Make Them Feel Better: Winter Care for Senior Pets
For many of us, the winter weather presents some real challenges. Instead of the usual human concerns like icy roads and hard-to-heat homes, conditions can be utterly unbearable for older animals. Even if they haven’t been diagnosed with an age-related condition, the wet, cold, and windy weather can truly take its toll.
Luckily, with these tips for winter care for senior pets, the season doesn’t have to be a hardship for the ones we love.
Winter care for senior pets hinges on two main components: warmth and comfort. Certainly, without warmth, an aging pet won’t enjoy full comfort. Likewise, having a comfortable place to rest and snuggle bolsters their ability to regulate body temperature. From there, making life as easy as possible for the senior pet in your life is attainable.
A Closer Look
Aging animals have less strength and muscle mass than their younger counterparts. What’s more, the painful symptoms of arthritis are felt more acutely during colder months. Creaky joints and cold muscles can make a senior pet feel like they can’t move easily or at all.
It may seem counterintuitive, but a great approach to winter care for senior pets involves keeping up with daily walks or other forms of exercise. In other words, if they don’t use it, they lose it! Sure, it may be cold, wet, and windy outside, and we did say that it’s vital to keep senior pets warm and comfortable during the winter. However, keeping older pets active is also key to their emotional and physical wellbeing.
To offset the weather while exercising your senior pet, we recommend gearing up. Waterproof and insulating sweaters, jackets, vests, and booties can make all the difference to your aging pet.
When choosing items, be sure they fit snugly but aren’t too tight around the belly. Having a backup will also help if one gets wet or damaged. In addition, booties will keep your pet’s paws warm and protects them from winter chemicals like antifreeze and ice melt.
Winter Care for Senior Pets
When it comes to winter care for senior pets, investing in a good bed is an excellent idea. There are self-warming beds, heated pads, and orthopedic beds covered in plush fabric.
Wherever you place your pet’s bed, be sure that cold drafts are kept at bay. Lots of seniors depend on things being in the same place all the time. If you move their bed, ramps, or stairs, be sure to help guide them the first few times.
Frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, and malnutrition can affect pets of all ages, but seniors require extra attention to detail. Even though many aging pets are accustomed to being outside for extended periods of time, it’s best to monitor their time and set limits if it’s too cold out.
Senior pets may also benefit from nutritional support. If you’re interested in supplements to support their joints and flexibility, please let us know. Similarly, helping your senior pet lose a little weight can reduce the pressure and strain on already aching joints.