Winter is just around the corner. Whether you love or hate the cold, it’s time to start preparing for it. If you have an older dog, you’ll also want to take steps to help keep Fido warm and comfortable as temperatures drop. Here, a Cherry Hill, NJ vet offers some seasonal care tips for pooches in their golden years.
First and foremost, make sure Fido has a warm, comfy bed to snuggle up in. Orthopedic beds are great options here. Your pet may also enjoy a thermal blanket or a heated bed. For larger dogs, you can also repurpose a child’s mattress.
Make sure your pooch is eating high-quality, nourishing food. If Fido has thin fur and/or spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need extra portions in winter. Don’t go overboard, though. Older dogs gain weight very easily, since they aren’t as active as their younger counterparts.
Dogs in their golden years often get arthritis. This painful condition can make Fido very stiff and sore, especially in damp, cold weather. Supplements may help with this. Massage can also be beneficial. Of course, you’ll want to get specific treatment options and care tips from your vet. If you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis, schedule a veterinary appointment right away.
Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all cause painful paw burns and abrasions. Use paw balm or wax to moisturize and protect Fido’s furry feet. It’s also important to keep your dog’s nails clipped, so he can get good traction on slippery surfaces. We recommend keeping toe fur trimmed as well. Those cute little toe fur tufts can collect ice balls, which are quite uncomfortable.
Senior dogs are very sensitive to extreme temperatures. Fido will get chilly much more quickly than he used to. If he has thin fur, he may need a jacket in cold weather. Brushing your dog will also help him stay comfortable, as dead fur and dander actually inhibit the insulating properties of his fur.
Fido may spend a good chunk of winter curled up in his bed. Don’t let your pet become a complete couch potato! Keep your furry pal active with regular walks and playtime.
Please reach out to us, your Cherry Hill, NJ vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!