How to Take Care of Your Senior Pet in Winter
Our senior dogs and cats can’t head to Florida for the winter unless they’re already there. So how can you make them comfortable even as the temperature drops and the snow piles up? To start with, you can check out our advice about pet essentials for January and scan this winter pet fashion guide. And then read on for some helpful tips for boosting your senior buddy’s comfort during the chilly winter months.
Consult Your Vet
Winter is a good time for a checkup at your veterinarian to see if your pet is suffering from any health issues – such as arthritis – that can be exacerbated by the weather. There are medications and supplements like this one from Vet’s Best that can help make your aging friends more comfortable. But don’t experiment on your own. Get professional advice from a vet who knows your pet’s health history.
Take Care of Those Older Muscles and Joints
Even if your pooch or kitty gets a clean bill of health, their muscles and joints can become stiff and sore as they age—even more so when the weather gets cold. If it’s too cold to take your dog for a walk outside, make sure she moves around indoors. Staying active is important for both physical and mental health (for both of you!) Some light movement every day will help keep their muscles and joints limber, and will also help keep the pounds from creeping on.
Counteract the Dry Air
Heaters keep us toasty, but they also suck moisture out of the air. This can make skin dry and itchy, and lead to dehydration. Keep your pet’s water dish full, and adjust their baths and other grooming activities to make sure you’re not drying out their skin even more. See this post for more insight on caring for your pet’s skin and coat. Also, consider getting a humidifier. Everyone will enjoy some extra moisture in the air.
Location, Location, Location
You might need to rethink where your furry babies are sleeping and doing their business. Move litter boxes out of the garage or basement and into a warmer area in the house. Try some litter box deodorizer if you’re worried about smells. Relocate beds closer to sources of heat, or near windows that provide some of those coveted sunbeams. Also, make sure their beds have enough cushions so they can’t feel the cold floor. And consider whether it’s time to get your aging furry friend some pet stairs to help them climb onto your bed. And on that note….
Snuggle, Snuggle, Snuggle!
You probably already do this, but what better way to keep your four-legged friend warm than snuggling up with him on the couch or in bed? Show your senior pet some extra love – lots of petting and kisses – while you stream your favorite shows.