Dogs and people share many common features. For example, as a human and a dog age, they both have a harder time dealing with extremes in weather. They both need to take extra precautions during wintertime. There are a number of steps you need to take when it comes to caring for your elderly dog in winter:
Schedule An Appointment With The Vet
A dog’s bones and joints can be significantly and negatively affected by wintertime cold temperatures. Therefore, seriously consider scheduling an appointment with the vet in advance of wintertime.
During this vet appointment, you can have your companion examined to obtain guidance about exercising your dog during the winter months. You can also discuss whether there might be some dietary changes that can benefit your elderly dog during the winter.
Always keep in mind that elderly dogs are more frail than younger one, quite like humans. Therefore, you need to be proactive in preparing your dog for wintertime and you need to keep in the status of his or her health throughout the colder time of year.
Review And Adjust Your Dog’s Diet
After consulting with the vet, you may determine that making some alterations to your dog’s diet is a wise step in winter. There are a number of steps you can take to enhance your dog’s diet during the wintertime.
First, you may want to consider adding supplements to your dog’s diet that can assist with joints. Two common supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate commonly are recommended by vets to assist senior dogs with their all important joints during the winter months.
Second, keep in mind that your dog’s diet can be a bit tricky. Your senior dog will expend more energy in the wintertime if he or she is walking, playing, and spending time out of doors. Therefore, you will want to up your dog’s caloric intake, but do so in a healthy manner. You do not want your dog to take on unnecessary weight in the in the wintertime.
Typically, the best way to enhance your dog’s diet for wintertime is to add more protein. Once again, before making dietary changes in anticipation of winter, consult the vet.
Exercise Is Important
Merely because winter has arrived does not mean that your senior dog should remain indoors all the time. Yes, you definitely need to take care that your dog is not exposed improperly to the cold. However, you also should incorporate outdoor activity into your dog’s daily routine, unless the weather is particularly bad.
A perfect course you can take with your elderly dog during the wintertime months is to take him or her for a half hour walk. In this regard, consider buying your pooch snow booties and perhaps a winter coat. Some dogs have a double coat of fur and a winter coat may not be necessary. Make sure you have your dog wear the booties indoors, as a means of getting use to them, well before you have him or her wear them for an outside work.
Keep in mind that your dog can exercise and play take place indoors. Schedule time to play with your dog indoors every day. This can be enjoyable for you and beneficial for your pooch.
Finally, consider feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day. This gets your dog up and moving around to eat with regularity as the day goes on.
Cozy Place To Sleep
You likely already have a bed or other place set aside for your canine to sleep. Whether or not he or she uses it can be a whole different story. Understanding these challenges, there are some steps you need to take to enhance your dog’s comfort when sleeping.
In wintertime, comfort and warmth, inside and outside, becomes more important for an elderly dog. An older dog must have a warm and comfortable bed. There are some simple steps you can take to enhance your dog’s sleep space.
The bed needs to soft to protect your dog’s bones and joints. If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis or some other joint problem, consider obtaining a memory foam bed. In addition, a raised bed can keep your dog off the cold floor, keep him or her warmer and more comfortable.
By employing these strategies for your elderly dog in the wintertime, your dog will be happier and healthier. These steps work to protect your pooch from getting sick in the wintertime as well. You will turn the wintertime into a truly enjoyable part of the year for your best friend.
Jessica Kane is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.