How to Care for Senior Dogs in Winter
- by Rufus and Coco
Caring for senior dogs during winter is essential to ensure their health and comfort. As dogs age, they become more vulnerable to the cold weather, and the winter season can be particularly harsh on their joints and immune system. It is important to keep them warm and dry, provide them with adequate nutrition and hydration, and make any necessary adjustments to their exercise routine.
We've rounded up some tips on how you can help keep your dog happy and healthy even during the colder months.
5 Ways to Care for Your Senior Dogs in Winter
Keep your dog warm
This might seem like a no-brainer, but keeping a senior dog warm at all times, especially during the colder season, is paramount. You can invest in an electric heated blanket and simply place it under your pet’s blanket or on their pet bed, or you can use whatever you have available and reach out for a hot water bottle or a Magic Bag.
Do consider that even when you’re away for work, your thermostat should remain at a temperature that is comfortable for your senior dog. The ideal interior temperature for a dog ranges between 20-21 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius.
Make sure you keep up with your vet’s appointments
As your dog ages, you’ll notice that your veterinarian will suggest that you bring them to the vet clinic not just once a year, but twice or even every four to five months.
When it comes to geriatric patients, health issues can appear fast and develop just as fast, reaching a level where they might be more difficult to treat. An older dog does not have the same capable immune system as a younger one. Add the fact that there are other complications like obesity, arthritis, diabetes, or other old age diseases that can make recovery more lengthy and complicated.
So, even if you’re not keen on going to vet that often or your dog gets stressed or anxious every time you have to, they are more necessary if your dog is older than the age of 7.
Hygiene and grooming matter even in the cold season
Dogs don’t have self-grooming mechanisms like cats do, which means that you will be in charge of brushing their coat, keeping it trimmed, and trimming their nails even in winter. Just because the weather gets colder and your dog sheds less, doesn’t mean you can skip the grooming sessions.
A few items you might need for the purpose would be a Detangling Comb, a Pet Grooming Glove, or a Water Free Wash, - the last one can do a world of good if your dog hates water and you can’t give them a regular bath.
Keep your dog active
Exercise and walks, along with playtime, can keep your dog in good physical condition, but they are also important for their mental health. Dogs that don’t get enough physical stimulation are not only unhappy but also predisposed to developing a wide range of health conditions.
Because senior dogs have a higher chance of breaking their bones easier, we suggest using both a harness and a collar - you can try our Sportflex Harness and Duramax Collar, along with the Shock Ease Lead. These three essentials will ensure that your dog is properly supported every time you take them out for a walk or for any outdoor adventure.
Another important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy is to play with them as often as possible. Switch up their toy arsenal and get them something fun like a Una Unicorn Rope Toy or a Treat Me Toy.
Don’t walk your dog when it’s freezing
This might sound counterproductive if you’ve housetrained your dog when they were a puppy and made an effort to teach them to go potty outdoors. But when it’s freezing, you need to be able to get your pet to pee someplace indoors to protect them from the harsh temperature.
If your dog has extreme difficulty relieving themselves in the house, you can try applying some dog pee attractant on our Eco Pee Mat. Our pee mat can absorbs up to two cups of liquid, and is reusable and washable - a must have for senior pets.
Alternatively, you can also try our Posh Pee Pads. While not reusable, these pads are already infused with synthetic pheromones to help attract your pet. It can also hold up to two cups of urine, and has activated charcoal-infused layers to trap odour.
Dogs’ paws are particularly sensitive in the cold season, so getting your pet a pair of booties or applying a balm when you come back from a walk outside will also help make your pet comfortable even when it's cold.
There are certain immune supplements that you can also give your dog to make sure they don’t get sick in winter. Consult with your vet and find out the best option for your pet.
Is Your Home’s Heat Too Warm For Your Dogs? AKC Staff, 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/temperature-setting-for-dogs-in-winter/Age and Physical Activity Levels in Companion Dogs: Results From The Dog Aging Project, Hannah Lee et al, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9536450/