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  • Ryan Goodchild

Caring for a Senior Pet? These Tips Can Make It More Manageable

Updated: Jan 9

If you have a pet, you know about the love, companionship, and joy that they bring to your life each day.


You also know about the responsibility that comes with taking care of them. And if your pet is a senior, you’ll need to make extra effort to care for their well-being.


Dog cuddling with owner

While caring for a senior pet can be challenging, implementing a few essential tips can help to make it feel more manageable. Whether you have an older dog or cat, consider these tips from Merci Collective for keeping your furry loved one healthy and happy.

Article Summary

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Try The Meatball Method To Administer Medication


One of the most important parts of caring for a senior pet is getting them to take their medication. This can also be one of the most challenging tasks, especially when the medication is in pill form.


If you have trouble getting your furry companion to take their meds, try the meatball method. Make a small ball of wet dog food or cat food, and see if your pet will swallow it (without chewing). If this works, make another ball with their pill inside. For a long-term solution, you can either make them meatballs each day or buy treats that have a pouch specifically for pills.



Get Them A Good Bed


Dogs and cats spend a lot of time lying down, especially when they are older. So why not make sure your pet has a high-quality bed?


There are many dog beds on the market that can improve your pup’s sleep life, from orthopedic foam to bowl-shaped beds.


And if you have a cat, the right bed can make a big difference in keeping them warm and comfy, and you can find anything from elevated to cave-like to heated cat beds.



Invest In Healing Crystals


If your senior pet has taken on concerning behavior issues, consider the benefits of healing crystals to help restore their balance. All crystals have unique healing properties, and when you take the crystal personality quiz at Merci Collective, you can easily zero in on the ideal crystal to help your fur baby find calm. Common issues might be a lack of confidence, separation anxiety, excessive barking or meowing, or aggressive behavior. Once you determine which crystal can help counteract these behaviors, check out the Merci Collective’s offerings like leashes, harnesses, and collars that feature the necessary crystal as a centerpiece.


Consider Your Emotions

Our animals pick up on our emotions very quickly, and often they will even mirror our behaviors. This goes both ways.


If you regularly feel and act stressed and anxious, your dog might too. If you have a fairly relaxed temperament, your cat is likely to be the same.


This even applies to self-confidence. If you exude a lack of self-confidence, your pet will no doubt adapt to match.


You can counteract this behavior by taking steps to boost your self-esteem, thus giving your four-legged friend a boost.


Shop Merci Collective GIA Healing Crystals


Take Them To The Vet Every Six Months


When pets are younger, annual checkups are typically adequate. But twice a year is ideal for senior dogs and cats.


This allows you to stay up-to-date on their health so that you can take any preventative measures necessary to keep your pet healthy.


And if you run into medical issues, your veterinarian should be able to make recommendations on lifestyle changes, diet, supplements, and so on.


Going to the vet can add up, especially when it’s twice a year. If you need help paying for vet visits or major procedures, contact local organizations and shelters.


Some offer low-cost care and clinics, as well as loan and grant programs. Also, credit cards like CareCredit help many pet owners pay for their pet’s healthcare through various payment plans.


For homeowners, refinancing may be an option if you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future. The cash payment from a refinance could help pay for a senior pet’s medical care.


Give Quality Food And Fluids


Provide quality nutrition for your senior dog with a specialized, age-appropriate diet that addresses joint, digestive, and dental health needs. Adjusted protein levels cater to reduced activity in seniors, and essential nutrients support heart health and the immune system.  


Regular veterinary consultations ensure a tailored diet based on individual health considerations. When selecting dog food, scrutinize ingredients and nutritional information, and consult with your vet for personalized advice based on factors like age, breed, size, and health.  


Establish a feeding routine to regulate appetite, offer meals simultaneously daily, and prioritize dental care with check-ups and appropriate products. Enhance mealtime engagement using puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys. This comprehensive approach ensures optimal nutrition and care for your senior dog's well-being.


Ensuring adequate hydration is crucial for senior dogs, given their increased vulnerability to dehydration. Factors like reduced kidney function and medication side effects heighten this risk. Owners should provide clean water consistently, changing it regularly to maintain appeal.


To accommodate potential mobility issues, a wide, shallow bowl is recommended. If a senior dog is hesitant to drink plain water, adding a small amount of low-sodium broth or offering ice cubes/chips can make hydration more enticing and enjoyable.


Pamper Them And Keep Them Healthy


There are also ways that you can provide your senior pet with a life of luxury while simultaneously caring for their health. For example, elevated bowls will make it more comfortable for your pup to eat, and it will cause less strain on their neck.


Grooming your dog or cat regularly will help them feel good and stay clean, all while helping them maintain their hygiene. Moreover, be sure to show your pet plenty of affection.


Take them for walks and to the park to play. Pet them, hug them, and kiss them every day. Doting on your pet can do wonders for their quality of life.


Maintain your pet’s health by staying up-to-date on their vaccines and feeding them nutritious meals. There is a huge variety of cat and dog foods on the market, so research them carefully.


For example, if you want dog food that can help with weight management, look for a high-fiber option, and check reviews from trusted sites to ensure you’re getting a good product.


Caring for your pet is never more important than when they are in their golden years. Remember to try the meatball method if they take pills, and get them a high-quality bed for improved sleep.


Also, increase their vet visits to twice a year, and don’t hold back on pampering them. Any time and effort it takes to promote your senior pet’s health and well-being will prove well worth it.




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