Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Help Senior Pets in Need

Pets provide such a light in the lives of their owners. They are kind, compassionate, loyal, and funny. Whether you have a dog, cat, or another type of animal, chances are they bring lots of smiles and happiness. However, our animal companions age a lot faster than we do.

Senior animals provide just as much happiness and love — only with a different energy level. Many people even prefer the companionship of an older animal who doesn’t need as much adventure and prefers quiet, lazy nights at home.

However, the truth is that senior pets may need more help getting adopted and being cared for. Thankfully, there are ways you can help.

Volunteer With Senior Pets

There are a lot of ways to volunteer with senior pets in a way that can improve their livelihood. Not only can you volunteer at a shelter, you can also volunteer with the senior pets in your community that have homes but need extra love.

For instance, you can tell that many senior pets are in pain due to decreased activity, overgrooming, or panting. You can help them by exercising them with minimal or low-impact exercises. Swimming, short walks, and manual joint and muscle movements can help. You can also help just by offering companionship. Provide affection, give them a brush, and spend time with them. It can make a world of difference.

Help Them Become More Adoptable

Older dogs and cats aren’t adopted as often as young puppies and kittens, which is why they can use all the help they can get to become more adoptable. You can help them by volunteering to train them at a local shelter. Teach them how to stay in a yard, train them on basic commands, or teach them how to walk on a leash. Yes, even cats can be trained on a leash! You can also help by sharing senior animal highlights on social media, donating bandanas and collars to shelters, and helping to groom senior animals in need of a home.

Many senior animals are much easier on a new household since they tend to be potty trained and content to lay around, so sharing awareness about the benefits of senior pets is important as well.

Research Natural Pain Remedies

Sometimes pets in need are in a shelter; some may live with others, and some may live in your own home. In any of these cases, senior pets tend to deal with pain issues, just like people. Joint problems, muscle aches, and general pains associated with age are not uncommon as cats, dogs, and other pets age. However, some pain remedies may be costly or have concerning long-term effects. One way you can help senior pets is to research natural pain remedies for the senior pets in your life.

For example, some pets may benefit from CBD oil, which is a natural extract from hemp and has been used to help both people and pets with pain issues. You can also try physiotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, or massage. Just make sure you use a professional and ask your veterinarian first.

Help Transport Senior Pets

If you love road trips and you want to help senior pets, you’re in luck! There are plenty of rescues that need help picking up animals from other states, to drop them off at the vet, or to perform other miscellaneous transportation-related tasks. Shelters really rely on their volunteers for help, and this is a great way to offer services if you enjoy driving.

Just remember to keep the dogs you’re transporting safe by keeping them secure, bringing food and water, and taking plenty of potty breaks. Dogs, cats, and other small pets are best kept in a crate. And remember, senior animals may need more bathroom breaks and extra padding for their joints. Toys can also help to keep them occupied on a long trip.

Adopt a Senior Pet

It can be helpful to volunteer with a shelter to assist senior pets owned by others in your community, the best way to help senior pets in need is to give them a home. Senior pets may have a harder time finding a home due to a family only having a limited time with them or because of health problems. Though it is important to understand the added costs of any pet, especially any extra expenses of owning an older animal, senior pets can still add a lot of love and value to a family.

If you choose to adopt a senior animal, you’re truly saving a life and making that animal’s last years count. You don’t have to exercise them constantly or do a lot of training, either. Senior animals are often content with a comfy bed and a lot of love.

Our animal companions may not have as many years as we do, but they make their years count. All they want and need is to be safe, fed, warm, and loved. With each year that goes by, they are more and more senior pets content to live a simple and relaxed life. Those without a home are in more need than most as their years are limited and are often looked over by potential adopters.

Luckily there are a lot of ways to help. If you want to help a senior animal, consider volunteering, researching how to make life easier for them, or adopting a senior animal. Every small gesture counts.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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