As the leaves begin to change and the air turns cool and crisp, us dog owners start to worry about the comfort of our senior doggos. "Are they cozy?", "Are they comfy laying on that dog bed by the fire?", "Will the icy ground hurt their sensitive paws?" Here are 5 tips and tricks to ensure your older dog's comfort throughout the winter months ahead:
- If you have a thin-skinned, short-haired senior buddy, consider buying or making a fluffy winter outer layer they could wear both indoors and out. Senior dogs tend to get stiff in the cold and the extra warmth of an added layer can help keep their bodies limber.
- Keep a shovel at your front door and back door for when it snows. Shovel a pathway on smooth and paved surfaces, especially stairs, to make sure your old furry friends can get the best grip when trekking downstairs or out to the yard to do their business.
- Use a pet-friendly ice melt such as Safe Paw or Green Gobbler, which can be found on Amazon, Chewy, or at most large pet stores. This ensures you're not damaging the sensitive skin on your doggo's paw pads. Bonus: it's typically safe for kiddos, too, and is more gentle around your home.
- Consider creating a standard wintertime exercise routine for your buddy - old dogs need exercise too, especially over the winter when we're all notorious for packing on the pounds. Two to three twenty-minute walks a day will do their - and your! - body and mind good.
- Make an extra batch of stew for your fuzzy friend. If you're already cooking up a recipe like beef stew or chicken soup for a really cold day, think about making a dog-friendly recipe to provide warmth and healthy calories for your buddy. Here's one we love:
Hearty Chicken Stew for Dogs
- 1lb boneless chicken (feel free to use cheaper pieces of meat like thighs...dogs don't mind!), chunked
- Two medium sweet potatoes, cubed 1 inch
- Three large carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small package frozen spinach
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup frozen or canned peas
- 3 cups of water
- Combine chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, and water into a pot and cook until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.
- Add in frozen peas, cooked rice, and frozen spinach. Cook until peas and spinach are warm/thawed.
- Wait until cool enough for your dog to enjoy and serve as a topping to their normal meal or treat them to a midday snack on a particularly cold day.
- Don't forget to boop their snoot while serving 🐶