We’re well into fall, and that cold, damp winter weather is just around the corner! Since cool weather can leave joints especially stiff and tender, a drop in temperature can mean an increase in discomfort for pets suffering from arthritis.
Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in pets, affecting millions of dogs and cats in the United States. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, limping, loss of interest in playing or going on walks, difficulty rising, difficulty going up stairs, and a reluctance to be picked up or touched.
Make sure to keep an eye out for worsening symptoms over the new few months. If your arthritic pet does appear to be experiencing an increase in pain, consider making the following changes:
•Shorten exercise time: Some activity can be helpful for a pet suffering from arthritis pain, but shortening extended walks to a few short walks each day might be easier on the joints.
•Opt for a cushiony bed: Switch out your pet’s old, thin bed with a plush one for optimum joint comfort. Also, make sure your pet sleeps in a warm part of the house free of drafts.
•Modify your home to make it easier for an arthritic pet to get around: This could mean putting water bowls on both levels of a two-story home or purchasing ramps to make getting onto furniture easier.
•Discuss a joint supplement with your pet’s veterinarian: Supplements that support mobility and cartilage repair, like Cosequin and GlycoFlex, might be a good option for your pet. Speak with your vet regarding which supplement is the best choice for your individual pet.
For more information on canine and feline arthritis, check out our Pet Arthritis Infographic!