BRRR it's cold outside!
Winter is here and whilst there is no sign of Jon Snow it does mean it's time to pack away your favourite summery outfits and bring out the woolies. Thankfully in Queensland we are graced mostly with clear blue skies and temperatures that make our southern friends green with envy however we can’t ignore that slight chill that creeps in morning and night. It's that chill that makes getting out of bed hard, not just for us but for our furry friends also.
As temperatures cool already painful joints in pets can be exasperated making them even more painful. To offset this and keep those joints moving with less difficulty it's important to keep your pet warm and comfy. Offer your pet a padded bed that is raised off the cold ground, that can be easily accessed. If the pet is outdoors, place the bed in a kennel that is protected from the colder elements such as rain and wind. If the pet sleeps indoors ensure the bed is away from draughts. Winter jackets can also be purchased for your pet to keep them snugly and come in very many fashionable styles and colours.
Exercising in winter is just as important as it is in warmer weather however if your pet has arthritic joints they may feel stiff and lack mobility. Allow your pet time to wake up and move around before exercising. Applying heat packs to your dogs joints may also assist relieving stiffness. If you find there are many days when the weather is just too cold or wet to go outside, be mindful of the amount of food your pet is consuming, you may need to adjust their diet if you feel they are gaining weight as this can put extra pressure on your pets joints.
Signs that may indicate your pet is feeling uncomfortable during these cooler months are if they are limping or lame, have difficulty jumping or climbing, or you notice a change in their personality or a lack of willingness to run or play. Over the years there have been leaps and bounds with supplements and medication that can assist our aging pets. If you feel that your pet may benefit from taking supplements or medication to assist with the relief of arthritis it is advisable to make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the options that will suit your pet best.