Important Steps For Older Pets
As we all know (or will find out), getting older can be tough. If you're like us, we have a soft spot for senior pets. Here are some simple ideas to make life a little bit easier for our best friends as they age.
Supportive orthopedic bed - Just like us, our pets can get arthritis and sore joints. We all know how important a good night's sleep is; a supportive bed will lessen the aches and pains so your dog or cat can catch some zzz's.
Buy or make ramps or steps - Getting in and out of the car, hopping up on the bed, or jumping to a windowsill perch will get harder for our fur babies as they get older. If you're crafty, it's not too hard to make a ramp for your pet (put carpet on it for some grip); otherwise, there are many types for sale on Amazon. A ramp will make it easier for your pet to get to her favorite snooze spots.
Baby gates - Some of our pets may lose a little vision as they age. If this has happened to your buddy, blocking off a set of stairs or a drop off on the deck is important so he won't fall.
Water - Older pets tend to get dehydrated more easily than younger ones, in some cases because getting up is challenging for old bones or your pal may just forget to hydrate. It's a great idea to add an extra water bowl in another location in your home, so he won't have to walk too far. It's a good idea to monitor how much your best friend is drinking; not enough water can be a sign of a health issue.
Food toppers - Sometimes, as our pets age, their tastebuds don't work quite like they use to, and your dog or cat may not be as excited about their meals as they once were. If this seems to be happening with your pet, add a topper to make their kibble more appetizing. You can either buy them or make something yourself. Consider rice, tuna fish, scrambled egg, or chicken.
Shallow litter box - Our felines may find it much harder to get into a littler box with high sides. Most pet supply stores (and Amazon) have low-sided litter boxes that will make using their box much easier for your cat.
Slip-proof mats - Walking on tile or hardwood floors is much more difficult for older pets (usually dogs, but some cats have problems as well). Be sure your pup's nails are clipped regularly and the fur in between his toes is trimmed; this will help with his stability. If he is still having problems, buy more area rugs or mats so he can get a grip. We've found that yoga mats work well.
This is only part one; we love senior pets so much, we're going to continue this list next month! Our fur-friends have been there for us for years; we can return the favor with these ideas.