Have you noticed that your dog takes longer to get up in the mornings or is slower on her walks? This may not just be due to the unwillingness to bear the icy outdoor temperatures. Joint aches and pains caused by arthritis are often exaggerated in colder temperatures. Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints and in most cases a sign of “wear and tear” in older dogs.
Our precious pooches can be pretty tough so will often try to hide signs of pain. If you have noticed they have slowed down on walks or are finding it difficult to climb stairs or even limping this may be due to arthritis.
5 key steps to help ease arthritic signs:
- You can help your furry friend by keeping her warm at night with a pet safe heat pad or hot water bottle, and always ensure she has a soft bed to sleep on.
- Say no to pudding and hot chocolates! Excess weight or “winter pounds” as I like to call it will lead to extra strain on the joints. Try and ensure your dog remains at a healthy weight.
- Joint supplements such as Glucosamine given daily can also help with reducing signs of arthritis. Glucosamine is found naturally in the connective tissues of our and our pooch’s bodies. It helps with cartilage formation and repair.
- Muscle massages can be very helpful. This can be done by yourself or by canine massage therapists. Massaging muscles will help to reduce muscles surrounding affected joints from atrophying (shrinking in size from lack of use). Just like the effects on us, massaging can also help to reduce the stresses of the day.
- Warm compresses on joints will aid in reducing pain. A compress can be applied to the joint for 10 minutes each time. Make sure the compress is not too hot! Heat enhances circulation so more nutrients reach those achy joints.
Does your dog suffer from stiff or sore joints in the colder weather? Have you tried any of these techniques? Tell us in the comments below.