Winter care for your senior dog

With the cold winter temperatures now well and truly set in, it’s essential to keep your senior dog warm and comfortable. Just like humans, older dogs have a harder time regulating their body temperature in cold weather, and those with short hair or smaller builds struggle even more.

From addressing common health issues and creating a cosy environment to providing a suitable diet, read on to find out how to keep your ageing pet happy and healthy all winter long.

How to help your senior dog stay comfortable in winter

During the winter months, it’s crucial to provide extra care to ensure the comfort and well-being of your senior dog. Cold temperatures can exacerbate arthritis and other age-related issues, making it essential to implement strategies to keep them warm and cosy.

  1. Create a warm and draft-free environment: Ensure that your senior dog has access to a warm and cosy spot away from drafts. Providing a comfortable space where they can rest undisturbed will help them relax and feel snug throughout the winter months.
  2. Provide supportive bedding: Arthritis can be aggravated by the cold, so investing in a supportive dog bed with memory foam or orthopaedic features can help alleviate discomfort. Additionally, consider using heat mats or warm objects placed under their bed to provide additional warmth.
  3. An extra layer for warmth: Dogs with short coats or thin fur may benefit from wearing dog coats, particularly while outdoors. These clothing items can help insulate their bodies and prevent excessive heat loss, keeping them warm and comfortable.
  4. Regular grooming: Regular brushing and grooming are important during winter to prevent tangles in your senior dog’s fur. Tangled fur is less effective at insulating them from the cold, so keeping their coat clean and free from mats is crucial for their warmth and comfort.

Winter nutrition and health

Senior dog with arthritis

During winter, older dogs have unique nutritional needs that should be taken into consideration.

If your senior dog is overweight, they can benefit from a specially designed weight loss diet. This type of diet can help reduce pressure on their joints and improve symptoms of arthritis, allowing them to move with greater ease.

On the other hand, some older dogs may struggle to maintain their weight during the colder months. In such cases, providing them with a slightly larger portion of food can help them maintain their proper weight and overall health.

If your dog suffers from arthritis, adding a daily supplement to their food such as 4CYTE EPIITALIS Forte Gel can help to reduce joint stiffness that is often exacerbated by colder weather.

Exercise is also important for promoting good circulation, maintaining muscle tone, and supporting joint health during winter. Short, regular walks can go a long way in helping your ageing companion stay active and healthy.

Don’t forget about regular health checks

Regular vet check-ups are crucial for monitoring your senior dog’s weight, dental health, and overall well-being throughout the winter season. These check-ups will ensure that any potential health issues are caught early and that appropriate measures are taken to address them. Our vets can also provide specific advice for your pet about diet, exercise and anything else which will help them to be more comfortable during these colder months.

To make an appointment at our Gawler vet clinic, please call us on 08 8318 1801 or book online.

If you are looking to purchase items that will help your dog keep warm, cosy and healthy during the winter months, such as dog coats, bedding, food or supplements, our online pet store has a great range of options available.