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Winter Care for Senior Pets

Whether you love the cold weather, or grit your teeth and count the days until spring, winter is approaching fast. Our four-legged friends may already have fur coats on, but they can still get cold, and may need some extra TLC in wintertime. Older pets are particularly susceptible to cold, so if your furry pal is entering their golden years, read on! Here, an Oconomowoc, WI vet discusses winter care for senior pets.

Bedding

Offer your pet a comfy bed to snuggle up in on those chilly winter nights. Older dogs may appreciate the extra support of an orthopedic bed. Heated beds may also keep your dog or cat cozy.

Food

Some of our furry friends may need to eat a bit extra in winter. Your animal companion may also benefit from certain supplements. Fish oil, for instance, can help keep your pet’s bones and joints lubricated, which can offer some relief to furballs that get stiff and sore in cold weather.

Comfort

Cold weather is just as uncomfortable—and dangerous—for pets as it is for people. If you have a kitty, we strongly recommend keeping Fluffy cozy and warm indoors. As for Fido, try to keep his walks short and sweet. If you do let your pet out, limit their outdoor time on frigid days, and make sure to provide a suitable shelter.

Exercise

Don’t let your dog or cat become a furry couch potato! Keep your pet moving by playing with them indoors. Toss a toy for Fido to fetch, or dangle a wand toy for Fluffy to bat around. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can all be rough on Fido’s cute paws. If your dog won’t go for wearing booties, use paw balm on his paw pads, and wipe his feet down daily with a damp cloth. Also, be sure to choose pet-friendly deicers.

Pain Management

Older pets often suffer from bone/joint issues, like arthritis or hip dysplasia. Ask your vet about pain management treatments, such as chiropractic or alternative therapies.

Grooming

Did you know that dead fur can actually decrease the insulating qualities of your pet’s coat? Regularly brushings will help your pet stay warmer, and keep them looking super cute!

Do you have questions about your pet’s health, diet, or care? Contact us, your Oconomowoc, WI pet clinic, anytime.

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