How Pet Stairs May Help Your Pet Onto Furniture

It is not uncommon for senior pets (large dogs over age 6 and small dogs and cats over age 7) to have difficulty accessing high places, such as the bed, couch, or other higher surface in and around your home.  Millions of pets are injured every year attempting to jump up on or get up on higher surfaces, sometimes breaking a leg or severely injuring a tendon or joint. Senior pets often suffer from joint injuries or illnesses such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, torn ACL or other ailments, making jumping almost impossible for them. What’s more frustrating, is how heartbreaking it is to see an older dog or an injured dog attempt something he could once do, only to discover that he can no longer get on the surface he is attempting to get on.

Pet steps and stairs designed specifically for pets can help your pet regain his confidence and bring him the joy of being on his beloved surface. Pet steps and stairs are typically designed to be used at home or in a vehicle and come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Steps and stairs are like regular stairs, although some have a shorter rise for smaller dogs and are designed to make it easier for your pet to get from point A to point B.

Pet steps and stairs can make life easier for your pet because they can provide an easier way for them to get where they want to go, or where you need them to go. This is especially true for larger dogs who may weigh too much for you to lift. Pet steps and stairs can help give your older pet confidence and can cause less stress for smaller pets who often take a big jump to get off and on some surfaces.

How do you know if pet steps and stairs are right for your pet? 

Here are some specific things to factor when considering pet steps and stairs:

Does your pet enjoy being on high surfaces he cannot reach on his own?

Some pets enjoy sitting on the couch during the day while they wait for their family to get home from work or school. It can be dangerous for a pet to attempt to jump onto or off the couch without help, especially if no one is home to assist them. Pet stairs and steps can help you pet get where they want to go more easily.

Is your pet older?

Senior pets (large dogs over age 6 and small dogs and cats over age 7) may not be able to jump like they once did. Pet steps and stairs can help them navigate higher places without worrying they may injure themselves.

Does your pet have an illness like arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia?

Certain illnesses might make jumping up on furniture painful for your pet. Pet steps and stairs can make getting on and off furniture more comfortable for your pet.

Does your pet have an injury or are they recovering from surgery?

Surgery or an injury can take a lot out of your pet. Some surgeries or injuries can make jumping painful, difficult or even impossible, especially if your pet has a splint or cast on his leg. Pet steps and stairs can make getting up on higher surfaces easier for your pet.

Do you have physical limitations that make helping your pet into the car challenging?

Some pet owners have physical limitations, whether due to age or illness that may cause them to have difficulties lifting a pet. For instance, if you have a bad back, or if your dog is a too heavy for you to lift, it may be hard for you to lift your pet onto the bed. Pet steps and stairs can help ensure you won’t injure yourself whenever you want to take a nap with your pet.

Sometimes, it’s not about anything except pampering your furry friend. If your dog or cat enjoys being with you when you sleep and if you think your pet would enjoy getting on and off the bed on his own, then steps and stairs may be ideal for you and your pet.

You should consult with your vet when considering steps and stairs for your senior pet because every situation is different and what may be right for one pet, may not be right for another pet.

Which pet steps and stairs to choose?

So, you’ve decided to invest in pet steps or stairs to help your pet get onto furniture. Which pet steps and stairs are right for you? There are a wide variety of pet steps and stairs: Some are made of wood, plastic or high-density foam. Some are designed specifically for smaller pets, while others are designed for larger pets. Some are carpeted or have nonskid surfaces. Some are lightweight and easy to tote from room to room. Some are temporary and can fold out of the way; others are more permanent and can be kept in a fixed location. Here are some things to factor when considering which pet steps or stairs are right for you.

How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?

When purchasing a pet steps and stairs, size matters. You want to be sure you select a model that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.

How do you plan to use the steps and stairs?

Will you be using the steps and stairs to help your pet get on the bed or the couch? If you will be using the steps near the bed, consider how your pet typically would access the furniture and place the steps near where he is accustomed to getting onto the furniture.

Will the pet steps and stairs fit in your space?

