How to Care for Your Senior Pet in the Cold Weather
Frigid winter weather can be harsh on old bones and aching joints, and elderly pets who are unable to regulate their body temperature, as well as their younger counterparts, can suffer. When cold weather sets in, ensure your senior pet is prepared for the temperature drop with the following tips, from our team at Andover Animal Hospital, to keep them comfortable.
#1: Place your senior pet’s bedding in an area with a comfortable temperature
Keep your furry pal’s bedding away from cold, drafty areas, but ensure it’s not too close to heat sources. Doors and windows can let in cold air, while space heaters and fireplaces can make your pet too warm, especially if they fall asleep in front of them. They also may be burned if they venture too close to these sources of wonderful warmth. Instead, provide your senior pet with a firm, orthopedic bed in an area of your home that maintains a comfortable temperature year-round.
#2: Outfit your senior pet appropriately for outdoor activities
Your senior dog still will need to venture outdoors for exercise and the bathroom, even in the most inhospitable of conditions. Outfit them appropriately with a waterproof jacket or vest to prevent them from becoming soaked to the bone with freezing rain or snow. In addition, protect your pet’s paws with impermeable booties to keep out de-icing salt, chemicals, snow, and ice that can harm paw pads.
#3: Ask your veterinarian about joint supplements for your senior pet
Many older pets suffer from osteoarthritis pain, but joint supplements can help ease inflammation and soothe aches and pains. Ask your veterinarian about the best joint supplement for your pet’s needs, or discuss whether they need something stronger, like prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), to help manage arthritis pain in the coldest months of the year.
Senior pets are prone to a variety of health conditions that can interfere with their thermoregulation ability and leave them chilled in the winter. Contact our team for an appointment if your pet seems cold or uncomfortable.