6 Tips For Keeping Your Senior Dog
Comfortable In Cold Weather

The winter months can be a difficult time for senior dogs. As temperatures drop, certain risks increase for your dog. Like joint pain, difficulty regulating body temperature, and dulled senses. These can make cold weather uncomfortable or even dangerous.
Here are 6 tips for keeping your senior dog comfortable in cold weather, what to look out for, and how to keep them happy and healthy all autumn and winter long.

1. Increased Joint Stiffness and Discomfort

Researchers believe that cooler, damper weather causes a drop in barometric pressure, which is the force exerted by the weight of the atmosphere. This drop can generate an inflammatory response in the joints, causing the tissues to swell, which then puts pressure on the nerves. Minor variations in barometric pressure should not cause severe pain in your dog’s joints, but some discomfort and stiffness might be felt.
In addition, shorter days, colder temperatures, and harsh weather conditions may decrease the amount of exercise your pet gets in the autumn and winter, which results in inactivity that can make arthritis pain worse.


·Maintain Exercise Levels.

Proper exercises can maintain your dog’s cardiovascular system and muscles, a walk provides mental stimulation which is vital for your pet’s wellbeing.

·Give them assistance.

For dogs with arthritis, cold weather can make their joints more stiff and painful. To make these everyday activities more comfortable for them, consider a ramp to help them get on and off elevated surfaces easier. Limit their stair use as much as possible by setting up a comfortable space in your home that keeps them on one level.

·Apply heat therapy.

The application of heat is used to reduce stiffness and muscle spasms, increase blood flow and relieve pain, which is helpful for ongoing conditions such as chronic pain and arthritis. They’re also good choice for warming up joints and relaxing muscles after exercise. Also, heat therapy will keep their joints warm in cold weather. Related: PetieTec Home Use Heating Therapy Braces For Dog Joint Pain.

2. Greater Danger of Slipping/Falling and Exposure to Toxins

During icy and snowy conditions, slippery surfaces increase the risk of injuries due to falls. And while salting is a convenient solution for humans, the types of salt used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh for our four-legged friends. These salts – typically calcium or sodium chloride – can irritate the pads of your dog’s feet and are toxic if ingested.


Rubber booties can provide the traction necessary for a walk on a slippery surface and protect your pup’s paws from harsh chemicals and ice.

3. Difficulty Regulating Body Temperature in Sick or Elderly Dogs

Low body temperature can affect your dog’s bodily functions in many ways, and older dogs and those with kidney problems, Cushing’s disease, or hormonal issues can have a harder time regulating their body temperature. A low body temp can affect how well their heart works, cause an irregular heartbeat, and bring about low oxygen in the body or a change in blood pressure. It can suppress the immune system, leading to a higher infection rate and slower wound healing. Cold can also affect the gastrointestinal system, slowing down digestion as well as making it harder for the liver to metabolize medications.


·Keep your pup indoors. As temperatures drop, it’s important to avoid leaving your dog outside for extended periods of time. When you let them out for short bursts, no longer than half an hour or so.
·Keep your pup warm outside. Consider giving them a sweater or coat to wrap their entire body is a very good option.

4. Increased Risk of Disorientation

Dogs rely heavily on their strong sense of smell to get their bearings and know where they are. During a storm or when snow and ice blanket the ground, these smells get covered up and it’s easier for your dog to get disoriented.


Don’t let your dog off leash. Even if your pup is usually trustworthy roaming on their own, it’s not worth the risk of them getting lost. Limit their outdoor time to leashed walks or enclosed areas.

5. Potential Skin Irritation

Low humidity and home heating can dry out your pup’s skin and coat.


Add Omega 3s. While we may apply topical lotions or lip balms, the best solution for your dog is to hydrate from the inside out by adding oil to their diet.

6. Risk of Being Left in Cold Cars

A lot of attention is paid to the dangers of leaving an animal trapped in a hot car during the summer, but the risk is just as serious in winter. Car interiors become cold very quickly during the winter. This can make it impossible for a senior dog to warm up, leading to dangerously low body temperatures. It doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in during these conditions.


Never leave your pet alone in a car during the winter – or any other time.
As temperatures drop, remember that if it feels too cold for you, then it is probably too cold for your dog. Just a few slight shifts are all it takes on your part to keep your pup happy and healthy all autumn and winter long.