Winter can be tough on arthritic pets, whose stiff joints only get more uncomfortable with the cold weather. We want to offer these tips to help alleviate your furry friend’s aches and pains.
Provide firm bedding near heat sources
Although soft, fluffy beds look appealing, they provide little support, especially for arthritic joints. As your pet lies on their soft bed, they compress the layers of fluffy padding, essentially leaving them lying on the floor. Instead, give your older pet a firm, orthopedic bed that provides additional support and cushion. If possible, place multiple beds in varying distances from heat sources, such as vents and space heaters, to let your pet choose how much warmth they desire.
Provide soothing warmth with a heated bed
Add a heating pad to your pet’s favorite resting area. Check the heating element carefully to prevent burns, electrical problems, or fires. If your pet has difficulty moving, monitor their temperature and comfort to ensure they don’t become too warm because they can’t move off the heating pad.
Keep walkways free from ice and snow
Young pets whiz by senior dogs when venturing outdoors in icy conditions, unafraid of slipping and falling, but your older pooch will need help to keep their balance and prevent a painful sprain, so use pet-safe salt on paths where they walk. Also, clear an outdoor area where your dog has plenty of room to safely eliminate without slipping on ice or snow, as posturing to urinate and defecate may already be painful for some arthritic pets.
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian
Senior pets can’t simply pop a Tylenol—it can kill them—when they’re feeling the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, so schedule an appointment with our team to discuss the best options for pain relief. We can create a multimodal pain-management plan to help your pet get back on their feet.
Is your arthritic pet struggling with achy joints? Contact us to schedule an appointment.