the age of 19. Today, All My Chihuahuas explores some helpful strategies pet owners can follow to care for their senior pets while following good self-care habits in tandem.

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Provide Pets an Age-Appropriate Diet 

With old-age pets become less mobile, which can lead to weight gain in the long run. Being heavy can lead to various cardiovascular and joint issues for pets. Hence, it is important to keep a track of what they eat and focus on providing them with a balanced diet. Additionally, some senior pets find it hard to digest meat, if that is the case with your companion, opt to look for plant-based alternatives or add supplements to their food.

For pets that require a special diet, it’s best to consult with the vet regarding what type of food is best suited for their age.

Keep Them Active 

While your pet will noticeably be less active than before, that is no reason to stop physical activity altogether. Regular physical activity plays an important role in helping them maintain good health. As reported by Better Health, daily walks help dogs to keep bones and muscles strong, maintain good cardiovascular health and benefit from low blood pressure. Additionally, visiting the dog park and playing with their friends will result in happier moods and a healthy mind.

But, be mindful of their requirements, for instance, if your dog cannot go for long walks anymore, take them out for a few quick ones throughout the day. Additionally, try to create ample clear space in your home, allowing them to move freely without the hassle of running into furniture or other clutter.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits 

According to Dunnellon Animal Hospital, senior pets should be taken to the vet every six months. But, don’t hesitate to make additional visits when needed. In addition to administering required vaccines, the vet can prescribe medicines and advise you on how to keep your pet healthy.

When it comes to paying for veterinary services, having pet insurance is the best option. While you can pay out-of-pocket for check-ups and medicines, if your pet requires an operation or specialized care, insurance will safeguard you from a hefty bill. Luckily, if you’re looking for pet insurance in California, you have plenty of options to choose from!

You should also make sure the products you’re using on your pets are safe as well as effective, down to the shampoo you’re using on them. It’s worth taking a moment to look up reviews from the experts and see if you need to make some changes.

Take Care of Yourself 

Taking care of a senior pet can understandably be stressful, especially if you need to manage a job simultaneously. Job burnout can lead to you being irritable, and on the edge constantly which can transfer over to your pet as well. Here are a few tips that’ll help you strike a balance between your professional and caregiving duties:

  • If you’re struggling to manage caregiving-related stress consider joining a support group whether online or in person. Meeting fellow pet owners who understand your situation provides a safe space to express emotions and gain tips on how to manage stress.
  • Speak with your employer regarding practicing a flexible schedule, allowing you to work remotely 2-3 days a week. This will make it easier to manage time and responsibilities.
  • If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, hire a pet sitter to be with them while you’re at work. This condition is actually more common than you might think, so be sure to watch for signs that your pet might be experiencing this type of anxiety.

If you live in a house with family or roommates, request them to chip in with caring for the pet. This can include taking your pet for a walk when you’re not at home or keeping them occupied with their toys, scheduling vet appointments, buying pet food, and other responsibilities you need assistance with. Being surrounded by a group of people who show care and affection will help your pet maintain good mental health as well.

Be mindful of the fact that being stressed will have a negative effect on your pet’s health as well. But, incorporating these tips into your routine will help strike a balance between caring for yourself and your senior pet.  

All My Chihuahuas is a site dedicated to offering tips on everything from health to food, toys, and more. Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!