We all want what’s best for our senior dogs, but their declining health can lead to expensive treatments and veterinarian visits. Fortunately, maintaining your senior dog’s health in their older years is the best way to avoid these pricey health care expenses. So, keep your older pet happy and healthy by following some of these simple budget-friendly care tips.
Save Money on Pet Supplies
Older dogs can benefit from a few special pet supplies to make their daily lives more comfortable and allow them to enjoy the things they love, such as snoozing on the couch or gobbling up their dinner. A pet ramp can help your dog reach their napping spot, raised food and water bowls will reduce strain on their neck during eating, and non-slip booties can keep your pet from sliding uncomfortably on hard floors. Other items, such as joint supplements and dental treats, can help prevent health conditions from arising in the future. You can find most of these items for affordable prices at retailers like Walmart. To save money on these pet items, shop online and grab a Walmart promo code to get cash back on your purchases.
Prioritize Tooth Care
Make sure dental care products have a place in your arsenal of dog supplies. The vast majority of dogs already have some form of dental or gum disease by the time they reach their senior years. Unfortunately, bacteria from dental disease can enter the bloodstream and affect an animal's vital organs. The best thing you can do to prevent this is to brush your dog's teeth every day. Pick up some dog-friendly toothpaste and a small toothbrush — these items are much more affordable than a professional dental cleaning. If you’re having trouble getting your dog to sit through a brushing, check out these helpful pointers by Fidose of Reality.
Pay Attention to Dog Food Ingredients
As dogs get older, it becomes increasingly important that they get vital nutrients from quality dog food. Luckily, good dog food doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead of splurging on special food marketed specifically for senior dogs, get familiar with dog food labels and know what to look out for. Ideally, pick a dog food that lists animal proteins at the top of the ingredients list. Additionally, look for whole food ingredients such as vegetables and grains. Avoid by-products, genetic fat sources like “animal fat,” and artificial flavors.
Let Your Dog Walk You
In addition to a nutritional diet, adequate exercise plays a crucial role in every pet’s health. Older dogs may not be able to exercise at the same level as they once did, but gentle walks can be extremely beneficial to their heart, joints, and mental health. Plus, walking your dog is 100 percent free! Let your dog set the pace for your walks and allow them to greet people or stop to smell things — exploring new environments stimulates their brain and keeps their minds sharp.
Shop Around for Affordable Vet Care
Even if you're doing everything you can to care for your dog's health, it's important to take them for veterinarian checkups at least once a year, and every six months if possible. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, visit a professional immediately. You’ll save a lot of money by catching potential health problems before they become serious.
Take advantage of inexpensive vet care so you can provide your dog with routine checkups and necessary procedures. Ask your vet about possible pricing plans and cheaper alternatives to their recommended treatments. Talk to your local animal welfare organizations, shelters, and rescue groups about any veterinarian services they offer. You can even try veterinarian schools for low-cost procedures. According to Forbes, there are also ways you can save money on your pet’s prescriptions, such as buying online or asking your vet about affordable alternatives.
Ultimately, prevention is the best way to avoid high vet bills. Give your old dog lots of love, practice patience, be understanding, and cherish every moment you spend together. Keeping your furry friend lively and spirited in old age just takes a little extra TLC.