Dogs experiencing ailments must be well-taken care of during the cold months, especially those with canine arthritis and ones that are old. Currently, you may be experiencing the cold autumn wind brushing the nape of your neck; it signals that WINTER IS COMING. This may translate to snowball fights, sledding and the holidays. For arthritic dogs however, this means aggravated pain and less activity. Take note, people with arthritis testified that they feel more pain during the cold months. Dogs with arthritis will also experience this, given that the nature of human and canine arthritis is similar. Winter can also pose numerous dangers to dogs with healthy joints. With that said, here are some simple tips to take care of and prepare your dogs during and before winter:
Weight reduction and exercise
As early as the start of fall and regardless if your pooch has canine arthritis or not, you need to be able to shed off extra weight and strengthen the muscles, simply because your dog may not have any opportunity to do so during winter. Diet also plays a big part, so be sure to provide the right kind of food and the correct amount at that. A cold climate encourages lazy behavior and the snow may hinder your daily walks and play time in the dog park. Relieving the complications caused by obesity can lessen the effort pressed on the joints, minimizing the pain while exercise can lessen the effects of muscle atrophy or degradation. Given that exercises for arthritic dogs oftentimes involve bodies of water, getting wet during winter season is not really something that you should do to your pet.
Provide ample warmth and insulation
You need to be able to provide bedding and safe heating sources to your dog especially if it has canine arthritis. Simply do so by giving it warm blankets every now and then, letting them sleep on the carpet near the heater or fireplace and by permitting them to sleep on the bare, concrete or tiled floors. Aside from providing a place to sleep, you may also resort to using winter coats specially for dogs – these products have gained an ample fan base in the past few years because of their effectiveness. Lastly, when worrying about the cold, you should worry about burns as well. Though it may sound ironic, burns from heat sources like fireplaces, gas logs and heaters are common, so be sure to keep your pet at a safe distance
Keep them indoors as much as possible
Limit your walks and exercises until temperatures have become bearable. To avoid untoward incidents and unwanted complications, keep your pets in the safety and warmth of the house. This will also minimize the chances of it consuming anti-freeze, a toxic substance that does what its name suggests. If walking or going out is inevitable, remember that certain breeds are more tolerant to the cold than others. St. Bernards and Huskies can last for days on the snow while Dachshunds and Pugs will certainly get frostbitten if they stay for hours.