How To Love Your Older Pet With These Care Tips

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Things to Consider When Taking Care of an Older Pet

Taking care of a cat, dog or other companion animal is a big source of joy for many people. Animal Friends notes that having a pet makes people happier and healthier and can even help lower blood pressure. However, pet owners need to make sure that they are willing and able to take care of their animals as they get into their older years. Taranet outlines some things to consider when taking care of an older pet.

Veterinary Care

People who have pets are used to taking their dogs and cats to the vet for checkups and routine vaccinations. However, it is important to keep in mind that as these animals get older, the need for veterinary care will likely increase.

Try to make sure that you have an emergency fund set aside in case unexpected expenses arise regarding the care of your pet. If you are not able to save enough money for a vet visit, look into local resources that might be able to assist.

Pet Insurance

When your pet starts to age, it becomes increasingly important to start considering pet insurance. With pet insurance, you can protect yourself from expensive and unexpected vet bills should your pet become ill or suffer from an accident.

Understanding the coverage that pet insurance offers is key to making sure you are getting the best plan for your budget and pet. Just like with human health plans, there are a variety of policies that may offer coverage for emergency hospitalization, routine care like checkups and vaccines, prescription medications, and even end-of-life expenses like cremation or burial fees.


It is just as important to look after yourself when caring for an older pet. Compassion fatigue is a term often used to describe the struggles people face when caring for people, and a similar phenomenon can happen when an animal friend you love requires extensive monitoring and protection. It can be easy to neglect your own care while devoting all your time to someone else, so make sure to do things to take care of yourself, such as:

  • Taking a break from work if you are able to do so, in order to reduce the amount of stress in your and your pet’s life
  • Hiring a pet sitter to watch your pet when you are not around so you can reduce the amount of worrying involved in leaving your pet alone 
  • Continuing to eat healthy, exercise and get a proper amount of sleep 

When people do not take good care of themselves, they cannot give as much as they can to those who they care for.


Older pets often have trouble grooming themselves the way that they once did. Because of this, you should give special consideration to keeping your pet clean in their older years. A high-quality dog shampoo with a pleasing scent is a good investment as it is less likely to irritate the skin, and there may even be moisturizing options for dogs who have dry skin. Unlike dogs, cats are notoriously afraid of water, but it is still important that you pay attention to their grooming habits and clean them when needed.

In addition to keeping the pet clean, make sure that the area around them is clean as well, including any litter boxes and crates.


When caregivers take their pets to the vet to get them the best medical care, it is important that the animals are comfortable at home while they rest and recover. Buy comfortable bedding and blankets for your pet, and spoil them with treats, as long as their vet says that is safe to do so. Having a happy, relaxed pet is beneficial to both the owner and the animal.

Caring for an older pet can be difficult, so consider these tips to make things a bit easier and relieve stress for both you and your pet. You can also relieve financial stress by investing in pet insurance.

Taranet shares how a holistic approach can be useful for animals and helps your horse or dog care business be successful. Contact us today to learn more!

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Love These Natural Tips To Help Manage Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease

How A Holistic Approach Can Help With Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease

The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) has an important role inside your dog’s hind legs. The CCL acts as a stabiliser, inside the stifle (middle joint) in the back leg. As a comparison, in humans the CCL is called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). 

Within the joint it supports shock absorption, position-sensing, and load-bearing. The CCL can rupture, either partially or completely and if damaged is called Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease.

How Can the Canine Cruciate Ligament Get Diseased?

There can be many reasons for the CCL to become damaged, including:

  • Natural ageing - degeneration as your dog gets older
  • Obesity - so being overweight, too much load bearing
  • Genetics - some dogs may be predisposed, due to their breeding

Often the damage will occur over a long period of time.

What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease?

You may find your dog showing a varying range of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty getting into the car
  • Not wanting to go for walks
  • Not wanting to walk or run very far
  • Appearing stiff when getting up and down or walking
  • Showing signs of pain
  • Lameness - for example limping
  • Clicking or popping noise
  • Swelling
  • Muscle wastage

There are other symptoms your dog may show. All these symptoms maybe as a result of another injury or illness too. So it’s vital if your dog has any signs of discomfort or ill health that you seek professional veterinary advice immediately. Then you can get a diagnosis and get the most suitable treatment options.

Can Complementary Therapies Help With Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease?

Surgery is usually recommended. According to Fitzpatrick Referrals “Non-surgical management is seldom recommended, except where the risks of a general anaesthetic or surgery are considered excessive (e.g. patients with severe heart disease, uncontrolled hormonal disorders or immune conditions, etc.)”

However, yes complementary therapies can help your dog post-surgery. This includes:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Laser Therapy
  • Magnotherapy
  • Ultrasound

Which therapy will depend on your dog and what the extent of the disease and treatment is. However, a trained complementary therapist for animals will be able to work with your vet to devise the most suitable therapeutic plan.

Is There Any Evidence For Complementary Therapies Helping Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease?

Yes! This includes:

American Veterinary Medical Association Journal - “After TPLO in CCL-deficient dogs, early physiotherapy intervention should be considered as part of the postoperative management to prevent muscle atrophy, build muscle mass and strength, and increase stifle joint flexion and extension ROMs.”

“In conclusion, the cases we have described, as well as the information mentioned above from the available literature, confirm the effectiveness and thus the need for physiotherapeutic treatment of dogs after the break of CCL” Słodki, S., Bogucka, J., (2021). Physiotherapy support for postoperative treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in dogs: case report. Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 20(4), 25–32. DOI: 10.21005/asp.2021.20.4.04.

“Conclusions favour of the use of hydrotherapy as a beneficial, enjoyable and cost-effective rehabilitation tool, and as an excellent vehicle during the transition between the weak, post-operative and the fully rehabilitated state” Sairéad Wild (2017) Canine cranial cruciate ligament damage and the use of hydrotherapy as a rehabilitation tool, Veterinary Nursing Journal, 32:8, 228-234, DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2017.1322476

How Long Will My Dog Need Therapeutic Treatment?

It will depend on your dog. Your Veterinary Surgeon alongside your veterinary physiotherapist, or canine hydrotherapist will be able to advise. Some dogs may benefit from frequent therapy sessions which could then become less often, but still regular.

Can Supplements Help My Dog?

Yes the right supplement containing ingredients to help with joints and mobility will be beneficial. Of course, check your dog's diet, as it's also better to feed a diet that promotes good all round health. But even so additional supplementation maybe helpful. Ingredients to look out for are omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin.

In conclusion, complementary therapies do have an important role to play in helping manage your dog's health, even when he or she has Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease.

Your veterinary surgeon maybe able to recommend a therapist to you. But when choosing a complementary therapist, do ask them what experience they have in helping dogs with this condition. This may help you decide on whether they are the therapist that can help your dog.

Like help finding a veterinary surgeon or therapist for your animal?

Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

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About the Author
Suzanne Harris is an equestrian and canine entrepreneurial coach and consultant to veterinarians who want to help prevent animals being affected by domestic abuse.