Steps and stairs come in different sizes, styles and heights. It’s a good idea to select a steps and stairs that will not only fit the space where you plan to use it, but also fit the size of your pet. It’s important to measure the space and choose steps that will not be in the way of other pets or visitors.

How to train your pet to use a steps and stairs?

A pet steps and stairs are designed to be similar to household stairs. Some dogs may be intimidated at first and will require some training, patience and praise to properly teach your pet to use the steps and stairs. Remember, he may be accustomed to jumping on the furniture, so the steps and stairs may initially be an obstacle.

Some pets are afraid of steps and stairs initially, but with proper training and guidance, and plenty of treats, your pet may learn to love his new way to access the furniture. The best way to train a pet is to guide them up the steps and stairs with a toy or a treat. Most dogs learn to use steps and stairs pretty quickly especially going up the steps and stairs. Going down the steps and stairs can take more time, patience and practice. The tendency will be for them to jump off the surface and completely bypass the steps and stairs. Again, training and patience are key to teaching your dog the proper method for using the steps and stairs, especially if they are accustomed to jumping.

Key features to look for:

When selecting a pet steps and stairs, look for features that will not only benefit your pet, but you and your lifestyle as well. Steps and stairs can coordinate with your home décor and some steps and stairs might be easier on your pet’s joints than others.

Pet steps and stairs are designed specifically for pets and they are not designed to be used by a person. Some are made of wood; others are made of plastic or foam. Some are lightweight and very easy to move from room to room; others are heavier or designed for higher surfaces. Some are designed for small dogs and cats; others are made specifically for large dogs.

If you’d like to help your pet get where he wants to go more easily, then a pet steps and stairs may be something to consider.  Please visit our sponsor website to learn more about pet stairs and what a pet step can do for you and your furry friend. We appreciate your support of our valued sponsors. 

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and Engaging Pet Products – An Engaged Pet is a Happy Pet.

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.

How a Pet Stroller May Help Your Dog or Cat

Traveling with a pet can be challenging with even the most well behaved, calm, able-bodied pets. But there are certain situations when getting from point A to point B with a pet becomes a challenge. Transporting your furry friend with a pet stroller can prove very useful depending on your needs and the needs of your pet.

A pet stroller may seem a little strange at first, especially because most people expect small children or babies in a stroller, but pet strollers for dogs and cats are becoming more popular and accepted because a stroller is often a much safer alternative to walking a leashed pet, especially in certain situations.

How do you know if a pet stroller is right for your pet? 

Here are some specific things to factor when considering a pet stroller:

Does your pet enjoy being with you wherever you go?

Some situations wouldn’t allow for a leashed pet to accompany you, like restaurants or malls. Even some parks are not pet friendly when it comes to leashed pets. But if your pet is contained within a stroller, then more places might allow your pet into their establishment. A pet stroller can help you enjoy certain locations without worrying about whether your leashed pet is allowed.

Is your pet older?

Senior pets (large dogs over age 6 and small dogs and cats over age 7) can tire easily which can make long walks too tiring for them. If they are too tired, they may need to be carried part of the way. A pet stroller can help keep stress off your arms and back, by allowing you to just push your furry friend.

Does your pet have an illness like arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia?

Certain illnesses might make walking any sort of distance painful for your pet and would make enduring a long walk very difficult for your pet. A stroller can make traveling more comfortable for your pet.

Does your pet have an injury or are they recovering from surgery?

Surgery or an injury can take a lot out of your pet. Some surgeries or injuries can make walking painful, difficult or even impossible, especially if your pet has a splint or cast on his leg. A pet stroller can make traveling easier for your pet.

Are you concerned with leaving your pet alone at home?

Some pets may have seizures or require frequent medications administered at certain times of the day, making staying at home alone while you are away a complicated situation. A pet stroller can make it easier for you to monitor and care for your pet while you are out.

Does your pet get along with people or other pets?

Some pets can become aggressive around people or other animals. Some just jump on people or have annoying habits or aggressive tendencies that might make traveling into crowded areas challenging. A pet stroller can help control your pet in crowded areas.

Does your pet get stressed in crowds?

Some pets are socially anxious, and crowds may cause them to bark or shake in fear. A stroller offers a level of containment, confinement and security for an anxious pet. A pet stroller can help your pet relax.

