Help Your Senior Dog Cope with the Cold-Weather Months

puppy11Your Labrador retriever Sammy has always been a canine cold weather fan. When the fall days became brisk, and the nights grew almost frigid, he still clamored to get outside for potty walks. Even during the icy winters, your energetic pooch took every opportunity to romp in the great outdoors. After he turned nine, however, Sammy gradually became more reluctant to leave your home’s toasty warmth. Now when you coax him outside, he quickly completes his business and heads for home. Sometimes, he even seems cold inside the house. You’d like to help your canine companion better handle the chilly weather months. Fortunately, your veterinarian has provided advice that should keep him more comfortable.

Body-Friendly Warmth

Because Sammy’s a senior pooch, he has a tougher time maintaining his body temperature, especially in extreme cold weather. His ultra-short-coated whippet and greyhound friends find it even harder.

The solution is simple: buy your canine companion a colorful, warm sweater at your pet supply store. If you’re certain of his size, investigate online retailers’ products. Consider reworking thrift-store children’s clothes; or craft a warm custom garment that will turn heads. Finally, minimizing your dog’s time outdoors will help him stay warmer.

Physical Exercise Program

Generally speaking, you should ramp down the intensity of Sammy’s exercise program while providing him with more opportunities to move his body. A leisurely daily walk satisfies both requirements.

However, even a short cold-weather jaunt can make his joints feel stiff and tender; and he might be somewhat clumsy. Try to avoid walking on snow or ice. If your dog slips and falls, he could easily become injured. Indoors, position yourself below him as he climbs the stairs or jumps onto the furniture. If he takes a tumble, you’ll be there to catch him.

Beneficial Mental Workouts

As your senior canine housemate soaks up your home’s warmth, help him to challenge his mind. Treat puzzles are ideal, as he must break out his problem-solving and coordination skills to retrieve a vet-approved snack.

When bedtime arrives, invite Sammy to enjoy his soothing warm cocoon. A therapeutic foam bed is desirable, as the foam conforms to your dog’s body while supporting his joints. Ask your veterinarian if a pet-safe heating element might increase your companion’s comfort. To help your senior canine stay comfortable during cold weather, contact us for expert advice.

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