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Holidays With Senior Pets

December 1, 2023

Season’s Greetings! The next month is going to be pretty hectic for many people, with so many events and festivities to keep up with. Younger pets will also stay busy playing with new toys and pawing at decorations. However, older dogs and cats will probably spend most of the next month napping. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers a few tips on keeping Fido and Fluffy happy, healthy, and safe over the holidays.

Offer Comforts

Keep your furry buddy’s age in mind when shopping. You’ll want to look for things that were made specifically for older pets. Soft beds are a great choice. For stocking stuffers, you can opt for things like supplements, paw balm or wax, dental products, or grooming supplies. Pet ramps or stairs are also a good bet.

Avoid Schedule Disruptions

This time of year can get pretty hectic, but try to keep your furry friends on a set routine as much as possible. Older pets tend to be creatures of habit, and just feel safer and more secure with a steady schedule. 

Be Cautious With Foods

Those delicious seasonal foods are a huge part of many holiday celebrations. Just be careful with what you share with your furry best friends. Rich or fatty items can upset Fido and Fluffy’s stomachs. Also, take care not to offer any unsafe foods. Some of these include garlic and onions; grapes and raisins; chocolate; alcohol; meat on the bone; avocado; pitted fruits; raw dough; and anything that contains xylitol.

Consider Care Options

Younger dogs may love going on car rides, but older pooches are often more comfortable staying at home. If you have travel plans, you may want to consider boarding or hiring a petsitter. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Provide Safe Places

Fido and Fluffy may find those seasonal gatherings a bit taxing. If you’re having a party, offer them a quiet, safe place, where they can sit out the festivities. A quiet back room is a good option. Provide the necessary items, such as beds, toys, food, and water, and turn a radio on to mask the noise. For tips on maintaining your cat’s grooming and health during the stressful holiday season, consider reading “Bathing Your Cat: Cat Care Tips From A Roanoke, VA Veterinarian.”

Keep Them Warm

Older animals have a hard time with extreme temperatures, and can struggle with the cold. Provide warm beds for your fuzzy retiree to snuggle up in. We also recommend keeping Fluffy indoors, and limiting Fido’s outdoor time when it’s cold.

Our Advice on Holidays With Senior Pets in 2024

How can you ensure older pets are comfortable and happy during the holidays?

To ensure older pets are comfortable and happy during the holidays, prioritize their needs by maintaining a consistent routine to provide them with a sense of security. Invest in comfortable bedding and age-appropriate toys or supplements. Be mindful of their diet, avoiding rich, fatty foods and hazardous items like chocolate and grapes. Provide a quiet, safe space away from the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings, where they can relax undisturbed. Keep them warm and indoors, especially in cold weather, and consider pet-friendly ramps or stairs to ease mobility.

What types of gifts are suitable for senior pets?

For senior pets, suitable gifts focus on comfort, health, and gentle stimulation. Soft orthopedic beds offer support for aging joints, making rest more comfortable. Supplements tailored for joint health or cognitive function can also be beneficial. Grooming tools or paw balms provide soothing care for their coat and skin. Toys that encourage light activity without straining their energy, such as puzzle feeders, keep their minds active. Additionally, pet ramps or steps can assist pets with mobility challenges, ensuring they can reach their favorite spots safely.

What care options should be considered for older pets when traveling?

When traveling with older pets, consider options that prioritize their comfort and health. For short trips, ensure their carrier is comfortable with familiar bedding. Use pet seat belts or carriers for safety and minimize stress with frequent breaks. For longer journeys, boarding with a reputable kennel or hiring a professional pet sitter might be better, especially if your pet finds travel stressful. Always consult your vet before planning a trip, particularly for pets with health issues, to discuss whether travel and any necessary precautions or medications are advisable.

How can you provide a safe, quiet space for senior pets during parties?

Designate a comfortable room away from noise and activity to provide a safe and quiet space for senior pets during parties. Ensure it has their favorite bedding, toys, and access to fresh water and food. A familiar blanket or clothing can offer additional comfort by carrying your scent. Consider playing soft music or using a white noise machine to mask party sounds. Checking on them periodically can reassure them and help maintain their sense of security amidst the festive chaos.

What steps can be taken to keep older pets warm in cold weather?

To keep older pets warm in cold weather, ensure they have a cozy, draft-free place to sleep, preferably with a heated pet bed or extra blankets for insulation. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature, especially in areas where your pet spends most of their time. For outdoor walks, consider protective clothing such as sweaters or jackets designed for pets. Limit their time outside in frigid temperatures to prevent discomfort or hypothermia. Regularly check their bedding for dampness or drafts and adjust room temperatures.

All of us here at want to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, anytime for holiday pet care needs and routine veterinary wellness & pet vaccinations. We’re here to help your pet stay happy and healthy!

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