Is your dog aged six or older? If so, Fido may be approaching—or already in—his senior years. While your pooch may always be a puppy at heart, his needs will change as he ages. Cold weather will also affect your dog more as he grows older, so you’ll want to take extra care with your pet in winter. Here, a vet discusses winter care for senior dogs.
Unless Fido has thick fur, he may need an extra layer of clothes to keep him warm in cold weather. Choose something you can get on and off your pooch without having to manipulate him too much.
Overgrown nails can be very uncomfortable for Fido. They can also make it hard for him to get traction on slippery surfaces. Remember to keep your pet’s claws trimmed! You may also want to use paw balm or wax to protect those furry feet.
It isn’t uncommon for older dogs to be afflicted with bone/joint issues, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. Supplements may be beneficial for your canine buddy. For instance, fish oil can help lubricate your furry friend’s bones and joints, and is often recommended for older dogs. Ask your vet for advice.
One of the best things you can do for your faithful pet is make sure that he has a good doggy bed to snuggle up in. We recommend orthopedic doggy beds for senior dogs, because of the extra support they offer. (Tip: make sure Fido’s bed isn’t in a damp, cold, or drafty area.)
Fido may really enjoy a heating pad or a thermal pet bed warmer. These are great for pups with arthritis or hip dysplasia!
Proper veterinary care is important for dogs of all ages, but is especially crucial for senior pets. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.
Hydration is very important all year round, but can really be an issue in cold weather. If you know or suspect that your canine companion isn’t drinking enough, try offering him some sodium-free chicken broth.
Try to avoid bringing your pooch from hot to cold environments more often than you have to. Also, make sure Fido doesn’t stay outdoors longer than he is comfortable with.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your animal clinic, anytime!