Winter isn’t far off now. While we (hopefully) still have some time before the worst of the cold weather hits us, it’s not too soon to start preparing. Pet owners will also need to do a few things to get ready for winter. If you have a senior, you’ll want to take extra care. A local Potomac, MD vet offers some advice on getting a senior pet ready for the cold weather in this article.
Older pets tend to be very tired: these guys can spend a rather ridiculous amount of time sleeping. They’re also very sensitive to temperature extremes. Make sure they have comfy beds. Fido and Fluffy may appreciate some extra warmth, such as a thermal blanket or heated bed.
Older cats sometimes have a hard time keeping up with their grooming needs. Fluffy can get quite stiff and sore, which can make it difficult to reach her entire body. Help her out by gently brushing or combing her.
Another note about grooming: if you bathe your dog at home, give him a full beauty treatment before it gets cold. If you take your pooch to a salon, choose one with a station that is easy for senior pets to get in and out of. Even being picked up and held can be uncomfortable for older animals! As for Fido, if you had his fur clipped for summer, let it grow out.
Your furry friend’s dietary needs will change over time. If your pet spends time outside, or even tends to get chilly easily, they may need bigger portions in winter. Supplements may also be beneficial. Just check with your vet, and find out what they recommend. Glucosamine may be a good option for an arthritic pup, while a kitty with vision problems may benefit more from a Lysine supplement.
As Fido and Fluffy age, they’ll become less interested in playing and will get more and more sleepy. However, they do need some exercise. Dogs may not want to spend much time outside. Senior cats should be kept in at all times, for safety reasons. Keeping your pet active through indoor play is a great way to help them stay fit and strong.
Senior pets can be a bit clumsy at times. Keep things like stairs, gates, and pools blocked off with gates or grates. Also, keep in mind that older pets may have a hard time getting around after dark. Turn a nightlight on for your furry friend. If Fido or Fluffy will be home alone after dark, put a nightlight on before you leave.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your local Potomac, MD pet hospital, we are here to help!