Creating Special Memories During Your Pet’s Senior Years

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Your furry best friend is not moving the way he used to. He’s getting a bit grey in the muzzle and short on his leap. He may enjoy sleeping more than he did during his younger years, possibly takes medication or even more serious treatments, yet your dog or cat still loves you unconditionally, and your feelings are mutual.

That means it’s time to keep on making memories together as long as your pet is enjoying a good quality of life.   Unlike humans, dogs and cats do not dread what is to come.  They may look forward to treats, a walk in the park, a warm window sill or your arrival home, but mostly, our pets live in the moment and don’t stress about what hasn’t yet happened.

Consider The Following When Spending Time With Your Pet

Humans can learn a lot from animals in this regard, so make a point of being present with your fur family, no matter their age.    

  • Sit with your dog and enjoy the gentle breeze against your face. Watch how the wind blows your pup’s fur and carries some of it away. Maybe a bird will make a cozy nest with it!
  • Listen to the song of the hoot owl, crickets or a coyote in the distance. They are waiting to be heard, but if you don’t take time, you’ll miss out on their tune. Your dog’s ears are pricked and moving to capture the sounds, so listen with him.
  • Take a deep breath and take in the neighbor’s cook-out. You know your dog’s nose is capturing the scent and hoping together you’ll go grab something off their grill. Don’t miss the sweetness of the gardenia in full bloom on your patio. It may not be your dog’s top sniff, but he notices it too.
  • For a moment, kick off your shoes and run through the grass with bare paws (um, feet) as your dog does. Feel how cool and squishy it is. Tune into the world your pet is experiencing, and enjoy that journey together.
  • Sit quietly noticing your cat seeking the perfect sunbeam cast through the window onto the floor, and see if she’ll share a little with you. Notice the warmth on your skin and delight in this moment with your feline friend. Stroke her fur, feeling its texture and notice the array of colors the sunlight emphasizes in her coat. She looks like a work of art, doesn’t she?  

Also, take time to plan special moments together:

  • Immortalize your pet’s paw prints in cement stepping stones for the garden, or in plaster casts, you can turn into a holiday ornament.  Both will be wondeRUFFul reminders of your friend even after he is no longer in his earthly body.
  • Take pictures doing normal things, don’t wait for a special event.  Make every day special!  Snap photos of your dog enjoying dinner or his favorite chew toy, your cat pouncing on her catnip mouse, sniff patrol, nap time, bath time, walkies, treeing a squirrel, getting a belly rub or ear scratch from you.  These are the precious moments you want to live through and remember.  
  • Consider a professional portrait session with the whole family.  Wouldn’t a framed masterpiece look lovely hanging over the mantel?  You may not have taken a family photo since your pet was a wee puppy or kitten, so showing off his mature, distinguished appearance can remind you of a life well lived together. 
  • Videos recording your pet’s more active antics could be a hoot.  Strap a camera comfortably and safely to your dog’s head (or just hold it at his eye level) when you wander the house or neighborhood to experience life from his point of view.  
  • Write a song or poem about your pet’s favorite things or the things he does that make you laugh or smile.  You know your pet best and may surprise yourself with how passionately your voice comes through even if you’ve never written anything before. Your pet just may help you discover a hidden talent!  
  • List all the nicknames you have for your furry friend, and take pictures or draw him looking or acting like each pet name.
  • Together, sit quietly gazing up at the sky.  Spot a special star or cloud shape (maybe one that looks like a bone, a fish or your pet himself), and really feel the joy of being together.  In the future, whenever you see that star or cloud again, know your beloved pet is watching over you and is so grateful for a life lived by your side!

Surely you can come up with other ways to create and spend special time with your senior pet.

 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.