As the temperature drops the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis can intensify. Arthritis is described as inflammation of the joints generally caused by wearing or damage to the cartilage in the joint causing the bones to rub together. Ouch!
It can be debilitating for even the toughest animals and becomes more common as they age- the sad reality is arthritis can be a daily battle for pets.
Although there’s no cure the good news is there are many ways in which we can alleviate the pain in our pets easing them through a more comfortable winter which ultimately means they’ll be living their best life!
How we can help alleviate arthritis pain –
Jackets and coats- Pets feel the cold just as humans do, they’ll love the comfy cosy feel and warmth of a jumper. These can benefit in particular pets that spend time outdoors, elderly, short coated, small or lean pets.
Raised beds and soft bedding- this will provide a barrier between sore joints and the cold hard floor- if your pet is unable to get up onto a raised bed, a rubber mat and soft bedding will help ease achy joints.
Environment- consider the environment they live in during summer, is it still suitable for the cooler months? If outdoors, make sure they are able to escape the cold by providing shelter such as a kennel or access to an area that is warm, dry and draft free. Your pet would also love access to a sun drenched area to relax on a chilly day.
Regular exercise- it is vital we keep up with regular exercise on a daily basis especially in older pets- keep them lean, fit and keep their joints moving! It’s important an arthritic pet does not gain unnecessary kilos- Even a kilo will put more strain on their already damaged joints plus there are other health related issues that come with obesity in pets.
Provide steps or ramps up to their favourite spot on the couch or into the back of the car rather than allowing them to jump- this will minimise the impact on sore, arthritic joints.
Place mats on slippery floor tiles and keep nails short to help them maintain their grip on the floor.
Prescription medication- As their arthritis progresses your pet may benefit from veterinary prescribed anti inflammatory/pain relieving medication to maintain their comfort.
Supplements and diets- there are many products available that are specifically targeted for animals with joint conditions which support joint health and may even slow the progression of arthritis
Vet check up- in an ageing pet we recommend that cats and dogs approximately 8yrs and over should visit the vet at least every 6 months, things can change very quickly in an ageing pet and regular visits may help detect more serious health problems early.
If you have any concerns or questions please contact our friendly team on 4362 1644