Winter provides lots of delights for pets and their humans. For many senior pets, though, the colder months provide nothing more than extra pain, discomfort, or unhappiness. Age-related illnesses or diseases have symptoms that colder temperatures exacerbate, and senior pets can suffer from respiratory or cardiac conditions, malnutrition, or depression. Even here in Texas, where the winters tend to be mild, the shift in temperature can affect senior pets, and shouldn’t be discounted.
Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is here to eliminate any guess work you may have by addressing some of the specific concerns facing your senior pet.
Brrrr! Or, The Winter Environment
Senior pets are far more susceptible to winter’s dangers and can quickly develop:
- Weather-related injury
Although temperatures in the San Antonio area can’t compete with the excruciating lows seen elsewhere, we can anticipate some pretty cold weather this year. And while frostbite and hypothermia are unlikely (unless you are traveling north), it’s still best to be aware of what to look out for, and prepare your senior pet accordingly.
Ow-Weee! Or, Your Ailing Pet
Senior pets commonly develop arthritis which can leave them in a state of limited mobility and flexibility, and possible pain. Providing the following will mitigate some of the symptoms he or she experiences:
- Soft, warm, and comfortable places to rest off the cold, hard floor
- Ramps or small steps to help your pet get to places in the home they have become accustomed to reaching (like your bed or the sofa)
- Sweaters may help keep your pet warm by increasing circulation
- Keep weight off your senior pet; do not allow extra calories to reduce the burden on arthritic joints
- Talk to us about pain management options, if your pet is not already on a plan
- Allow for some moderate, daily exercise to keep your pet’s spirits up and body limber
Protect Your Senior Pets This Winter
Pet owners can always try to intuit the needs of their senior pet but if you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Your senior pet could start displaying small shifts in behavior that are related to a possible medical problem.
If you notice that your senior pet isn’t responding to a previous routine, won’t eat or go outside, or falls on the ice or snow, call us immediately. We are always here for your senior pet throughout the year, but especially during the winter months when your pet is most vulnerable to the elements and age-related symptoms.