With luck, your dog will live for many years, growing old by your side. However, along with your pet’s advanced age comes increased costs associated with caring for your senior dog. Between normal age-related changes and an increased risk of illness, caring for a senior pet can be costly.
The last thing you want is for money to get in the way of caring for your senior pet. Luckily, it doesn’t have to. With these tips and some discount codes, you can save money on all the necessities of senior dog ownership and prepare for the unexpected costs of an aging pet.
Keeping Your Pet Comfortable at Home
We all slow down as we get older and dogs are no exception. As your dog’s mobility wanes, they may need extra help getting around the house. Elevated feeders, pet steps and ramps and an orthopedic dog bed keep your senior dog comfortable at home. The cost of buying pet gear adds up. You may be able to find senior pet supplies second-hand through local marketplaces on Facebook and Craigslist. If not, search for sales and deals to save money on new products. Big stores are great places to look for reasonably-priced pet supplies.
Keeping your dog comfortable goes beyond making accommodations at home. It’s also important to maintain your pet’s joint health. Senior pets are prone to arthritis. Supplements like Glyde™ Mobility Chews promote healthy joints so your dog enjoys more youthful mobility for a longer time. High-quality supplements aren’t cheap, signing up for an automatic subscription is a smart way to save. And often as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
Once you’ve set up your home to accommodate your pet, you may not want to send your pup to a kennel the next time you’re away. If so, consider hiring a pet sitter who can care for your dog in your own home. Your veterinarian’s office is always a great place to ask for pet sitter recommendations. But if you value the ability to comparison shop, try online tools that let you screen pet sitters based on location, price and experience.
Preparing for Increased Veterinary Costs
Senior pets need more frequent checkups than their younger counterparts. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends increasing your senior dog’s annual wellness visits to twice per year.
In addition to semi-annual wellness visits, senior dog owners should prepare for costs associated with age-related canine diseases like cancer, kidney disease, and heart disease. While many dogs never develop a chronic illness, it’s always better to be prepared.
Consider getting pet insurance to help reduce out-of-pocket costs associated with treating major illnesses. It helps you avoid the difficult situation of turning down veterinary care due to cost. It’s worth looking into coverage if you don’t already have pet insurance; however, you may encounter barriers due to your pet’s age.
If you find yourself in a veterinary emergency and don’t have the funds to cover it, look into Care Credit. Care Credit allows you to finance your pet’s veterinary care at 0% for 6-60 months depending on terms. However, with deferred interest rates that can exceed 25%, Care Credit is only a smart strategy if you pay the balance in full before the promotional period ends.
At the end of the day, caring for a senior dog costs more on average than raising a younger pet. However, with the right planning and money-saving strategies, you can take the costs of senior pet ownership in stride.
Whether your dog is well into their senior years or still young and spry, start thinking about how you’ll handle the costs of caring for your pet in their old age.
— Submitted by Special Guest Columnist Cindy Aldridge, a writer from ourdogfriends.org.