Itchy Pets and Constant Licking in Elderly Pets

Many dogs and cats lick and scratch as result of itching (also called pruritis). The most common cause of itching is allergies, skin disease, dry skin, external parasites, infections and in rare cases, skin cancer. Elderly pets lick and scratch as they age if any of these conditions occur and can be treated with the help of your vet. It’s important to monitor your pet if they are constantly itching, licking or scratching.

Oftentimes, bathing your elderly pet can help alleviate the symptoms that are causing the itching. However, in some cases, long term antibiotics may be necessary in the case of a staph infection, or a medicated bath might be necessary in the event of fleas. Your vet can help determine what is the root cause of the itching and can help alleviate the symptoms. Prescription allergy medication can also help if it is deemed that your elderly pet is suffering from allergies.

The bottom line there is no need for your pet to lick and scratch, especially if it is on a regular basis and especially if they seem agitated from the itching, scratching and licking. Skin infections are a common cause of scratching and often a month long round of antibiotics can do the trick. You can often see skin infections by looking closely at your pet’s skin; especially if you see dry patches and flaking. Talk with your vet if your pet’s licking, scratching or itching become troublesome for your pet. In time, your pet’s irritation can be resolved and he can go back to living without constant itching and will be more comfortable.

 

How to Keep Senior Pets Safe

Keeping pets safe at home or while traveling can be challenging especially as pets age. A large dog is considered a senior dog at age 5-6 years of age, and smaller dogs and cats are considered seniors at age 7. As pets age, they can develop arthritis or joint injuries that make once ordinary tasks difficult and painful for elderly pets. Other pets can develop cognitive dysfunction or dementia, making it difficult for them to do things they once could. Senior pets often need more safety precautions in place to ensure they do not injure themselves or worse. 

For example, a dog or cat that could once jump on the bed, for instance, may require assistance to get up on higher surfaces. Pet stairs are one solution that can not only keep pets safe at home, but can help keep pet parents safe as well – avoiding unnecessary injuries lifting pets. There are a variety of pet products designed to help elderly pets who may have difficulties walking, jumping or performing everyday tasks that they could when they were younger.

If you have an older pet that is having difficulties with jumping, walking or no notice that your senior pet is having difficulty with everyday activities that they could do at one time, it is important to consult your vet to rule out any serious issues. If the vet determines that it is a manageable condition that may need an assistive device to help your pet get through the day more easily, then there are a number of products that can be used to assist your pet. 

We do not endorse or promote any of these products or companies. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your pet. 

A pet gate can help keep your pet confined to a restricted area of your home, especially during the day when you may be out of the home at work or running errands. A pet gate can keep your pet safe and secure in a specific area of your home. 

A pet ramp is a convenient way for pets to get onto furniture or beds. If your furry friend is accustomed to sleeping on the bed, but they are in need of assistance, a pet ramp can help them get situated without jumping and risking injury. 

Some pets have difficulty as they age with bending over to reach their meal. Meal time can be very frustrating for an older pet who is in pain when hunched over too far. An elevated pet feeding dish can help alleviate some of that discomfort. 

Similar to ramps, pet stairs can help an older pet climb onto furniture or bedding. If your older pet is having difficulty getting onto their comfortable piece of furniture, pet stairs may be a solution to aid them in their quest. 

A pet lift can save your back if you are dealing with a pet that has difficulty standing or getting into the car or on the couch. There are many types of lifts including full body lifts, sling lifts or lifts that lift only the front or rear legs. 

As pets age, they may have difficulty keeping up on long walks. A pet carrier can help your pet enjoy the outdoors and the journey, without exhausting himself physically. Pet carriers are typically used for smaller pets. 

A cat or dog who typically enjoys the outdoors, may become adverse to outdoor temperature fluctuations as they get older. A pet door can allow you pet the freedom to come indoors when they need to. 

