How To Manage Your Pet’s Arthritis
If you have a cat or dog that suffers from arthritis, winter is not a fun time of the year. The colder months can mean that your pet’s already sensitive bones and joints become more stiff and uncomfortable. But there are ways that you can help them! Take a read through some of our best tips for helping your pet through the cold winter months.
Maintaining a healthy weight
One of the most important parts of managing your pet’s arthritis is maintaining a healthy weight. When your dog or cat carrying extra weight, an unnecessary pressure is placed on their joints. This can accelerate arthritic changes, causing more pain and immobility. Make sure that your pet gets enough exercise during the winter months. A small walk at their own pace will do wonders for their weight management, as well as keep them from going stir crazy.
Exercise will not only help to maintain your pet’s weight it will also help to keep their joints and muscles moving, helping to reduce stress and pressure. Controlled exercise such as walking and swimming is very beneficial for dogs that suffer arthritis. Avoid exercise that has sharp movements such as chasing a ball and running. For cats, maintaining movement by walking is also beneficial for arthritis – this could be as simple as moving their food bowl to the top or bottom of a stair case (if they’re mobile enough). Leaping and jumping unnecessarily is not recommend and may cause pain.
Comfort is key!
Making sure your pet’s home environment is comfortable and cosy will help their arthritis. For example, providing a warm place to sleep, plenty of comfy bedding, and providing alternatives to stairs (such as ramps) will also give your pet comfort and help them to relax. Massage therapy is also very beneficial in keeping blood circulating and helping ease some stiffness.
As you pet gets older, it is likely that their arthritis will become more severe and cause them significant discomfort. There are a number of treatments that your vet can recommend based on age, weight, the extent of arthritis, and exercise habits. If you think that your pet may be suffering arthritis and needs additional treatment, please contact your vet today to discuss your options.