Is it too hot, cold or wet outside?

Most animals don’t do well in extreme weather conditions, especially if it is too hot, too cold or wet outside. A pet stroller can protect your pet from the elements.

Do you have physical limitations that make controlling your leashed pet challenging?

Some pet owners have physical limitations, whether due to age or illness that may cause them to have difficulties controlling a leashed pet. For instance, if you walk with a cane, or if your dog is a puller and you are of a smaller frame, it may be hard for you to control your pet on a walk. A stroller can help you feel more secure and in control when traveling with your pet.

Sometimes, it’s not about anything except pampering your furry friend. If your dog or cat enjoys being outdoors with you, rather than cooped up in the house, and if you think your pet would enjoy strolling along in a pet stroller, than that’s the only need to consider.

Which pet stroller to choose?

So you’ve decided to invest in a pet stroller to transport your pet. Which pet stroller is right for you? There are a wide variety of pet strollers: there are jogging strollers, ultra-light strollers, strollers for large dogs, strollers for multiple dogs, strollers for cats, strollers for multiple cats, strollers that are completely enclosed, and strollers that allow your pet to be partially exposed. A lot depends on the type of outings you plan on using the stroller for. Here are some things to factor when considering which stroller is right for you.

How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?

When purchasing a pet stroller, size matters. You want to be sure you select a model that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.

Will you be transporting more than one pet?

If you own more than one pet, and you will transport multiple pets in the stroller, then you need to factor the combined weight and size and ensure that the stroller is large enough to accommodate multiple pets comfortably.

What is your pet’s temperament?

Some pets are jumpers or chasers and can become easily distracted by anything around them. The last thing you would want is for your pet to escape from the stroller to chase something or someone. A stroller with a full enclosure will ensure that pets who like to jump or chase stay contained within the compartment. If your pet is pretty easy going, then you can get a partially enclosed stroller that features an opening for him to stick his head out of. Most of these strollers will allow you to tether your pet to the stroller so they can’t escape.

How do you plan to use the stroller?

Will you be using the stroller to go to the mall or a restaurant or will you be jogging with your pet? The type of activity should determine which stroller would best suit your needs. Ultra-light strollers are probably better for leisurely walking, where a jogging stroller might be better for higher intensity activity.

Will you be traveling at night?

Some strollers have reflective material that are better for traveling at nighttime. Reflectors can always be purchased separately if you find that you are using the stroller a lot at night, but if you anticipate that evening excursions are your thing, then a stroller with reflective material is a great feature to have.

What is the weather going to be like?

Some strollers are weather resistant and are designed to keep your pet dry when it rains or snows. If you live in a climate where it is really hot, then a stroller with a lot of venting is probably better. If you live in a climate that is really cold, then an enclosed stroller might be warmer. If you live in a climate where it rains or snows and you will be outside in those conditions, then a water resistant or waterproof stroller might be best. Most companies sell optional, removable waterproof covers, so if you find a stroller you like but its not waterproof, a cover may solve the problem.

Key features to look for:

When selecting a pet stroller, look for features that will not only benefit your pet, but you as well. Features like cup holders, purse compartments, a storage basket, easy front and rear entry, retractable rain hoods, easy locking entry, etc. are just a few of the features that will make your trips with your pet more enjoyable for him, and for you.

Pet strollers are designed specifically for pets, or multiple pets. Unlike baby strollers, they have certain features that you may not find with a stroller designed for a person. Some have built in harnesses or buckles to attach a leash or harness to your pet. Some also have waterproof liners in case of accidents. Venting is also typically very different for pet strollers, as is the opening that allows you to place your pet inside.

If you’d like to enjoy more outings with your cat or dog, then a pet stroller may be something to consider.  Please visit our sponsor website to learn more about pet strollers and what a pet stroller can do for you and your furry friend. We appreciate your support of our valued sponsors. 

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and Engaging Pet Products – An Engaged Pet is a Happy Pet.

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.