Older pets may develop cognitive dysfunction which can cause impaired thinking. Senior pets may have difficulty staying in their yard without some sort of confinement. Pet fences help keep pets contained to a confined area. 

A wireless fence is similar to a physical fence in that it can help keep your pet from wandering off, especially if they develop dementia or other cognitive illnesses. They work by providing a shock around the perimeter of the yard. 

A tracker, would enable you to locate your pet anytime, anywhere. Using the app on your smartphone, you can see the exact location of your dog or cat. A tracker will allow you to track your pet wherever they are, and especially if they wander off. 

A pet camera can allow you to keep an eye on your furry friend when you cannot be home. Some offer treat dispensers or can allow two way communication so you can talk to your pet from outside your home. 

Similar to a carrier, a stroller can allow your pet to tag along outside without exhausting your senior pet. Strollers can be used for larger pets or multiple pets. 

A pet booster seat can help keep your pet secured while driving in a vehicle. It restrains your pet and keep your pet from disturbing you while driving. Many have a tether or harness to prevent your pet from jumping out. 

A seat belt can restrain your dog from distracting you while driving. The seat belt buckles into a regular seat belt clip and attaches the other end to your dog’s harness. 

Pet ID tags are very important for senior pets who may wander off and get lost. It is more common for senior pets to wander off than younger pets, so an ID tag can provide important details if your cat or dog is lost, and found by someone who needs to contact you. 

Lyme disease and other tick born illnesses can be deadly to senior pets. Flea and tick prevention should be applied to any pet that goes outdoors, even in winter months. 

Does Cataracts Equal Blindness in Pets?

dog-3656987_1920Many people think that when a dog or cat develops cataracts, it means the pet may go blind. In many cases, it is true, cataracts can lead to blindness in animals. However, what many people don’t know is cataracts can often retract over time. This was the case with one of our pets, who developed cataracts as a result of diabetes. He got cataracts in both eyes and in one of the eyes, he had a lot of issues. The eye developed glaucoma and he eventually went blind in that eye. The other eye however, retracted to the point where he could actually see again. Where the cataracts had initially obscured his vision, he was later able to navigate much better because the retraction left his view partially visible again.

So just because a pet has cataracts does not necessarily mean they will go blind. Some cataracts start small, with only minimal decline in visibility. They may have challenges, for sure, because their vision, at the very least will become somewhat obstructed. Over time, cataracts can get worse and worse and as they worsen, vision can decline. But if the cataracts retract, pet’s vision may actually improve. Although the animal’s vision may never be perfect, they may still be able to navigate their world better than when they originally developed the cataracts.

Of course, this is not a guarantee, because not all cataracts retract, but in some cases they do and the pet’s vision can actually improve from its original condition when the cataracts first appeared.

There are also medical procedures for cataracts, to correct before a pet is blind. If your pet has symptoms of cataracts: cloudiness or opacity in pupils or if your vet has confirmed cataracts, it doesn’t necessarily mean your pet’s vision is totally obstructed or that they will go blind from the cataracts. Speak with your vet about your options and should you decide to have the cataracts removed, surgery is typically the course that a vet would recommend. Since most cases of cataracts are hereditary, there is little that can be done to prevent them, although some vets suggest that diets rich in fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) can help with eye health. Limiting sun exposure while outside can also help limit sun damage to the eyes, which can also cause cataracts.

Cataract surgery for pets can run into the thousands of dollars, for the actual surgery, follow up visits and for special medicated drops that the pet will need for a long time. Pet insurance can help pay for expensive surgeries and continued treatment and examinations that will likely be needed, so long as the policy is in place before the diagnosis is made.

For more information about why you should consider pet insurance, please read our blog. 

Declutter According to Marie Kondo and Donate Unwanted Items

Who doesn’t love decluttering sensation Marie Kondo. The Kon-Marie method is Marie’s minimalism-inspired approach to tacking your stuff category-by-category rather than room-by-room. While many people associate her method with tidying, it’s really about discarding items that no longer spark joy or add value to your home or your life.

