During winter, you might start to see different conditions begin to flare up in your furry friend. One of the most common conditions is osteoarthritis.
Like in people, cooler weather can affect the joints and your dog or cat might start to show signs of arthritis. Arthritis mainly affects our older pets, and you can see signs such as stiffness in the legs, being slow to rise and lameness. If your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis by your vet, they may already be on some nutritional supplements or other medication to help support their wellbeing.
At home, there are a few things you can do to help your pet. Rugs and carpets not only help to keep warmth in your house but provide a non-slip surface for your pet to walk on. Our pets usually have stiff joints and can slip and slide on a slippery surface when walking. When taking your dog for a walk, slow and steady exercise is best. Notice cues from your dog from how long or intense their walks are, and make adjustments to not exacerbate their pain. It’s important for the physical and mental health of your dog to go on walks, but you may need to change your walks in some way.
Finally, giving your friend a warm, comfortable place to sleep will help. If your dog usually sleeps outside, consider bringing them inside with a soft bed and rugs. If keeping them inside is not possible, a good quality insulated kennel with some extra rugs will provide some extra protection against cold nights.
If you are concerned your pet may have arthritis or their pain is affecting their quality of life, please book a consult with one of our friendly vets.