As your dog advances in age, there are ways to make her comfortable and improve her health without breaking the bank. These measures enable you to set aside more savings in case she needs medication, more vet visits or even surgery to care for her health needs. Here are 10 budget-friendly ideas for giving your pet the best in her golden years.
#10: Get discounts on supplies: As your dog ages, she will need different food, a more comfortable bed and supplements for coat and bone health. You can save money on these items by visiting major retailers like Walmart or Target, where you can get all of these items in one place. Plus, unearthing Walmart promo codes online can help you save even more.
#9 Search Groupon: You can spend less money on trips to the groomer by searching for deals on Groupon. You may even find deals on services like heartworm treatments, teeth cleaning and pet first aid courses.
#8 Switch to soft food: Canine dental health is a major player in the overall health and well-being of senior dogs. Help her teeth out by switching to wet food that won’t risk injuring her teeth. Buy in bulk and in larger quantities so you can save money by paying less per can.
#7 Get gentle exercise: As your dog ages, her hips and feet may become tender. It’s important that she still exercises but that you take it easy. No strenuous hikes or long walks without breaks. Be sure to keep an eye on her body temperature and have plenty of water on hand. You can keep her cool by purchasing returned or refurbished supplies like collapsible water bowls or hydration harnesses from Amazon Warehouse Deals or REI Outlet.
#6 Ask for used items: Take to social media to ask your fellow animal-loving friends if they have items their pets no longer need or use. Be sure you know the person well and that your dogs share common ailments, size, temperament and condition before you use borrowed items. Doggie hand-me-downs not only save you money, but also keep items like dog beds from laying to waste in a landfill.
#5 DIY your pet’s needs: There are several ways you can address your senior dog’s needs with just a little sweat equity. For example, memory foam dog beds can cost more than $100, but shredded memory foam fill typically costs much, much less. You can even use the stuffing in old pillows you no longer use to give your pet a comfy place to rest and get good sleep.
#4 Give them a boost: If your senior dog is having trouble getting up in the bed or on the couch, you can help her by moving a footstool or chair nearby so she can ease her way up. Dog ramps are great, but often expensive. You can try to find a used one or make a dog ramp out of foam wedges or with a sturdy plank of wood.
#3 Show your dog ample TLC: Your dog’s main purpose in life has been to be your best friend. That means she is going to keep trying to do what makes you happy, even if it causes her pain. Slow down and show some love. Watch TV on the floor so you can cuddle on her level. And drop down to the floor when you greet her so she doesn’t injure herself trying to show you some welcome home affection.
#2 Soothe achy joints: Use heating pads to help a dog with arthritis feel some relief from stiffness and pain. Just slide a heating pad under a blanket and have your dog lay on top. If a heating pad isn’t available, you can apply warm compresses to trouble areas, like hips, each night to help them relax and rest.
#1 Assist with a sling: If your senior dog has trouble standing up, you can help them lift their haunches with a sling. While there are many store-bought slings out there with a variety of prices, a large beach towel can often do the trick, too. Just be sure to watch a few tutorials or talk to your vet so you don’t unintentionally hurt your dog.
Man’s best friend. For dog owners, our four-legged friends are beloved family members. We care for them as puppies, take them on adventures as adults and make their lives more comfortable as we age. Through all of these changes the 6-16-year life span of a dog can make a substantial impact on our budget. But, as most dog lovers will say, there is no cost too high for a happy, healthy dog.