Growing older isn’t optional for your Golden Retriever and a lot of the suffering that goes along with that can be particularly painful during the cold winter months.
The aches and pains that go hand and glove with getting to the upper reaches of middle age and beyond for a dog can be minimized during cold weather in a few easy steps without much effort or expense on your part.
When you think about where your senior dog will sleep ---- think soft and think warm. For older dogs, especially large ones like Goldens, check out beds made of therapeutic foam that conforms to your pet’s body shape while supporting every joint.
Of course, a warm bed isn’t the only way to make your senior Golden more comfortable. To increase mobility for dogs, look for booties to stop slipping and steps that make it easier for your dog to get on the couch or into bed with you. Many older dogs may also appreciate a warm jacket when they go outside on cold winter days.
Being an overweight dog is funny only if you’re in a Pixar movie. For real-life Goldens, it means a shorter lifespan and a sicker and possibly more painful one as well.
Overweight dogs are at higher risk of developing diabetes. And extra pounds can make for creaky joints and uncomfortable daily movements. Try to monitor your senior Golden's diet and adjust as necessary ---- especially during the cold winter months.
While soft beds and leaner bodies have always been best for senior dog care, it’s only in recent years that veterinarians have been able to offer medications, supplements, and other measures that can reduce or even eliminate the pain during cold weather months. All pain-management plans MUST BE developed by your own personal veterinarian.
Complementary and alternative medicine also has much to offer older dogs suffering from chronic pain. Acupuncture, physical therapy, and supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can help promote better joint functioning and improved mobility. Again, it's very important to talk to your vet directly about options for your specific senior dog.
Keeping your older Golden Retriever comfortable in the winter is easy ---- and it’s all up to you to help your furry best friend. Ease your dog's pain and he will enjoy the winter season far more. And that means you will, too.
Do you have any senior Golden tips for keeping your older dog comfortable and happy during the cold winter months? Please share them with us at GRRA. We'd love to hear from you!