Marie touts tackling just five categories: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.

But what should you do with those discarded items, especially your gently used designer clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry and watches? The Elderly Pet Organization is a 501C3 non profit organization that accepts gently used items, like clothing as well as home decor pieces, vintage items, collectibles, electronics and antiques.

If you are into decluttering according to Marie Kondo’s methods, consider donating your unwanted items (we don’t accept books and papers) but we’ll gladly accept clothing, miscellaneous items and sentimental items – to help the Elderly Pet Organization with its mission.

Remember, when donating unwanted items, they should be freshly laundered, clean, and free from damage. The rule of thumb is if it still can be used or worn without embarrassment, then it’s a good candidate to donate.

To learn more about what types of items we accept, read our blog.

 

Is the Anti-Vaccine Movement Hurting Pets?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians. But with more and more people opposed to vaccinations, more and more pets are at risk for life threatening illnesses.

Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even though some formerly common diseases have now become uncommon, vaccination is still highly recommended because these serious disease agents continue to be present in the environment.

Just because a pet stays at home and does not interact with other animals, does not necessarily mean the pet should not be vaccinated. Vaccines have protected millions of animals from illness and death caused by infectious diseases. All medical procedures, however, carry with them some risk. Fortunately, in the case of vaccination, serious adverse responses are very infrequent. Veterinarians minimize risk by carefully selecting vaccines on the basis of a pet’s individual needs and by choosing appropriate injection sites.

The bottom line is if your pet is vaccinated, he can be protected from life threatening illnesses, and more importantly, he can protect other animals he may come in contact with. As pets age, they become more vulnerable and in some cases, their immune systems can become compromised – making them more vulnerable to illnesses especially if they are not vaccinated and protected.

Diabetes in Older Pets

cropped-cataracts-dogs2.jpgDiabetes is more common in older pets, but it can also occur in younger or pregnant pets. The disease is more manageable if it is detected early and managed with the help of your veterinarian. The good news is that with proper monitoring, treatment, and diet and exercise, diabetic pets can lead long and happy lives.

Diabetes in dogs and cats can occur at any age. However, diabetic dogs are usually 4-14 years of age and most are diagnosed at roughly 7-10 years of age.  Most diabetic cats are older than 6 years of age.  Diabetes occurs in female dogs twice as often as male dogs. Certain breeds of dogs may be predisposed to diabetes.

Noticing the early signs of diabetes is the most important step in taking care of your pet. If you see any of the following signs, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian. The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance your pet may have for a longer and healthier life.

  • Excessive water drinking and increased urination
  • Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your veterinarian will prescribe an initial dose and type of insulin for your pet. Insulin cannot be given orally – it must be given by injection under the skin. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will teach you how to give the insulin injections, which involve a very small needle and are generally very well tolerated by the pet. It is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, your veterinarian may periodically need to adjust your pet’s treatment regimen based on the results of monitoring.  Dietary recommendations are an important part of treatment.

Successful treatment of diabetes requires regular examinations, blood and urine tests, and monitoring your pet’s weight, appetite, drinking and urination.

It is very important to maintain the proper insulin and feeding schedules recommended for your pet. It is also very important that your pet maintains a normal appetite while on insulin therapy, or you risk hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if your pet is not eating and absorbing enough sugars to balance the insulin’s effect of removing the sugars from the bloodstream. You will also need to regularly check your pet’s blood and urine sugar levels. Regular examinations and testing performed by your veterinarian may be supplemented by at-home monitoring of your pet’s blood and urine glucose levels at home.

Because older dogs and cats are more likely to develop age-related diseases or conditions, some of which could be confused with diabetes, regular examinations by a veterinarian can keep your pet healthy and detect problems before they become severe.

Diabetic dogs and cats can live long and healthy lives with proper management and veterinary care. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior or weight, consult your veterinarian.

