Pull out that granny sweater--it’s winter and your elderly dog is great to tell you how many miles (both ways) she used to walk uphill to get to the dog park. Just kidding! But your senior dog really may need a sweater. As our dogs and cats age, the cold winter weather and icy outdoor conditions affect them more than it once did.
We won’t keep you on ice any longer! Learn more about how the cold affects your older pet and what you can do to help.
How Does Age Relate to Cold Weather?
Your pet ages a lot like a person, just quicker. As your pet enters her senior years, her joints weaken, scar tissue and minor issues can ache, and her bones weaken. And of course, we all slow down a little as we age.
If your pet has arthritis, the cold weather can make her extra stiff and cause her joint-related pain.
And while older pets feel the cold more, they’re also more susceptible to injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces. They also get the sniffles easier as well.
What Can You Do to Help Your Older Pet Cope with the Cold?
1. Provide Your Dog or Cat with a Comfy, Warm Bed
Cup-style beds are perfect for senior kitties. Keep a few fluffy blankets around as well.
For senior pups, find a thick bed with memory foam. Why memory foam? It insulates your dog from the cold ground and cradles her hips and joints for extra support.
2. Avoid Ice Patches on Your Walks
Older dogs still enjoy and benefit from walks. Daily exercise will help your dog maintain strong muscle tone and support her joints. Daily exercise can also help her stay trim to take the burden off her joints.
You don’t want her to slip and sprain her ankle or suffer another injury, though.
3. Bring Your Senior Pet by for a Check-Up
Senior dogs and cats should receive exams about twice per year. If you haven’t brought your pet by before winter, bring her in.
We can help with
- Managing any chronic cold-related pain
- Assess your pet’s mobility
- Determine if a supplement can help your senior pet get around a bit easier
- Find the right diet to support her health as she ages
4. Improve Your Pet’s Mobility
When the air’s dry, your pet’s paw-pads don’t cling to the floor quite as well. This can cause extra slipping and sliding inside and outside. A lack of traction puts extra strain on your pet’s joints. To make it easier for your pet to get around this winter you can.
- Invest in pet stairs or ramps to help her get up and down
- Put extra rugs down on slippery floors
- Lift your pet up and down rather than encouraging her to jump onto your lap
5. Sweaters, Boots, and Blankets
Some pets adore their sweaters while others cannot stand them. If your senior pet loves her hipster-chic sweater, let her wear it.
If your bot will wear boots when you walk her, then lace her up. Most dogs can’t stand them, but boots can keep her from slipping and keep her feet toasty warm. Be sure to take them off when you get home, though. Otherwise, they might turn into chew toys.
Senior pets can never have enough snuggly blankets to curl up in. If you have extra throw blankets put them in her favorite spots. Or go by a secondhand store and pick some up.
Bundle Up with Your Best Buddy!
Enjoy the snow and cold with your pet this winter while keeping in mind that they get cold more easily than they once did. Break the ice and pick up a sweater for your senior dog, find a fluffy blanket that’s perfect for your cat, and make an appointment with us so we can help you find the right plan of action to keep your pet happy all winter long.
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