While caring for an aging pet is not an inexpensive endeavor, it does not have to break the bank. It is entirely possible to show care and compassion to a geriatric dog or cat without putting your own personal finances at risk. Parma Animal Shelter presents the following blog post that offers suggestions and ideas on how you can best care for your furry friend without overextending your wallet.

Understanding their needs
The best thing you can do for your pet now is to understand the issues that can affect older animals. The good news here is that while there is a lot of information to intake, you can read all about it online or your veterinarian can provide you an information pamphlet on what to expect. Many geriatric animals develop problems similar to those in elderly people. Conditions to be on the lookout for include cancer, urinary tract disease, diabetes, senility, and weakness.

Because of the potential for disease, older animals also need increased veterinary care. Instead of a once-annual visit, dogs over about the age of seven should probably be seen every six months. Senior dogs and cats alike may also need to change their diet to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Keep in mind that nutritional needs change over time, and the food you fed them when they were a young adult dog or cat may not be best utilized by their aging bodies now.

Your pet may also require a few special items, like a heated bed if they tend to stay cold, soft food if they have dental problems, or animal stairs to get on the bed if they have joint swelling, pain, or discomfort. These items and others can be found online at a discount, and you can use promotional codes for retailers, such as Chewy, and then score cash back and even better deals. And, keep in mind, that most online shops like this offer free shipping so you don’t even have to leave your home and scour your local pet store for supplies.

Kids And Elderly Animals
If you have children and your pet is getting on up in years, something else you can do for them to increase their quality of life is watch how your kids and pets interact. Remember, older animals may have pain,  joint stiffness, or cognitive decline which can make them cranky or disoriented. Children under the age of five should never be left alone with your aging pet – or any animal for that matter. You can do everyone in your family a favor by investing in inexpensive baby gates and other barriers to keep your human and canine kids apart when you are not in the room to monitor their interactions.

Unfortunately, the older your pet gets the more likely they are to experience issues that can be a burden on you and your family. Excessive shedding, drooling, and urinary incontinence all come to mind. According to VetStreet, the latter of these issues is extremely common in female dogs. To help keep your home clean, work with your vet to potty train your older dog. You might convince them to use puppy pads or, as they get older, you can reduce your cleaning time and expenses by investing in dog diapers. To combat excess shedding, brush your dog regularly and have them checked out by their veterinary team if you notice chunks of missing hair or irritated skin.

While it does take work and you will spend extra money, having an older dog is an excellent way to enhance your life. And, with a few smart moves, including using discount codes for necessary supplies and getting ahead of cleaning, it’s an investment in your quality of life that won’t interfere with your everyday spending.

Whether you’re adding a pet, looking for volunteer opportunities, or just in need of information, connect with Parma Animal Shelter.

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