Why Reducing and Reusing Unwanted Items Matters As Much As Recycling

Every year the American sends over 1,000 pounds of unwanted items to landfills and/or incinerators. Aside from the fact that landfills and incinerators emit hazardous toxins and greenhouse gases into the environment, destroy wildlife habitats, and pose a major threat to human health, trash is also a waste of the natural resources, energy, water, labor, and money used to produce the discarded materials and items.

The R’s are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The reason reduce and reuse come before recycle is if you have unwanted items, rather than just toss it in the trash where it will ultimately wind up in landfills, make a conscious effort to reduce your items and reuse them if possible. Most items, unless they are damaged, can be passed along to someone else who will love it just as much as you did when you received it.

There are a lot of people who want great items like designer clothing, purses, or fabulous home decor items, but they refuse to pay full price for brand new retail items. If you’ve barely used something and it is still in very good, clean, gently used or new condition, the Elderly Pet Organization can sell those unwanted items and give them a new life to someone who is not interested in paying full retail and doesn’t mind that the item was gently loved by someone else.

Adopting a reduce and reuse mentality helps keep unwanted items out of landfills and into the hands of people who will love them a lot lot longer.

Interested in reducing, reusing and recycling your unwanted items? Learn how you can donate them to the Elderly Pet Organization. Click here to learn more.

 

Top 10 Items to Donate to Charity

 

 

 

 

Donating to a charitable organization like the Elderly Pet Organization is a great way to feel wonderful that you aren’t just throwing away your unwanted items; rather, you are sending them off to an organization that can reuse them for good!

We’re often asked what items are best to donate. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten items to donate to charity.

  1. Name brand designer clothing & shoes – especially if it is still in style
  2. Name brand designer handbags – who doesn’t love a new purse
  3. Fine, fashion or costume jewelry – great accessories go a long way
  4. Wrist watches – telling time is never out of fashion
  5. Anything Disney – it’s every kids (and grownups) favorite place on the planet
  6. Home decor items – changing your colors? Spruce up someone else’s space
  7. Collectibles – from comics to dolls, the rarer the better
  8. Electronics – in good working order & if it still can be used
  9. Vintage items – what’s old is new again
  10. Antiques – the older the better

Whatever items you choose to donate, be sure they are freshly laundered, clean, free of rips, tears, holes and stains and gently used. For more information about how to support the Elderly Pet Organization and donate unwanted items, click here.

 

How to Help Senior Pets with Arthritis

Elderly pets are more prone to age related arthritis than younger pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets with arthritis develop pain in the joints and often require medication or natural supplements to help alleviate the soreness and pain they feel. Other products can also help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.

AVMA recommends that you keep your pet comfortable with soft bedding. Give lots of love and attention and provide accommodations for feeding if necessary.

Orthopedic beds, stair steps to help your pet get up to higher places (so they don’t have to jump), raised feeding platforms, and other special accomodations can help make your arthritic pet’s life more comfortable. 

Warming blankets may help soothe your elderly pet’s aching joints. And non slip surfaces or non skid socks may make it easier for your pet to get up more easily.

Lift harnesses and strollers can help you help your pet, regardless of their size or ability because their owners take some of the stress off their joints. For instance a lift harness can be used to help a pet up and down stairs, in and out of the car, or just getting outside to potty. Strollers are a great alternative for an older pet because they allow the pet to enjoy the outdoors, strolls in the park, etc. without added stress on their joints. A stroller is great for older pets with any type of joint pain, hip dysplasia or other leg issues such as growths, sores or even warts that may interfere with mobility.

In some cases, pets with arthritis may begin to soil themselves, so a waterless shampoo can help clean soiled areas between bathing. 

There are some great joint supplements that can also help senior pets, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Other supplements can also help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis in your pet. Use caution when selecting a supplement because some can interfere with medications your pet may be taking. 

If your elderly pet develops symptoms of arthritis, or if you suspect your pet is in any pain or discomfort, take him to the vet for a diagnosis and evaluate different treatment options.

