As a loving pet owner, you want your four-legged friend to live a happy, healthy, and long life. As your pet gets older, they will require more care and attention. Senior pets are more likely to experience vision deficits and hearing loss, for example, and are at higher risk for kidney disease and cancer.

Valley Veterinary Clinic provides the gentle care that cats and dogs deserve in old age, dedicated to giving pet owners the tools and knowledge they need to properly care for their aging animals. And while caring for a senior pet requires a greater investment in many ways, it doesn’t have to mean a greater financial investment. The below guide provides cost-efficient tips for caring for your animal as they get older.

Keep up with your pet’s veterinary visits and save money with pet insurance.

Since older pets are at greater risk of various deficits and illnesses, they should get more frequent checkups. According to the Humane Society, pets aged 10 and up need biannual vet visits. A veterinarian can spot signs of problems that even the most loving owner may miss, ensuring the animal gets the care it needs.

Pet medical care can add up, so make sure you have resources to cover the costs. Check out pet insurance plans like Healthy Paws, for example. They have plans to cover everything from accidents and illnesses to emergency services, genetic conditions, and alternative care.

Use free resources to become a pro at administering your pet’s medications.

Senior pets may require regular medication to manage health conditions. Learning how to give your furry friend their meds will spare you both stress. You can find no-cost video tutorials for giving pets meds on Youtube.

Pet Assure also provides a free guide on administering different types of medicines for cats and dogs. They cover liquids, syrups, pills, and capsules, providing helpful tips for each type. Above all, they recommend keeping calm when giving your pet their meds. Animals can sense stress and will get nervous if you are.

Keep your pet mentally and physically engaged with affordable toys.

Like people, animals can experience cognitive decline with age. You can help keep your cat or dog mentally and physically fit by encouraging regular interaction. Invest in new pet toys to pique their interest in playtime and get them moving.

Puzzle toys that require the animal to unlock a treat are one option. You don’t have to spend big bucks on these fancy gadgets. Check out online deals and cashback offers from retailers like PetSmart and Chewy. A Chewy promo code can go a long way.

Ensure your home is accessible for an older animal.

Older animals may struggle with mobility due to issues like arthritis and loss of muscle mass. Make sure your pet can still roam freely. For instance, your dog may need a ramp to get in and out of the trunk of the car, while your cat may need to be lifted onto their favorite perch.

Senior pets also have less energy. Make sure your house has a quiet space where Fido or Fluffy can retreat to and rest when they’re tired. You can even pamper them by investing in a pet bed made especially for senior animals, which won’t exacerbate health issues. These dog beds offer extra padding for dogs with arthritis, for example. Again, check online for deals.

Invest in senior-friendly dog food.

Older pets have different dietary needs. Senior animals require lower levels of protein, for example. However, the protein they need has to be high-quality and easy to digest. Check out online roundups of senior-friendly foods for felines and canines, which usually include a “best value for your money” or “budget pick” recommendation.

With these tips and resources, you can ensure your senior pet is getting the top-quality care they require — without breaking the bank. As your pet enjoys its golden years, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve given them the conscientious attention they deserve. And for the compassionate care they need, reach out to Valley Veterinary Care at 503-556-3084.