Reprinted with permission from Hindy Pearson, Caring for a Senior Dog. Copyright August 25, 2015.
Keeping your senior dog warm this winter is just one of the many things we can do to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
Your dog may be feeling the cold more than she used to, so why not buy her a sweater, or nice warm coat to wear on your walks, or even indoors if you think she needs it. Try putting it in the dryer for a couple of minutes to warm it up before going out (if it is suitable for the dryer of course!).
If you’d like to try crocheting your own dog coat, I’ve included a video tutorial. Believe me, I don’t have much of a clue when it comes to crocheting, but this is so easy, anyone can do it, and I do mean anyone.
Where your dog sleeps
Wherever your dog sleeps, make sure there’s no draft, and she’s nice and toasty.
Wrap her up!
I leave a blanket on every dog bed just in case Red gets cold. If she is, she wraps herself up in it. Consider leaving a blanket on your dog’s bed.
Keep the bed warm
Doggie heating mats and electric blankets can be added to your dog’s bed, or self heating mats if you don’t like the idea of electric ones. Hot water bottles can work too!
Don’t let your dog freeze outside
If your dog spends a lot of time in the yard, consider getting her a dog house, and insulate it with straw so she has a warm place to go. If she lives out there, the shelter should have an overhang so snow and rain do not get in, a sloped roof and heating. Better yet, let her join the family and live indoors.
Elevate the bed off a cold floor
Hardwood, concrete and tile floors can be quite cold in the winter, so if your dog’s bed is on that type of flooring, try getting a couple of carpet squares, towels or blankets to put under her bed, so it is not in direct contact with the cold floor.
No shaving in the winter
You may like your dog shaved pretty close in the summer months, but consider leaving her hair longer in the winter for insulation.
Don’t go outside if you’re wet!!
If you bathe your dog at home, don’t let her out until you are sure she is completely dry.
If there is snow and ice where you live, booties will protect your dog’s paws from the cold and salt. If she won’t wear them (like mine won’t!!), paw wax will work too. At least for Red it did!!
That frozen lake may not really be frozen
Looks can be deceiving, and deadly! Don’t go near frozen lakes or ponds, because they may not actually be frozen.
If you live in a cold climate, what ways to keep your dog nice and comfy?
Hindy Pearson is dedicated to creating as complete a resource as she can, for people who share their lives with seniors. She is a Pet Care Consultant, offering in home consultations to people who are looking for behaviour and training advice. Hindy Pearson runs The Saffy Pearson Resource Centre, a mobile resource offering the same advice as her pet consultancy business, only this service is free when at various locations. Her dream is to open The Saffy Pearson Retirement Home for Abused and Abandoned Animals.