We highly recommend pet insurance for parents of elderly pets. Arthritis is a very treatable condition that many elderly pets develop and pet insurance can often help pay for many of the treatments, medications or surgical procedures your vet may recommend. Visit our pet insurance facts page to learn more about pet insurance for senior pets. It’s important that you purchase pet insurance BEFORE your pet is diagnosed with an illness because most pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

There are a wide variety of pet products available to help a senior pet suffering from arthritis. Below are some examples of pet products that may help an arthritic pet. We do not endorse or promote any of these products or companies. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult with your vet before purchasing pet products for your pet.you

Donate Used Clothing, Shoes, Handbags and Home Items

The Elderly Pet Organization recycles gently used and new clothing, shoes, handbags and home decor items and we sell those items to provide information and education about the care and treatment of elderly pets. If you are looking for a great cause that can truly benefit from your unwanted items or decluttering of your home, donate for a cause by sending your items to us.

We truly appreciate your donation of clean, laundered, gently used and new name brand clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, home decor items, electronics and vintage or collectible items.

Some of the items we accept for donation:

  • Gently used and new designer clothing, shoes and handbags
  • Gently used and new fine, fashion and costume jewelry
  • Gently used and new watches
  • Anything Disney
  • Vintage clothing and other vintage items
  • Rare or hard to find collectibles
  • Home decor items with no damage or visible wear
  • Electronics that are in working order
  • Antiques
  • Pet supplies
  • Comics (1980’s or earlier)
  • Video games and game consoles

Please don’t send anything too large, heavy or awkward. Individual items should be small enough to fit in a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ box.

Items we cannot accept include:

  • Furniture, including outdoor furniture or play equipment
  • Riding toys or bicycles
  • Large artwork or pictures, or picture frames
  • Used drink containers or anything with a straw
  • Baby clothes, baby items or gear like strollers, car seats or high chairs
  • Used toys and used stuffed animals
  • Weapons & explosives
  • Hazardous waste
  • Construction material
  • Flammable products
  • Automobile parts
  • Mattresses or box springs
  • Food
  • Books

Learn more about how to help elderly pets.

Does Your Senior Cat Need Senior Cat Food

As your pet ages, you may find that their eagerness to eat diminishes or if they develop an illness, you may be concerned if their diet is helping to manage the disease. However, deciding on the “best” diet for an older  cat can be a difficult decision; there is no one best diet for every older animal. The aging process depends on a variety of factors including breed, genetics, and health problems. Just because a food is marketed for older animals or because your pet reaches a certain age, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is time to switch to senior cat food. Learn more about senior pet food before switching your cat’s food.

Should you decide that switching to a senior pet food is appropriate for your senior cat, there are many senior cat foods on the market. Choosing which one is right for your senior pet can be a very difficult decision. 

Below are a few examples of senior pet foods available for senior cats. We do not endorse or promote any of these products or companies. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult with your vet before switching your pet’s food.

As pets age, some vets recommend that senior pets eat more protein in their diet. Below are two examples of cat foods formulated with senior pets in mind. 

Dry Food for Senior Cats

This is protein rich senior cat food to help support strong muscles and to provide healthy energy for play. Vitamin E helps restore immune response in older cats. Crunchy cat kibble texture helps reduce plaque buildup. Designed to help nourish strong bones and healthy joints, and maintain healthy weight.

This food offers real meat is the first ingredient. High quality protein helps your cat maintain strong muscles. Contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements and a healthy oxidative balance. 

Wet Food for Senior Cats

Some cats prefer wet food over dry food. You should look for wet senior cat food that offers real protein as the first ingredient. 

The is an example of wet food made with real salmon and tuna. It is specially formulated to meet the needs of cats age 11+ and helps support healthy skin and coat. This wet cat food formulated for senior cats provides essential nutrients to support healthy immune system.