 

How to Help Feeding Finicky Pets

As pets age, many become finicky eaters who can make meal time frustrating for pet parents. Pet owners often think that switching to senior pet food, adding wet food, broth, food toppers or sprays, or some other tactic will help their senior pet eat better. However, in some cases, the food is not the issue. Rather, it is the pet feeding dish that causes distress for many older pets. 

Cats and dogs are domesticated wild animals whose survival depends on their awareness of their surroundings, especially when they are eating. A traditional feeding bowl obstructs an animal’s vision, and for cats can cause whisker stress especially if a pet’s whiskers, tags, or bowl height prevent them from putting their face in the bowl to eat. 

Some senior pets simply prefer to eat off the ground, which is how all pets eat in the wild. A traditional bowl goes against their natural animal instinct and some pets, especially senior pets who may have a diminished appetite, simply refuse to eat.  This can be especially distressful if you have an unwell senior pet who needs to eat at regular intervals.

Another common issue often seen with older, finicky pets is that they prefer to be hand fed, or they will only eat treats, but they refuse food from their bowl. This is often another indication that the pet prefers eating from the floor, and another perspective on why a flat plate may be a solution. 

A flat feeding plate is the closest thing to a pet eating off the floor without having to resort to disgusting paper plates or even worse, eating off the dirty floor. A flat plate can also keep food in the dish, rather than dumping it all over the floor and making a mess everywhere. 

A flat plate is closer to the ground, which for smaller dogs and cats, is a more natural feeding position. A flat plate is not obstructive so your pet can see what is around him while he eats, and pet tags won’t hit the rim of a flat plate when pets are eating. Many animals are alarmed and become afraid of their feeding bowl because of the noise their tag makes when it hits the rim of the bowl. 

Another consideration when feeding senior pets is the material a feeding dish is made of. A BPA free plate won’t absorb bacteria the way other materials, like plastic and silicone can. Stainless steel dishes can be radioactive. 

A good flat plate should be made of high quality materials and be dishwasher as well as microwave safe. 

Should you have any questions about your finicky senior pet not eating at mealtime, it is important to consult your vet with any concerns you may have. If illness is not the issue, then switching to a flat plate might be the answer.

Below are two examples of dogs who would not eat before switching to a flat plate.

Please visit our sponsor website to learn more about flat pet feeding plates and what a flat plate can do for you and your furry friend. We appreciate your support of our valued sponsors. 

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and The Pet Plate Complete Feeding System for Finicky Furry Friends.

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. 

Read more about feeding senior pets.

How a Pet Car Booster Seat Can Keep Your Cat or Dog Safe When You Travel

Traveling with a pet can be challenging with even the most well behaved, calm, able-bodied pets. But there are certain situations when getting from point A to point B with a pet becomes a challenge. Transporting your furry friend with a booster seat can prove very useful depending on your needs and the needs of your pet. A car booster seat provides a safe place for your pet to ride in the car and also provides enough lift to allow him to see out the window when you travel. Car booster seats are typically designed for small to medium sized dogs. For a large dog, you may not be able to find a car seat large enough for your pet; in which case a harness or tether can be used to keep your pet secure in the car.

A pet booster seat may seem a little strange at first, especially because most people expect small children or babies in a booster seat, but pet car seats or booster seats for dogs and cats are becoming more popular and accepted because a car seat is often a much safer alternative to traveling with an unleashed pet, especially in certain situations.

How do you know if a pet car seat is right for your pet? 

Here are some specific things to factor when considering a pet car seat or booster seat:

Are you concerned with your pet’s safety when traveling in the car?

Most vehicles were not designed with pets in mind. Most cars do not offer any features that would secure a pet while traveling. It really is up to pet owners to do their due diligence to ensure that their pet is as safe as possible when traveling in a car. A pet car seat or booster seat can help ensure that your pet is traveling as safely as possible.

Does your pet distract you when you are driving?

Some pets cannot behave when traveling in the car. They often jump around or cause other distractions that can be dangerous for drivers. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and a loose pet who cannot behave can be very distracting for drivers. A car seat or booster seat can help keep your pet secured in their seat so they are unable to jump around and distract you while driving.

Does your pet enjoy looking out the window when you travel by car?

