4 Ways to Care for Your Senior Pet When You’re on a Budget

Senior Dog

When your pet starts getting older, it is normal for you to start worrying about how you will take care of it. The needs of a senior pet are different from that of a young animal, which comes with its pros and cons. On one hand, your pet is likely to be calmer and easier to keep up with, but on the other, you will need to keep a much closer eye on their health. Here are four areas of budget-friendly pet care you should start getting familiar with as your pet begins to age.


Managing Weight

As is the case with humans, a combination of reduced physical activity and unchanged diet can often lead to weight gain in senior pets, especially cats. However, unlike humans, pets do not know about things like calorie intake, so it’s up to you to keep things under control. These tips by Vetted Pet Care for helping your cat lose weight can be useful — the good news is that you’ll probably be saving money on food and treats.   Dogs may also gain weight, but it is more common for them to lose weight when they get older due to the loss of muscle and appetite. Weight loss can be healthy and natural, but it can also be a sign of illness, so let your vet know about any sudden or drastic changes in weight.



Switch Up Supplies

As your pet grows older, they may need slightly different supplies, such as a heated bed, lifting harness, or raised food bowl. These can feel a bit expensive, especially if the older supplies are still good and you know that they won’t be used for that long. However, they can also make your pet’s life infinitely easier, so it’s worth the investment. Shop online and use helpful deals such as Walmart promo codes to keep costs low and within your budget.

Also, don’t let yourself be fooled by fancy brand packaging when it comes to food. Unless your vet has specifically recommended a change in diet, such as softer foods or foods fortified with certain nutrients, you don’t need to invest in the more expensive “senior” food. 



Investing In Pet Insurance

Many people avoid getting pet insurance because they feel it is an unnecessary expense. However, the older your pet gets, the higher the chance that they will need veterinary care. The cost of pet insurance is small compared to that of emergency care, which can cost several thousands of dollars. Unless you decide that you simply can’t afford to pay over a certain amount — which is a strategy many owners use — you should get pet insurance. Trupanion is one of many insurers with plans specifically designed around the needs of senior dogs.


Alternative Therapies

Just as complementary and alternative medicines for humans are sometimes backed up by modern scientific studies, some budget-minded alternative therapies for pets are showing very promising results. For example, supplements, such as fish oil and Dasuquin Advanced (a high-quality glucosamine), are great for helping to improve joint function and reduce inflammation.

Another alternative therapy that has shown success is cold laser therapy, otherwise known as low-level laser therapy. This is a drug-free, pain-free, non-invasive procedure that is used to treat dogs and cats with arthritis and soft tissue injuries as well as to heal wounds. Some pet insurance plans do cover alternative therapies, so if you have insurance, you should make the most of these treatments.

Above all, don’t forget to enjoy these years together. Your pet may be getting older, but they are also more loving and more attached to you than ever. Senior pets can show unparalleled levels of devotion to their owners, which can make for some wonderful and unforgettable times together. All you need to do is continue to ensure their health and happiness, just like you have been doing all these years — it may just take a little bit extra effort.