The is an example of senior cat food that touts it is precisely balanced nutrition to sustain kidney and vital organ health in older cats. It provides mature cats with high-quality protein to maintain lean muscles  and supports an old cat’s immunity with clinically proven antioxidants and vitamin C + E. 

Let’s face it, even older cats love their treats. Sometimes they love treats more than their meals, so it is important a) not to over feed your senior pet with treats and b) find high quality treats that provide nutrients your senior cat may be missing out on from his food.

As cats age, they can develop issues with their teeth. Maintaining good oral health is important for cats of all ages, but especially for senior cats so they don’t lose their teeth, develop mouth pain, and refuse to eat because of issues with their teeth.

Cat Treats for Senior Cats

The is an example of a cat treat that is  made specifically for senior pets and although it states over age 15, they can be used for much younger senior cats.  These senior cat treats contain Vitamins E and B to support overall health. 

This is an example of senior cat treats are vet recommended dental treat that offers complete nutrition for adult cats to maintain healthy dental care. 

Easy Peanut Butter Treats for Elderly Pets

Many elderly pets develop illnesses or become finicky as they age. Homemade dog treats are a much better alternative to store bought treats that are full of preservatives that are not great for pets, especially if your pet has developed sensitivities to certain foods or preservatives. 

These treats are easy to make with just a few ingredients and cost just pennies per treat.  Here’s our favorite recipe for healthy, preservative free dog treats.

Preheat oven 350 degrees

In a stand mixer, blend together flour and baking powder. Add water, peanut butter and egg then mix for 2 minutes until well blended. Mixture will be somewhat sticky but pliable. 

Roll out treats on floured parchment paper to approximately 1/4″ thickness. Use whatever size bone shaped cookie cutter is appropriate for your pet. Gently press the cutters into the dough then re roll the dough several times until most of the dough is used. Treats can also be rolled and cut into simple rectangles with a serrated knife if you do not have cookie cutters or if you prefer a very small treat. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before giving to your pet.

Treats will be soft and can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Because there are no preservatives, these treats must be refrigerated to preserve freshness. Adding a paper towel to the sealed container will absorb moisture and help prevent them from getting moldy. Put the date they were baked on the treat container and discard after two weeks, if not sooner if any mold forms on the treats.   

Enjoy!

The bone shaped cookie cutters below come in a set of 6 assorted sizes that are perfect for a variety of size treats. 

Does Your Senior Dog Need Senior Dog Food

As your pet ages, you may find that their eagerness to eat diminishes or if they develop an illness, you may be concerned if their diet is helping to manage the disease. However, deciding on the “best” diet for an older dog or cat can be a difficult decision; there is no one best diet for every older animal. The aging process depends on a variety of factors including breed, genetics, and health problems. Just because a food is marketed for older animals or because your pet reaches a certain age, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is time to switch to senior cat or dog food. Learn more about senior pet food before switching your dog’s food.

Should you decide that switching to a senior pet food is appropriate for your senior dog, there are many senior dog foods on the market. Choosing which one is right for your senior pet can be a very difficult decision. 

Below are a few examples of senior food available for senior dogs. We do not endorse or promote any of these products or companies. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult with your vet before switching your pet’s food.

Dry Senior Dog Food

Look for senior brands that have no added corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, artificial colors or flavors. Natural dog food with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients; developed specifically for senior dogs can be a good choice.  

Another dry senior dog food to consider offers precise nutrition specifically made for older dogs. Supports vitality with an exclusive blend of antioxidants for healthy aging to help maintain a long life. There are two examples of dog foods developed specifically for senior dogs. 

A specially formulated dog food may also be appropriate for your dog depending on his individual tastes.

Specialty Food Formulated Specifically for Your Dog

There are brands that use your dog’s unique profile details, a proprietary algorithm to determine a custom meal plan that offers optimal calorie intake for healthy weight. Pre-portioned dog food can be a good choice for senior dogs especially if your dog has certain health conditions or allergies that should be addressed through their diet. 