Some pets are just too small to look out the window unless they are sitting in your lap. Traveling with a pet who is in your lap is unsafe not only for you, where you can be easily distracted, but also for your pet, especially if you need to stop short. A booster car seat can be secured in the car with a standard seat belt and is designed to boost your pet high enough to see out the window as you travel. A booster car seat can help keep you and your pet safe while you travel.

Are you concerned with leaving your pet alone at home?

Some pets may have seizures or require frequent medications administered at certain times of the day, making staying at home alone while you are away a complicated situation. A pet car seat, especially one that converts to a carrier, can make it easier for you to monitor and care for your pet while you are out.

Will you be traveling by car and also plane, bus or train?

If you are planning on taking your furry friend on car rides, but you also need to transport her onto a plane, bus or train, several car booster seats can also be used as a pet carrier. Check with the manufacturer to be sure the booster car seat carrier is airline approved. As of this writing the recommended maximum dimensions for a soft sided kennel or carrier is 18“ long x 11” wide x 11” high. Soft sided carriers can be slightly larger because they are collapsible and able to fit underneath the seat without blocking the aisle.

Sometimes, it’s not about anything except keeping your furry friend safe. If your dog or cat enjoys traveling with you, rather than cooped up in the house, and if you think your pet would enjoy riding in a booster car seat, then that’s the only need to consider.

Which pet car seat to choose?

So you’ve decided to invest in a pet car seat to transport your pet. Which pet car seat is right for you? There are a wide variety of pet car seats: Here are some things to factor when considering which stroller is right for you.

How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?

When purchasing a pet car seat, size matters. You want to be sure you select a model that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.

Will you be transporting more than one pet?

If you own more than one pet, and you will transport multiple pets in the car seat, then you need to factor the combined weight and size and ensure that the car seat is large enough to accommodate multiple pets comfortably. A bucket seat booster is designed to be large enough for two small pets.

Do you need it to be high enough for your pet to have a view?

Not all car seats are booster seats; some are purely used to keep your pet secure in the vehicle. A booster seat will not only keep your pet safe but can add up to 10 inches of height in order to give them a clear view out the window. A car booster seat can help keep your pet calm if they are distracted by looking out the window.

How do you plan to use the car seat?

Will you be using the car seat to go from the car to the vet or a friend’s house? Do you need to keep your pet secure not only in the car, but after the car ride? A booster travel system is a carrier that converts to a booster seat in the car, attaches to a base, and can be easily removed to take your pet from the car to the store or vet with ease.

Key features to look for:

When selecting a pet car booster seat, look for features that will not only benefit your pet, but you as well. Some car booster seats fit both front and back seat. Some are machine washable. Some allow your pet to see out the window. Some include a built in security leash or tether. Some feature soft padding or adjustable straps. Some can double as an airline approved carrier or regular pet carrier.

Pet car seats are designed specifically for pets, or multiple pets. Unlike child car seats, they have certain features that you may not find with a car seat designed for a person. Some have built in harnesses or buckles to attach a leash or harness to your pet. Some also have waterproof liners in case of accidents. Venting is also typically very different for pet car seats, as is the opening that allows you to place your pet inside.

If you’d like to enjoy more outings with your cat or dog, then a pet car booster seat may be something to consider.  Please visit our sponsor website to learn more about pet car booster seats and what a pet booster can do for you and your furry friend. We appreciate your support of our valued sponsors. 

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and Engaging Pet Products – An Engaged Pet is a Happy Pet.

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.

 

 

Which Pet Carrier is Best for Your Pet

As pets age, many senior pets prefer to spend more time with their pet parents. For some, there may be medications that need to be administered at certain times, and for others, there may be illnesses that make it more difficult for your pet to endure long walks. A pet carrier is a great option to help tote your furry friend around and keep a close eye on your senior pet.

Cats and small dogs are considered seniors at age 7, and as pets age, they become more dependent on us to care for them. A luxury pet carrier, like any luxury handbag, will make you and your pet feel like you are out on the town in high style. 

