If your dog has reached senior citizen status, it's time to start worrying about arthritis. Like humans, dogs can be severely affected by this debilitating disease. Cold weather can be particularly hard on dogs who are suffering from arthritis. The cold weather can increase the pain and make it difficult for dogs to move around. If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, you want to do what you can to reduce those painful winter flare-ups. The three methods described below can be used to help keep your dog comfortable and reduce arthritis flare-ups this winter.
Keep Your Dog Warm
If your dog has arthritis, it's important that you keep it as warm as possible during the winter months. One way to do that is to make sure it suits up whenever you take it outside. Your dog may have fur, but most canine fur coats still aren't warm enough to prevent arthritis pain. Be sure your dog has a coat on whenever you take it outside.
It's also a good idea to put protective booties on its feet, as well. This is particularly important if your dog has arthritis in its feet. When your dog is in the house, be sure to keep the temperatures warm. If your dog tends to get cold, place a heating pad in its bed. Be sure to turn the heating pad off before you retire to bed at night.
Get Your Dog Some Therapy
If your dog has arthritis, it might not like to move around as much as it once did. Unfortunately, the lack of exercise can increase the pain and joint stiffness associated with arthritis. To help reduce pain, joint stiffness, and inflammation, get your dog some therapy. Canine physical therapy sessions are a great way to help your dog cope with arthritis. Aqua therapy is another excellent treatment for canine arthritis.
Soften Your Dog's Sleep Area
If your dog has arthritis, you need to take a close look at its sleeping arrangements. If your dog is sleeping on the hard floor or in a bed that has inadequate cushioning, you should make some changes. Softening your dog's sleep area will help ensure your dog is comfortable when it's sleeping. Provide your dog with a padded bed, and place a thick blanket inside. If you have a large-breed dog, you'll need to elevate the bed, as well. That way, your dog doesn't need to bend down too much to get comfortable.
If your dog has arthritis, it's important that you monitor its pain level. If your dog appears to be in increased pain or is having a more difficult time moving around, you should contact your veterinarian.