Keto Low Card Dry Dog Food

As dogs age, they can become more prone to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, elevated insulin and blood sugar levels, and cancers. A lower carb, keto friendly diet can help remove about 75% of the carbohydrates from your dog’s diet. If you believe that a lower carb diet can can help your senior pet, a keto friendly diet may be a good option for your senior pet. 

Some dogs prefer wet food over kibble. You should look for wet senior dog food that offers real protein as the first ingredient. 

Wet Senior Dog Food

This food features high quality protein from real chicken to support healthy muscle maintenance. No chicken by product meals, no corn, wheat or soy and no artificial flavors or preservatives. 

 Formulated specifically for older dogs to stimulate appetite so if your dog has become more finicky with age, this food might be an option to consider.

Fresh Dog Food

If you have heard that home cooking your dog’s meals is the right option for you, but you simply don’t have the time to cook home cooked food for your senior pet, fresh dog food delivered to your door might be an option to consider. These pre cooked meals are pre portioned to make meal time easier and less stressful. 

If you have a finicky older pet, switching to fresh dog food may help. 

Fresh dog food offers all natural ingredients, designed by a vet nutritionist, cooked in a USDA facility, personalized for your dog, offers four delicious recipes, comes in a resealable container, and offers flexible subscription options. 

The second example is fresh, healthy dog food delivered to your door. They offer a 100% money back guarantee if your dog is not in love with his new food. Features human grade ingredients, high quality meat, fruits and veggies, superfoods like chia seeds, and no by products, artificial flavors or preservatives. Plans are tailored to your dog’s needs. 

Raw Dog Food

You may have heard or believe that raw dog food is appropriate for your senior dog. 

RAW WILD

This food is all protein, all organic, all natural, balanced nutrition. There are no growth hormones, no antibiotics, no preservatives, no fillers, corn, grains, or rice and no animal byproducts. 

Dog Treats for Senior Dogs

Let’s face it, even older dogs love their treats. Sometimes they love treats more than their meals, so it is important a) not to over feed your senior pet with treats and b) find high quality treats that provide nutrients your senior dog may be missing out on from his food. 

The treats below are dental sticks with a fish and algae blend of Qrill Pet, DHAgold, and Salmon to nourish the skin and coat for a healthy appearance while also supporting dental health. 

If your senior dog is having hip or  joint issues, then you may want to consider a dog treat that addresses these issues in their formulation and are made specifically for senior pets. They feature chicken raised without hormones; high protein and low fat – they’re 100% real meat. 

Top 10 Reasons Animal Owners Should Get Pet Insurance

Many people may think that pet insurance isn’t worth the added monthly cost, but the investment in pet insurance can help save a life and keep you from financial stress. Believe it or not, less than 1% of pets in the US are covered with pet insurance plans. Here are the top 10 reasons to consider pet insurance for your beloved pet.

# 10. Accidents and Illness Coverage

A single accident or illness may cover the entire cost of your pet insurance bill for the life of your pet. Consider this, the average pet insurance policy costs somewhere around $25 per month or $300 per year. It’s really less than a dollar a day, or less than a cup of coffee at the local doughnut shop. If you pet lives an average of 10-15 years, your total cost of pet insurance would be between $3000 – $4500 for the entire life of your pet. One accident or illness during your pet’s entire life could easily cost $3000 – $4500 and if your pet is like most pets, there will be at least more than one accident or illness in his lifetime.

# 9. Vet medicine is better than ever

Years ago a pet would be euthanized or die of natural causes from devastating illnesses. Today, many of those illnesses that were once considered a death sentence for a pet are now very manageable, treatable and even curable. Do you want to have the means to care for your pet if he gets sick, or do you want to have to struggle with a decision because of the cost?

# 8. More pets equals more discounts

Many pet insurance policies offer discounts when more than one pet is insured on the policy. More pets typically means more vet visits and more chances for accidents or illnesses.