A carrier handbag that is designed specifically for pets is a better option than a handbag you may use for your personal belongings. Pet carrier handbags offer features designed specifically for toting a pet inside the bag. For instance, many have padding inside the bag that is waterproof and washable, in case your pet has an accident. There are often multiple compartments to carry your cat or dog’s gear and accessories she might need for a day on the town. 

Depending on how you like to travel with your pet, there are pet bags that are designed for longer trips, or short excursions. There are traditional tote style handbags as well as backpacks. There are bags that make a statement and others that are just fun and whimsical. There are carrier purse bags available for anyone’s style – but most importantly, to keep your senior pet with you when you are out. 

Another great feature of a handbag or backpack designed specifically for pets is most pet carrier bags feature ventilation for your pet, to keep your pet comfortable in the bag. Most carriers have weight limits or are appropriate for either a cat or a dog, so check with the manufacturer to ensure the carrier you choose is appropriate for your pet. 

How do you know if a pet carrier is right for your pet? 

Here are some specific things to factor when considering a pet carrier:

Does your pet enjoy being with you wherever you go?

Some situations wouldn’t allow for a leashed pet to accompany you, like restaurants or malls. Even some parks are not pet friendly when it comes to leashed pets. But if your pet is contained within a carrier, then more places might allow your pet into their establishment. A pet carrier can help you enjoy certain locations without worrying about whether your leashed pet is allowed.

Is your pet older?

Senior pets (small dogs and cats over age 7) can tire easily which can make long walks too tiring for them. If they are too tired, they may need to be carried part of the way. A pet carrier can allow you to carry your pet easily and contained.

Does your pet have an illness like arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia?

Certain illnesses might make walking any sort of distance painful for your pet and would make enduring a long walk very difficult for your pet. A carrier can make traveling more comfortable for your pet.

Does your pet have an injury or are they recovering from surgery?

Surgery or an injury can take a lot out of your pet. Some surgeries or injuries can make walking painful, difficult or even impossible, especially if your pet has a splint or cast on his leg. A pet carrier can make traveling easier for your pet.

Are you concerned with leaving your pet alone at home?

Some pets may have seizures or require frequent pet meds to be administered at certain times of the day, making staying at home alone while you are away a complicated situation. A pet carrier can make it easier for you to monitor and care for your pet while you are out.

Does your pet get along with people or other pets?

Some pets can become aggressive around people or other animals. Some just jump on people or have annoying habits or aggressive tendencies that might make traveling into crowded areas challenging. A pet carrier can help control your pet in crowded areas.

Does your pet get stressed in crowds?

Some pets are socially anxious, and crowds may cause them to bark or shake in fear. A carrier offers a level of containment, confinement and security for an anxious pet. A pet carrier can help your pet relax.

Is it too hot, cold or wet outside?

Most animals don’t do well in extreme weather conditions, especially if it is too hot, too cold or wet outside. A pet carrier can protect your pet from the elements.

Which pet carrier to choose?

So you’ve decided to invest in a pet carrier to transport your pet. Which pet carrier is right for you? There are a wide variety of pet carriers: there are tote style handbags, traditional pet carriers, sling pet carriers, and backpack style carriers. A lot depends on the type of outings you plan on using the carrier for. Here are some things to factor when considering which carrier is right for you.

How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?

When purchasing a pet carrier, size matters. You want to be sure you select a style that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.

What is your pet’s temperament?

Some pets are jumpers or chasers and can become easily distracted by anything around them. The last thing you would want is for your pet to escape from the carrier to chase something or someone. A carrier with a full enclosure will ensure that pets who like to jump or chase stay contained within the compartment. If your pet is pretty easy going, then you can get a partially enclosed carrier that features an opening for him to stick his head out of. Most of these carriers will allow you to tether your pet to the carrier so they can’t escape.

How do you plan to use the carrier?

Will you be using the carrier to go to the mall or a restaurant? The type of activity should determine which carrier would best suit your needs. Will you be using the carrier in the car as well as walking around? If so, you may want to consider a carrier that has a dual purpose, and can be converted from a car seat to a carrier. If you are looking for something more stylish, then a sling or tote may be more appropriate for you and your pet.

