Reducing the Pain of Arthritis During the Winter
Both people and pets feel more pain in cold weather. Cold air causes muscles to stiffen, causing pain for even those that do not suffer from joint problems. Pets with arthritis can get extremely stiff and uncomfortable during the winter.
What is Arthritis?
Normal wear and tear on the joints causes the cartilage to wear away. This allows the bones to rub together. Arthritis can occur in any joint, but it is most common in the hips, knees and ankles of pets. Discomfort is typically mild at first, but gets worse over time.
Arthritis is common in older pets. It advances quicker in pets that are overweight, due to the extra pressure placed on the joints. Arthritis cannot be cured but there are ways to reduce the pain and slow its progress.
If your pet is overweight, it’s important to get their weight under control. This is the first step in slowing the progress of arthritis. A healthy, low-calorie diet can help your pet shed extra pounds. Speak with your veterinarian about weight loss diets and pet foods specially designed to improve joint function in older pets.
Remember to switch your pet’s diet gradually. Mix a little bit of the new food with their old food while they adjust. Slowly increase the ratio of the new food until you’ve completely eliminated the old food. This will help your pet avoid upset stomach and digestive issues.
Regular exercise is important for joint health. However, you’ll want to make sure that the exercise isn’t placing excessive pressure on the joints. Keep activities short and watch your pet carefully for signs of distress. Swimming is an excellent, non-weight bearing activity for pets suffering from arthritis.
Keep Your Pet Warm
It’s important to keep your pet warm and comfortable throughout the winter. Provide them with a soft, padded bed in a warm location, preferably indoors. Clothing such as dog sweaters or t-shirts can help keep your pet’s joints warm.
Claws N Paws Day Spa offers full service grooming for both dogs and cats. Our groomers are specially trained to groom pets suffering from arthritis. Please call 714-962-1005 to schedule a grooming appointment.