As much as you love your pet, you know they won’t live forever. But while your furry best friend is still here, you can give him all the TLC possible. Help your pet age gracefully while keeping them comfortable, content, and totally spoiled.
Take a Creative Approach to Medications
No pup likes taking medicine, but you know it’s necessary for your best friend’s health. From pain medication that will help ease his day to treatment for ongoing conditions, you need to get the treatment into your pup. Consider these approaches that could help make dosing a bit easier.
- Request liquid treatments from your pet’s veterinarian whenever possible. Make sure to store the meds properly and keep them away from your pup – some dogs wind up loving the taste of their medicine, but overdoses can be fatal.
- Hide pills inside your dog’s favorite (healthier) snacks. Peanut butter, small bites of meat, or even cheese can serve this purpose well – just be wary of allergies or any foods that could cause a reaction or discomfort.
Or get your dog to open up by offering a treat in a game of bait-and-switch.
- Create a fun routine around pill-taking time – play a little game, give a treat, or just spend time snuggling.
- If your dog is really resistant to pills, try a dog pill shooter to help the process go quickly, if not comfortably.
Adapt to Your Older Dog’s Changing Needs
As much as your dog undoubtedly loves you, she probably values her independence. Even in old age, many canines still want to keep to their familiar routines and spaces, notes the AKC. For many pups, that will mean struggles to get up and downstairs, trouble getting onto the couch, and challenges with heading to bed at night.
Whenever possible, remove physical barriers to your pet’s routine without changing things too drastically. For example:
- Buy or build doggie stairs so your pup doesn’t need to strain to get on the couch or bed.
- Add a memory foam layer to your dog’s favorite bed to ease achy joints.
- Place non-slip flooring in the areas your pup frequents to help keep them from slipping.
- Move food and water bowls nearer to your canine’s sleep or rest area to keep them comfortable.
- Schedule more frequent potty trips outside (even at night) or place puppy pads in your dog’s living area.
Arrange Special Canine Financing
Older dogs can cost their loved ones a lot of money, and the very worst feeling pup parents can have is being unable to pay for necessary treatment. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can find the funds to support your dog’s treatment or palliative care in their final days.
- Explore pet insurance options to see whether your dog’s condition or specific needs are covered. Consider the coverage level, what your premiums will cost, and how long the coverage applies – there may be a maximum pet age limit.
- Investigate Care Credit , which works similarly to human Care Credit for veterinary care bills. Not all veterinary facilities accept the program, however, so be sure to ask your pet’s vet before signing up.
- Check out other options for financing, like Scratchpay, a financing service that allows you to set up a payment plan and ensure your canine’s care is paid for upfront.
- Set up a crowdfunding campaign on Waggle to ask friends, family, and even strangers to support your pet’s care.
- Keep a doggie-friendly first aid kit on hand in case of minor emergencies or mishaps.
Senior dogs can continue to bring their families joy well past their prime. At the same time, the love families feel for their older dogs never wanes, even after their passing. Looking for more advice on caring for your aging pet and spoiling them all the while? Read more from Hounds of Silence to honor your pup and all other dogs in need of love.
Jessica Brody writes for Our Best Friends
What ways have you helped you pet age gracefully? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
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