Winter time can be harsh on both humans and animals, and although we can take medications, and wrap up warm our senior pets rely on us to look after them. Winter time is the time for joint pain, colds, sores, and worsening health conditions, but we can do a lot to help our senior pets to have a more comfortable time during these cold months. Having said that, let us take a good look at some things we can do to help our pets have a nice time even during the winter, and be more comfortable so they don’t have to suffer at all.
One of the first things to think about during the winter is where your senior pet is sleeping, because where he sleeps during the summer months may not be appropriate during the colder weather. Make sure there are no constantly opening doors where he sleeps, or relaxes as the hot, and cold air can be hazardous to his arthritis if he has any associated joint pain. A warm room that stays at a constant temperature will be much better for him as well as a comfortable bed.
When it comes to beds for senior pets, this may be a good time to purchase a new one, especially if he has had his bed for a long time. Manufacturers are constantly thinking of new ways to improve products, and more recently you can buy special beds that have memory foam or foam that forms to your pets body when he lays down. These orthopedic type beds are ideal for senior pets, especially those that suffer from arthritis, any type of joint issues, and hip dysplasia, making them much more comfortable and able to get better sleep.
Another thing we have to think about when it comes to our senior pets is when it snows, or there is ice on the sidewalks and roads, as it can be very hazardous for them. Even though dogs, and cats have nice furry coats, their paws can be affected by the cold, ice, and salt that is put down on these surfaces, making them sore and prone to cracking, which in turn can lead to infections. Therefore, you may want to consider giving them some boots, or booties to wear to help protect their paws while outside.
Depending on the breed of your dog, you may also want to consider a dog jacket, or coat to protect them, especially in areas where the temperature can go below freezing, or areas where it gets very damp and cold. Generally, the larger dog breeds with heavy coats, like the Labrador or German Shepherd Dog do not require a coat, but with smaller dogs with much less hair or fur, the cold wind can penetrate their coat easily. Many of these relatively new products out on the market now are very affordable, and if you buy them off season ready for next year you can often get large discounts, making it a worthwhile purchase.
One of the main concerns with senior pets during winter months is joint pain, this can be for a number of reasons, and as we all know pain is not very nice. However, talk to your vet about adding some Glucosamine, and Chondroitin to his diet, which helps to lubricate their joints, which even in a healthy pet can stiffen up in the winter time and become painful. Moreover, you should not stop exercising your senior pet during the colder months, in fact you should keep up with regular exercise to avoid stiffening of the joints.
During winter you may also want to take your senior pet to the vet for a checkup, as our pets age much quicker than we do, and can develop conditions fairly quickly compared to us. Also, look out for unusual behavior during the cold months, like your pet may not want to go upstairs, or climb onto a bed that he used to do all the time, this could be an early sign that he is having joint problems. Protecting your senior pet from the rigors of nature is not so hard to do, and it will make for a much comfortable life for him during these potentially dangerous months, and he may even live longer for it too.