Winter can be tough on all creatures big and small especially, senior dogs and cats.

“During winter, the most common ailment we see in senior pets is arthritis. Older pets have sensitive joints and when the temperature drops these aches and pains can be much more painful than during other seasons”, says PETstock vet Jess Donohue.

She recommends padding your pet’s sleeping area with extra warm and comfortable bedding, adding that a warm wheat pack or water bottle may also help keep them warm throughout the night.

Jess also advises pet parents to be on the lookout for fleas.

“During winter, the combination of a heated home and pets that are indoors often provides the ideal breeding environment for fleas. It’s important to treat your pet all year round,” she said.

“Grooming, especially brushing, is still important during winter and will help you identify and control fleas and ensure that your pet’s coat does not become matted and uncomfortable.” 

Finally, weight gain is also a major concern for senior pets throughout the colder months. With lessened movement in their older age, senior pets that are house bound in winter are likely to pile on the pounds without intervention from their owner. 

“Less walks and more treats will lead to puddings, not pets!” she advises.

“Pet owners need to ensure that senior pets, particularly dogs, are kept as active as possible. Senior dogs should be taken on gentle daily walks, to stop the stationary winter lifestyle from affecting their weight. Otherwise, these gains can have a detrimental effect on their overall health, as well as loading their joints with extra stress.”

Article created in partnership with Over60