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By: Nick Burton, www.ourbestdoggo.com

It’s never easy watching a beloved pet grow old. Much like humans, dogs face a variety of health-related changes as they grow older, from deteriorating eyesight to muscle stiffness. While your senior dog may face some challenges as they navigate the aging process, there are several steps you can take to keep them happy, healthy, and active—without spending an arm and a leg on fancy products and vet care. Here are some budget-friendly tips to help you meet the care requirements of your senior dog.

Pick Up Some Essential Supplies

As dogs grow older, they often need help with many of the activities they used to be able to accomplish on their own. Purchasing a few supplies can make a huge difference in your dog’s quality of life! For example, a heated dog bed will keep your pet comfortable during the cooler months as older dogs have a harder time staying warm. You may also want to get a pet ramp, lifting harness, and raised food and water bowls to make life easier for a furry friend with stiff muscles or joint pain. Whatever you’re looking for, you should be able to find affordable pet products from Chewy. Just remember to grab some Chewy coupon codes to save even more and earn cash back on your purchase!

While you’re at it, consider getting some supplies for DIY dog grooming. Grooming your dog at home can help you avoid those pricey trips to the groomers without sacrificing your aging pet's health and hygiene. To prepare for home grooming, Fur and Tailfeathers recommends picking up a few affordable tools including a brush, shears, scissors, nail clippers, shampoo, and conditioner.

Consider Making Your Own Food

Making your own dog food is another budget-friendly way to adopt a DIY dog care routine. Cheap, generic-brand dog food may not provide the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy in their later years, but high-quality options can be costly. Purchasing a smaller amount of high-quality dog food and supplementing with some home-cooked recipes could be a great way to provide your pet with good nutrition without breaking the bank. Search around online to find dog food recipes from trusted sources or ask your vet for pointers!

Seek Affordable Care

Regular checkups are important for keeping your furry friend healthy. Many experts recommend visiting the vet twice per year when your dog reaches the senior years. By catching potential health issues—such as diabetes, kidney disease, or cancer—before they become serious, you may be able to avoid expensive treatments and surgeries later on. At the same time, staying on top of your dog’s health with regular preventive vet care will allow your furry friend to stay active and independent for as long as possible! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find cheap or free veterinary care. Call around and ask for rates, try a veterinary school, or visit a local welfare organization for low-cost checkups and procedures.

If you work long hours or travel for work, you’ll need to find someone to care for your pet. Bark ATL is the premier retreat in Atlanta for dog daycare and boarding. They offer your dog 24/7 supervision, small playgroups, and cage-free fun, and you can even check in on your pup via their streaming webcams!

Stick to Your Regular Exercise Routine

Many owners think that their senior dogs don’t need as much exercise as they did when they were younger. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Exercising your dog is important for keeping their bones, muscles, and joints strong and resilient, so they can stay active for years to come.

If your dog is reluctant to go on your regular walks, you may have to adapt their exercise routine slightly. Walk slower, let your dog take the lead, and stick to familiar routes to keep your dog comfortable. Some other easy ways to exercise your senior dog include short games of fetch, tug-of-war, and swimming.

Growing older is a normal part of life—for humans and dogs alike. From purchasing some budget-friendly supplies to finding gentler exercise options, there are several affordable ways to keep your dog healthy and comfortable during their senior years. Making adjustments to your pet care routine will ensure that you and your furry friend get to enjoy many more amazing years together!