Winter Comfort Tips For Your Senior Dog

Don’t let the winter chill your senior dog to the bone.

Seniors feel the cold more than the rest of us—and that goes for dogs as well. Cold goes right to their bones, and if he has arthritis, the winter will make it hard for him to get around or sleep on the floor. But winter doesn’t have to be miserable for your golden oldie. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep him comfortable.

More Indoor Time

Cold temperatures don’t always agree with a senior dog, so you might have to cut back on his backyard time when the northern winds blow through. Make sure that outdoor time is closely monitored and sessions are kept short. As always, if you know your dog well you can better evaluate how long is too long, since each individual dog can have different cold tolerances.

Bundle Up

In the winter, a fur coat doesn’t always cut it. The chill can easily penetrate a short coat, so offer your dog a properly fitted sweater or jacket. It doesn’t matter if he’s just going outside for a few minutes or if it’s time for your daily walk—he needs some extra protection from the elements.

Bone and Joint Protection

Just like us, your dog’s bones and joints may start to deteriorate as he ages. Pain and stiffness are felt more keenly in the old weather. You may choose to add supplementary glucosamine and chondroitin in his diet, which can be found in powder or solid form

Another way to keep joints lubricated if to keep your dog moving. Your dog’s joints can become stiff and sore if they aren’t used regularly, so keep taking your dog for a daily walk or include daily indoor exercise. If you take your dog outdoors for exercise, consider putting boots on his feet for extra traction to prevent falls.

Sweet Dreams

While your senior dog might have a comfortable place to sleep, the floor could be extra cold, making that bed not as useful as it is other during other seasons of the year. Consider tucking your senior dog into a plush dog bed or a raised dog bed. A padded dog bed will keep him off the cold floor and it will recycle some of his own body heat back to him. Try a model that has cushioned bolsters around the edges. An elevated dog bed can also keep your dog off the cold floor and it provides some extra support for his bones and joints. If your dog suffers from arthritis, consider a memory foam dog bed for maximum bone and joint support.

Comfort Food

During this stage of his life and in this kind of weather, feeding your dog a high-quality diet will help to keep his energy levels up and will help him to feel better overall. Overweight dogs will benefit from a weight management formula—losing a bit of weight will reduce the strain on his bones and joints.

Winter is tough on all of us, but it takes a particular toll on our senior dogs. Keep the cold at bay and your dog comfy, so you can spend many more winters together…warm and toasty!

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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