In the golden years of our pets’ lives, their care requirements evolve. Winter, with its cooler temperatures and chilly winds, can be especially challenging for our senior pets. So, if you want to keep your aging friend healthy and comfortable this winter, read this practical guide.
Maintain Their Weight
Just like us humans, when the weather cools down, pets want to eat more and exercise less. Senior pets are at particular risk of weight fluctuations due to natural changes in their metabolism and reduced physical activity. Excessive weight can exacerbate health problems like arthritis, which is common in older pets. In some cases, health conditions can also cause weight loss, meaning pets lack the necessary fat to insulate themselves during winter.
To keep them healthy, regularly monitor your senior pet’s weight and provide regular, gentle exercise to keep them fit without overstressing their joints. Provide balanced nutrition appropriate for their age, breed and health conditions and avoid overfeeding them.
Introduce Supplements To Their Diet
Dietary supplements can support your senior pets’ overall health, especially during winter. Many senior pets suffer from inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and chronic skin irritations and can benefit from anti-inflammatory supplements, such as:
- Omega fatty acids: For healthy skin and coat and to counter winter dryness
- Glucosamine and chondroitin: To support joint health and mobility
- Vitamin E and Selenium: To boost the immune system
Remember, always consult your vet before introducing any dietary supplements.
Keep Them Warm And Comfortable
Senior pets can struggle to maintain their body temperature, making them more susceptible to the cold. Provide a well-padded, warm bed away from drafts to ensure they stay warm and cosy and offer extra blankets for added warmth when needed. Remember, if you’re cold, they’re likely cold too!
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
Regular vet visits are crucial for senior pets and in winter, more frequent visits may be required, as the cold can exacerbate existing health conditions. Regular vet visits allow for:
- Early detection of any potential health concerns
- Vaccinations to protect against winter ailments
- Discussing any behavioural changes you’ve noticed
- Dental checks to maintain their oral health
Want To Keep Your Senior Pet Healthy This Winter?
Contact Illawarra Animal Hospital today. Our team of compassionate veterinarians and vet nurses can provide a thorough examination of your elderly pet and provide expert advice on how to care for them as they navigate their golden years. Remember, the love and care you invest in your senior pets during the winter months can contribute significantly to their comfort, health and overall quality of life.