Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Cool Weather Care For Senior Pets
Every pet parent who is fortunate enough to be caring for a senior pet knows that older cats and dogs need a little bit of extra TLC. Now that fall is upon us (with winter close behind) it’s important to keep in mind the cool weather needs of our elderly pets.
Senior pets are especially vulnerable to heat and cold. You may notice underlying health concerns surfacing with your pet as temperatures drop. Take a few moments to bone up on ways you can keep your aging fur-baby warm, comfortable, and happy this season.
Keeping Seniors Warm And Toasty
ve thinning fur and less muscle mass than their younger counterparts, making it harder for them to keep warm in the fall and winter.
Keeping older pets indoors as often as possible is your best bet for protecting them from cold weather. If an older pet must be outside for a period of time, make sure they have a warm, dry, soft place to rest that is sufficiently sheltered from the elements and take special care to ensure that water bowls don’t freeze over.
Cool Weather Care For Arthritic Pets
For senior pets suffering from arthritis, the fall and winter chill can make their aches and pains even worse. Even the relatively mild winters in Placer County can feel bone chilling to an arthritic pet and decrease mobility even further.
Helping to mitigate your pet’s arthritis symptoms this season is as simple as making a few adjustments for your pet’s comfort and safety:
- Sleeping on a cold, hard floor is no fun for any pet, but it’s especially hard on the bones and joints of arthritic pets. There are many pet beds on the market aimed at providing support and comfort for older pets and those suffering from arthritis. Consider purchasing an orthopedic bed or better yet, splurge on a heated version.
- Daily exercise is important for arthritic pets, it lubricates stiff muscles and joints and helps to keep the disease from progressing rapidly. Even if it’s just a walk around the block with your dog or a short, gentle play session with your cat, incorporate a daily exercise routine into your cool weather pet care arsenal.
- Older pets, especially those suffering from arthritis, are more likely to fall indoors or slip on patches of ice while outside. Keep an eye on your pet as he or she navigates steps and other treacherous terrain. Make life easier for an arthritic pet by adding rugs or carpets to hardwood flooring and stairs, or make use of portable ramps or “pet stairs”.
Seasonal weight gain is a battle faced by many humans and pets alike, but extra pounds can be especially hard on older pets. Excess weight puts stress on bones and joints, leaving senior pets open to a host of other problems. Limiting or restricting your pet’s intake of treats and people food is helpful in preventing weight gain in the cooler months and make sure your pet is getting some exercise each day. Give us a call for pet food brand and portion control recommendations.