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The Benefits of a Pet Sitter for Senior Pets: Keeping Your Furry Friend Happy and Healthy

As our furry friends age, they require specialized care to maintain their health and happiness. Senior pets often have specific needs that differ from those of younger pets, and it can be challenging for pet owners to provide the level of care their senior pets require. In such cases, pet sitters can be a valuable resource. In this article, we will explore the benefits of hiring a pet sitter for senior pets and provide tips on choosing the right pet sitter for your aging furry friend.

Photo by Jean Alves

Introduction to Senior Pet Care

Senior pets are those that are seven years or older, and as pets age, they become more prone to health issues. Hence, they require specialized care to maintain their health and happiness. Senior pets may develop conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, vision or hearing loss, and mobility issues, which can impact their ability to move around, eat, or use the bathroom. These conditions can be challenging to manage, especially if you are planning to travel or work extended days.

Why Senior Pets Need Specialized Care

Senior pets require specialized care due to their changing needs. For instance, senior pets may have a reduced ability to regulate their body temperature, which can make them more vulnerable to heatstroke or hypothermia. You can control the temperature in your home, but can't bring that comfort to your pet at a facility. Additionally, they may become less active, leading to weight gain, which can exacerbate existing health conditions such as arthritis or heart disease. We want to keep those joints moving throughout the day to keep them from stiffening up, but move them at a speed that is comfortable for them to handle. Senior pets may also experience changes in their behavior or become more anxious or stressed, and may require additional attention and support from their owner or caregiver. It is also possible for some senior pets to experience loss of muscle control and therefore they may not be able to hold their bladder as long as they once could. Having a pet sitter available for additional potty breaks can bring some needed relief throughout the day.

Senior Pet Sitting vs. Boarding

When it comes to senior pet care, pet sitting is often the better option than boarding. Boarding can be stressful for senior pets, especially if they have mobility or health issues. The environment of many facilities can be overwhelming, with the barking and loud volume, the smells, and general hectic and fast paced surroundings. Additionally, boarding facilities may not be equipped to provide the specialized care that senior pets require. In contrast, senior pet sitting is a personalized service that caters to the individual needs of the pet. A pet sitter can provide one-on-one attention, administer medication, and ensure that the pet is comfortable and happy in their familiar surroundings.

The Benefits of Senior Pet Sitting

There are many benefits of hiring a pet sitter for your senior pet. Firstly, senior pet sitting provides peace of mind to pet owners, knowing that their pet is in good hands while they are away in the comfort of their own home. Secondly, pet sitters can help maintain your pet's normal routine by feeding them at the same time each day, going for walks at a speed that is more suitable to them, and providing companionship . Thirdly, pet sitters can administer medication or provide any necessary medical attention in case of an emergency.

Choosing a Senior Pet Sitter

When choosing a senior pet sitter, it is essential to find someone who has experience in caring for senior pets. Senior pet sitters should be comfortable administering medication, have knowledge of common health issues, be able to recognize signs of distress and communicate those concerns to you in a timely manner.

What to Expect from a Senior Pet Sitter

When hiring a senior pet sitter, it is essential to discuss your pet's specific needs and expectations. A senior pet sitter should be able to provide regular updates on your pet's well-being, including feeding and bathroom habits, as well as any concerns or issues that arise. Additionally, pet sitters should be comfortable with providing companionship, exercising or playing with your pet, and administering any necessary medication.

Preparing for Senior Pet Sitting

Before your senior pet sitter arrives, it is essential to prepare your home and your pet for their arrival. This may involve setting up a designated area for your pet, providing instructions on feeding, medication, or clean up and ensuring that your pet's favorite toys or bedding are available. Additionally, it is crucial to introduce your pet to the pet sitter before leaving to ensure that they are comfortable and familiar with the new caregiver. The goal is for your sitter to see how your pet behaves in his/her environment so they can quickly spot any behavior that may be out of the ordinary.

The Importance of Communication with Your Senior Pet Sitter

Communication is key when it comes to senior pet sitting. Pet owners should provide clear instructions on feeding, medication, and any specific needs or concerns. Additionally, pet sitters should provide regular updates on the pet's well-being and be available to answer any questions or concerns that arise. Building a relationship of trust and communication with your pet sitter is essential to ensuring your pet's health and happiness as they walk into their golden years.

Senior pets require specialized care to maintain their health and happiness. Connecting with the right pet sitter, who has experience in senior care, allows for one-on-one attention, medication administration, and ensures that your pet is comfortable and happy in their familiar surroundings. By working with a pet sitter, you can ensure that your senior pet receives the specialized care they need while you are away.


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