Watching your pet get older is a bittersweet experience. You treasure every day you have with them, but seeing them slow down can be a stark reminder that they won’t always be by your side. Knowing how to care for senior pets can help ensure that their last few years will be some of the best and allow you to keep them more comfortable as their needs change.

Below, we’ve put together some tips to make it easier for you to care for aging pets so they have the best possible golden years. 

Prioritize Their Health

Helping your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age can go a long way in keeping them around for as long as possible. Taking them to the vet twice per year for regular checkups can help you identify health issues quickly, allowing you to treat them before they get worse.

You can also choose senior-specific food to help ensure they get the proper nutrients as they get older and their needs change. 

Update Your Home to Be Senior Pet-Friendly

Making small updates to your home can make a big impact on your senior pet’s quality of life. Here are a few examples of ways to make your home more comfortable for your aging pet: 

  • Raise their food and water bowls so they are easier for your pet to access.
  • Put out pet stairs or ramps so they don’t have to jump to get to their favorite spots.
  • Make sure essential items are easily accessible. For example, if your cat is having difficulty climbing the stairs, move the litter box to the first floor. 
  • Set up motion-activated lights in dark areas like hallways for pets who are having eyesight issues.

Watch for Changes in Their Behavior

You know your pet best and you’ll be able to identify if/when they’re having difficulty in their everyday lives. One of the most common signs of aging in pets is mobility issues such as hesitancy to jump, difficulty standing, and a decreased interest in activity. 

Loss of bladder control is another common sign of aging, but it can often be a result of a more serious medical issue. When you notice these changes in your pet, talk to your vet for guidance on how to best treat them. 

Consider Finalizing Your Pet’s Plans Ahead of Time

When the time comes to say goodbye to your beloved pet, it can feel impossible to make decisions in the moment. With Pet Passages, you can pre-plan the type of cremation you want and choose memorial items like urns ahead of time so those decisions are already made when you’re in the thick of grief. 

To complete the pre-planning process, visit your local Pet Passages location website and click the “Finalize Your Pet’s Plans” button at the top of the page. 

Give Them Your Time

The greatest gift you can give your senior pet is your time and attention. In their final months, weeks, and days, show them extra love by cuddling with them, taking them on walks, gently playing with their favorite toys, and simply being by their side. 

This extra time together will mean everything to them and it may also bring you a sense of peace once they pass. 

Caring for Senior Pets

We hope this post helps you feel more prepared to give your senior pets the best care possible before they cross the Rainbow Bridge. If you’re preparing to say goodbye to your beloved pet, know that we are here for you and offer bereavement support to help you through this difficult time.