As dogs and cats grow older, their care requirements change. They need different types of exercise, specially-curated diets, more frequent trips to the vet, and a few additional supplies to keep them comfortable around the house. That said, caring for a senior pet is often easier than raising a wild, rambunctious puppy!
From scheduling more frequent vet visits to hiring a local dog-walking service there are many practical things you can do to help your pet stay happy and healthy in their senior years. If your pet is reaching old age, or you’re thinking about adopting a senior pet,Curbicus invites you to keep reading to learn what else you can do to make their life better.
Why Adopt a Senior Pet?
If you’re ready to become a first-time pet owner, it may be tempting to purchase a puppy from a breeder. However, there are many good reasons to adopt anolder pet from a shelter instead. Most senior pets have already mastered basic obedience, so they already know to go to the bathroom outside and they’re less likely to feel anxious when you leave them home alone. Also, unlike puppies and kittens, older pets have established personalities, making it easy to pick a furry friend that will be the best fit for your lifestyle. Remember, dogs and cats of all ages can benefit your life in several ways!
Preparing Your Home for a Senior Pet
As pets get older, they have a harder time getting around, jumping up onto things, and making it outside to use the bathroom. You may have to make a few modifications to your home to keep your senior pet comfortable and safe. Raised food and waterbowls, for example, can reduce strain on your dog’s neck during eating and drinking. If you have an older cat, you may have to move theirlitter box to an area that is more easily accessible or add a ramp to the entrance.
If this is your first pet, it’s also wise to assess your living environment in order to make it more conducive to bringing home a new animal companion. This includes removing hazardous or stressful elements while adding in moreharmonious influences. Keeping your home a safe haven that functions as a retreat will benefit both you and your new furry friend.
Exercise and Nutrition
Senior pets have slightly different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts. Once your dog reaches their geriatric years, consider switching them to senior-friendly pet food. If you’re worried about your dog gaining weight during their senior years, you may want to switch to a high-fiber option. There are plenty available on the market, so be sure to read up on which ones the experts recommend most.
Exercise is also important for your senior pet. Regular exercise will keep your pet’s muscles strong and their joints flexible, so they can avoid painful stiffness for as long as possible. Senior dogs can benefit from regular walks, albeit at a slightly slower pace than normal. If you have a senior cat, you can encourage them toexercise with fun toys and climbing towers.
Mental Stimulation for Cats and Dogs
Besides exercise, senior pets also need regular mental stimulation to keep their brains sharp. If you have a senior pet, create an indoor obstacle course, buy some puzzle toys, or set up a bird feeder outside your window so your cat can watch birds flitting around outside. Catnip can also friend! Senior dogs can benefit frominteractive toys, walks in new and unfamiliar environments, brain games like hide and seek, and learning new tricks.
When considering mental stimulation,separation anxiety should be at the top of your list if your pet suffers from severe anxiety anytime you leave. Consider puzzles or toys you can put down right before you leave to distract your pet and keep them occupied. If you spend a chunk of your day away from home at work, you may even want to think about hiring a pet sitter to check on your fur baby, and take them for walks or offer snuggles. Sometimes understanding the root of anxiety is tricky. In which case it helps to not only talk to your vet but to also set up awireless camera that allows you to watch your pet’s reaction when you leave and their subsequent behavior.
There are so many things you can do to make your pet’s life more comfortable in their senior years. With a few simple changes, it doesn’t take much to give a senior pet the best life ever. And if you’re adopting a senior pet, bear in mind that you’ll be giving your new animal friend a chance to live out the rest of their years in a loving home.
Curbicus is dedicated to reducing the carbon pawprint. The environmentally-conscious Curbicus device eliminates the need to touch your pet’s waste, and comes with handy, degradable and compostable capsules that won’t hurt the environment. Check us out today!
by Jessica Brody