If you’d like to enjoy more outings with your cat or dog, then a pet carrier may be something to consider.  Please visit our sponsor website to learn more about pet carriers and what a pet carrier can do for you and your furry friend. We appreciate your support of our valued sponsors. 

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and Engaging Pet Products – An Engaged Pet is a Happy Pet.

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.

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 our Pet Insurance Facts for More Information

 

How a Pet Ramp May Help Pets Into the Car or on Furniture

It is not uncommon for pets to have difficulty accessing high places, such as the bed, couch, car or other higher surface in and around your home.  Millions of pets are injured every year attempting to jump up on or get up on higher surfaces, sometimes breaking a leg or severely injuring a tendon or joint. Senior pets often suffer from joint injuries or illnesses such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, torn ACL or other ailments, making jumping almost impossible for them. What’s more frustrating, is how heartbreaking it is to see an older dog or an injured dog attempt something he could once do, only to discover that he can no longer get on the surface he is attempting to get on.

Pet ramps designed specifically for pets can help your pet regain his confidence and bring him the joy of being on his beloved surface. Pet ramps are typically designed to be used at home or in a vehicle and come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. A ramp is a flat piece of plastic, metal or wood that extends from a higher surface down to a flat surface and is designed to make it easier for your pet to get from point A to point B.

A pet ramp can make life easier for your pet because they can provide an easier way for them to get where they want to go, or where you need them to go. This is especially true for larger dogs who may weigh too much for you to lift. A ramp can help give your older pet confidence and can cause less stress for smaller pets who often take a big jump to get off and on some surfaces.

How do you know if pet ramps are right for your pet? 

Here are some specific things to factor when considering pet ramps:

Does your pet enjoy being on high surfaces he cannot reach on his own?

Many pets enjoy an outing in the car, but getting into and out of the car can be a challenge, especially for large dogs who may have an injury or arthritis, or for a smaller dog who may be anxious about jumping in and out of the car. A pet ramp can make it much easier and cause less stress for your pet.

Is your pet older?

Senior pets (large dogs over age 6 and small dogs and cats over age 7) may not be able to jump like they once did. Pet ramps can help them navigate higher places without worrying they may injure themselves.

Does your pet have an illness like arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia?

Certain illnesses might make jumping up in and out of the car or on furniture painful for your pet. Pet ramps can make getting in and out of the car more comfortable for your pet.

Does your pet have an injury or are they recovering from surgery?

Surgery or an injury can take a lot out of your pet. Some surgeries or injuries can make jumping painful, difficult or even impossible, especially if your pet has a splint or cast on his leg. Pet ramps can make getting up on higher surfaces easier for your pet.

Do you have physical limitations that make helping your pet into the car challenging?

Some pet owners have physical limitations, whether due to age or illness that may cause them to have difficulties lifting a pet. For instance, if you have a bad back, or if your dog is a too heavy for you to lift, it may be hard for you to lift your pet into the car. Pet ramps can help ensure you won’t injure yourself whenever you want to take a ride with your pet.

Sometimes, it’s not about anything except pampering your furry friend. If your dog or cat enjoys being with you when you travel and if you think your pet would enjoy getting in and out of the car on his own, then a ramp may be ideal for you and your pet.

You should consult with your vet when considering ramps for your senior pet because every situation is different and what may be right for one pet, may not be right for another pet.

Which pet ramps to choose?

So, you’ve decided to invest in a pet ramp to help your pet get in and out of the car, or onto furniture. Which pet ramp is right for you? There are a wide variety of pet ramps: there are ramps that are folding or telescoping. Some are designed specifically for smaller pets, while others are designed for larger pets. Some are carpeted or have nonskid surfaces. Some are lightweight and easy to tote from the house to the car. Some are temporary and can fold out of the way; others are more permanent and can be kept in a fixed location. Here are some things to factor when considering which pet ramp is right for you.

How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?

When purchasing a pet ramp, size matters. You want to be sure you select a model that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.

How do you plan to use the ramp?

Will you be using the ramp to help your pet get on the bed or the couch? Or will you predominantly use the ramp when traveling? If it will be used more for the car, then a foldable, telescoping ramp may be better so it can fit in the car.

Will the pet ramp fit in your space?