# 7. Insurance is easy

Pet insurance companies have made the entire process easy. You can have them automatically withdraw premiums each month, and when you file a claim, you can do so online answering a few simple questions and submitting a copy of your vet bill. Within a day or so, most insurance companies will reimburse you through direct deposit or a check.

# 6. No limit on claims

Years ago, pet insurance companies placed lifetime limits on certain illness. Today, there are many pet insurance companies that do not have such restrictions. When a pet becomes ill during a time when you have pet insurance, the pet’s medications and treatments are covered for the rest of the pets life.

# 5. Deductibles are low

Unlike insurance for people, deductibles for pets is much lower. Typically, deductibles are on a per illness basis, meaning that you pay a deductible once for a given illness, then everything after that is covered at your payout rate.

# 4. No breed or size restrictions

Although many policies will adjust premiums based on age and pre existing conditions, most pet insurance companies offer insurance regardless of pet’s breed or size.

# 3. Plans are flexible

Many pet insurance companies let you choose the deductible and payout you prefer. Plans with a lower deductible typically have a lower payout and plans with a higher deductible have a higher payout

# 2. Better quality of life for older pets

Older pets get sick or have accidents that require medical attention. Older pets often develop chronic illnesses that require constant treatment for months to years. Medications, check ups, testing, monitoring and surgeries can really add up quickly for older pets; getting pet insurance when they are young will save you heartaches and headaches in the long run as your pet ages.

# 1.  Peace of mind

For pet owners without pet insurance, learning that your pet needs a very expensive operation or course of medical treatment can be financially devastating. Having to choose between your wallet and your pet is heartbreaking. Insurance will afford you the opportunity to do what is right for your pet and not just what you can afford.The majority of pet insurance policy holders claim that they are comforted by the peace of mind pet insurance affords them. The idea that they never have to choose between caring for their pet with what is medically needed and “economic euthanasia” is of great comfort in dire circumstances. Having the financial ability to take care of a sick pet in their time of need is the number 1 reason most people have pet insurance today.

Read more articles about pet insurance.

What if your pet has a pre existing condition?

If your pet has a pre existing condition or accident and you are concerned about the high cost of potential vet bills, you may have considered pet insurance as an option. Unfortunately, there are no pet insurance policies for pets with pre existing conditions. So if you pet recently had an accident or was diagnosed with an illness, then you won’t be able to qualify for pet insurance. 

Fortunately, there is a program available that offers discounted vet medical care, which can make caring for an unwell pet more affordable. 

This particular program is not pet insurance so there are no exclusions, no forms to fill out and no deductibles to meet before your coverage kicks in. This also means you won’t be denied any claim for any reason. 

Whether your pet has a pre-existing condition like allergies or periodontal disease, a hereditary condition like hip dysplasia or diabetes, or is a type of pet that wouldn’t traditionally be covered by pet insurance, like rabbits or birds, you can save on their veterinary care. 

The only catch with this program is you must visit a participating vet in order to receive the discounts. 

If you have a pet with a pre existing condition, this program may be a good option for you because they are not a pet insurance company. Rather, it is a veterinary discount plan that offers you discounts on vet care for your pets, including pre existing conditions. The program is designed to be simple, efficient and all-inclusive of any and every pet, regardless of age, existing health conditions, or breed. You will not be asked to submit past vet records, prove that your pet is healthy or jump through hoops to get your pet enrolled. 

This program covers the following:

  1. Wellness visits
  2. Sick visits
  3. Emergency care and hospitalization
  4. Surgical procedures
  5. Spays and neuters
  6. Routine care and vaccines
  7. Dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays
  8. Allergy treatments
  9. Diabetes management
  10. Cancer care
  11. And much more

While this program does not reimburse you like pet insurance would, it is a practical way to reduce the cost of your veterinary medical bills and you receive the discounts from participating vets at the time of service, saving you money instantly. This program makes veterinary care a bit more affordable so you can ensure that your pet always gets the care he needs. 

We do not endorse or promote any products or companies. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your senior pet.