Being a dog parent is an enriching experience. At the same time, it is a big commitment because you are responsible for providing your four-legged friend with a happy and healthy life that also has structure and your divided attention. In the article below, we will go over several ways of how you can take care of your senior dog without having a great burden on your finances.
Having a dog as a pet is definitely not cost-free. Dogs need food, toys, maybe a seat belt in the car, vaccines, insurance, medication from time to time and then there may be veterinary costs. These expenses increase as the dog gets older. This is something you need to be prepared for when deciding to become a dog parent. For this reason, you can make smarter choices that are easier on your wallet.
Natural supplements for your aging dog
As the dog ages, you may notice that its vital organs and bodily functions begin to work more slowly. Pay more attention to the dog’s diet and their lifestyle as they grow older to avoid costly veterinary visits. There is also a higher risk for your doggo getting certain diseases. For example, it is not uncommon for older dogs to get Cushing’s disease, a condition in which the body’s cortisol levels are elevated.
A change in the diet and introducing natural supplements can be an excellent alternative when treating this condition. Melatonin for dogs, combined with lignans, helps block the absorption of cortisone in the body. Melatonin is a natural remedy that is also a safer alternative to other medications used for Cushing’s disease in dogs.
Such natural remedy options can help you save money and time spent on frequent vet visits and costly surgical procedures.
Games and exercises for mental stimulation
It’s not just people who need exercise to feel good. Dogs also need to get out and move. A walk is hardly ever enough and a senior dog also needs some exercise and to use its muscles to stay in physical and mental shape. There are many exercises and tips that you can do alone for which you do not need to pay a professional to help you learn.
Dog training is usually expensive but there are so many good videos and tutorials, both on apps and different blogs available on the internet.
Some of the best apps offer plenty of games and exercises for mental stimulation, such as the Dogo App, which is perfect to keep the dog in good mental health for as long as possible.
Here are two simple but effective suggestions on how to create a fast activity workout for your older dog that you too will find fun:
- Hide and seek is a classic game that dogs love. Whether you choose to use one of the dog’s favorite toys or hide by yourself, this game helps to keep the dog’s brain and senses activated during slow days.
- An alternative to hiding a toy is to hide candy. Feel free to use part of the dog’s daily dry food instead of highly sweet treats so that the dog does not consume too many calories.
Save up with coupons
It may seem obvious to some, but many dog foods, supplements, and medications can be found in the form of coupons and discounts. Some online ordering services also have discounts if you sign up for automatic delivery and many stores offer sales on various foods quite regularly.
You can sign up for e-newsletters from some of your preferred companies for dog products, follow their social media accounts for special offers, and stay informed on certain discounts and sales.
Sometimes it is cheaper to buy products directly from your veterinarian or their online store due to discounts from manufacturers that are not offered by other retailers. Buy in bulk if you receive several coupons or discounts and during sales while taking into account the expiration date of the goods you buy.
Grooming your dog at home
Having a senior dog might require greater and more regular hygiene. By the time your dog has gotten older, you surely have learned a bit about how to brush their fur, bathe them, clean their ears, brush their teeth, and trim their nails. Your veterinarian and other hospital staff, your breeder, or dog trainer can all help you choose the right equipment for grooming your dog and help you with these tasks. Online videos can also provide you with tips on how to safely perform these tasks.
Getting your dog used to these things while they are still a puppy is also easier but that does not mean you cannot help your dog at home even if they are older and even if you never tried it before.
Preparing the food by yourself
Some fifty years ago, there was no ready-made dog food to buy. A dog parent would then cook the food for the dog and do it very well. Cooking dog food is a great option for taking care of your older furry friend. It is easy, affordable, and safe to know exactly what the dog is getting.
In dog food, for example, you can mix in equal parts meat in all forms, boneless fish, carrots, cabbage, pasta, potatoes, or boiled rice. It often works to freeze so that you can easily serve fresh food every day.
A dog is the same as any other family member and regardless if they are a puppy or a senior dog, the love you feel for them is the same. This article is not about saving money on your senior dog but wanting to provide them with everything and still not going overboard and ending up with empty pockets.
Taking care of your senior dog is about being creative, thinking of alternative ways when doing your daily activities, all while keeping a track of your finances and giving everything your senior dog needs to stay healthy and happy.