Although all dogs need a bit of extra care throughout the winter months, it can be a particularly hard time for older pets.
As dogs get older, their susceptibility to illness and malnutrition increases, especially during the colder winter months. Because of this, you need to ensure that your older dogs are getting extra attention in winter to avoid illness or discomfort.
Keep them warm
Older dogs can feel the cold more keenly so you should avoid taking them outside for extended periods of time. If you do, make sure they are kept warm and put them in a waterproof jacket if necessary. Short-coated dogs will definitely benefit from a coat or jumper to stop them getting soaked through and help regulate their body temperature better.
It is also a good idea to move their bed next to a radiator and away from any draughts.
Check their feet
You should check each of your dog's paws on a regular basis, especially after going outside. The cold weather makes the ground harder, which can cause irritation, while ice or road grit can cut their pads. This can lead to infection.
Look out for frostbite
If you live in a particularly chilly location or get snow this winter, you should check your dog over regularly for signs of frostbite.
This can affect their feet, ears and tail. Frostbite can be spotted because it results in pale, white or glossy skin. If you suspect your dog has frostbite, you should take them to the vet straight away.
Feed them well
Older dogs need different levels of nutrition than puppies and younger pooches, so you should ensure they get all they need by giving them specially formulated foods.
Senior dog food, such as the varieties provided by James Wellbeloved, will give them all they need to stay strong and happy.
You may find that they need to eat a little bit more during winter to keep warm, but you should be careful not to overfeed them.
Written by: Hannah Dyball