Ramps come in different sizes, styles and heights. It’s a good idea to select a ramp that will not only fit the space where you plan to use it, but also fit the size of your pet. Consider how your pet would normally access the furniture or the car. For instance, if your pet accessed the bed at the foot of the bed, then that is where the ramp should go.

How to train your pet to use a ramp?

A pet ramp is designed to be similar to walking on flat ground, except it is inclined. Some dogs may be intimidated at first and will require some training, patience and praise to properly teach your pet to use the ramp. Remember, he may be accustomed to jumping on the furniture, so the ramp may initially be seen as an obstacle.

Some pets are afraid of ramps initially, but with proper training and guidance, and plenty of treats, your pet may learn to love his new way to access the furniture or the car. The best way to train a pet is to guide them up the ramp with a toy or a treat. Most dogs learn to use ramp pretty quickly, especially going up the ramp. Going down the ramp can take more time, patience and practice. The tendency will be for them to jump off the surface and completely bypass the ramp. Again, training and patience are key to teaching your dog the proper method for using the ramp, especially if they are accustomed to jumping.

Key features to look for:

When selecting a pet ramp, look for features that will not only benefit your pet, but you and your lifestyle as well. Ramps can coordinate with your home décor and some ramps might be easier on your pet’s joints than others.

Pet ramps are designed specifically for pets and they are not designed to be used by a person. Some are made of wood; others are made of plastic or metal. Some are lightweight and very easy to move from room to room; others are heavier or designed for cars or higher surfaces. Some are designed for small dogs and cats; others are made specifically for large dogs.

If you’d like to help your pet get where he wants to go more easily, then a pet ramp may be something to consider.  

Content provided in collaboration with the Elderly Pet Organization and Engaging Pet Products – An Engaged Pet is a Happy Pet.

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.

 

Top Reasons to Adopt an Elderly Pet

puppies-4233378_1920A puppy or kitten can require constant attention. A puppy can hold his bladder just one hour for every month they’ve been alive. For instance, a 3-month-old puppy will need to empty his bladder every three hours! And yes, that does include the middle of the night! An adult dog’s bladder is already fully developed. Shelter dogs are most often already house-trained and rescue groups make sure their adult dogs for adoption are housebroken before they go to new homes. You also have the advantage of knowing that your dog is physically able to “hold it” for several hours at a stretch. In most
cases, adult dogs are by far easier to housebreak than puppies. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Many Senior Pets in shelters or with rescue groups are already trained and ready to go! Adults have a much longer attention span than puppies, too, which means they’re easier and faster to teach. Adult dogs already have recognizable personality traits, so you’ll be able to select one who is great with children. Many rescue groups use foster homes to make sure each dog for adoption is trained to be well- behaved indoors.

An adult dog has graduated from the puppy stage and has an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an instant idea of how it will fit into your household. Older dogs have all their adult teeth and are out of the energetic puppy phase, which will result in less destruction to your home. Many of them do well with young children as they have a lower energy level and have possibly lived with them in their past homes.

With an adult pet, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for. Shelters and rescue groups are able to assess the personality of each pet for adoption, and carefully match you up with the right dog or cat for your lifestyle.

Senior dogs lose their homes for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or temperament, but more due to the fact that their owners are unable to keep them for reasons including: the novelty of owning a dog wearing off, allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes. These dogs need homes just as badly as young adoptees do, and make wonderful household pets.

Ask anybody who has adopted an adult dog or cat, and they’ll swear their bond with their rescued pal is as deep as they come. When you open your heart and your home to an older dog or cat who needs help, they really do show their appreciation for the rest of their life! Pets who have been uprooted from their homes, or have had difficult beginnings are likely to bond completely and deeply with their new human caretakers who they view as heroes. Pets who find themselves in the shelter or at a rescue group because of a death or other tragedy in their former human family usually go through a mourning period. Once they are adopted, however, they usually want nothing more than to please their new hero—YOU! No matter what circumstances brought them to the shelter or rescue group, most older pets for adoption are exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions. But first you have to adopt one!

Adapted from adopt-a-pet.com and ceasarsway.com

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.

 

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.