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Winterizing your pooch’s joint care
If you have a dog with arthritis, you know how joint pain and inflammation can cause lameness, limping or a lower activity level. However, with the cold temperatures that January, February and March can bring, your pooch may be exhibiting symptoms that are even worse than usual.
Cold, damp weather tends to exacerbate achiness in the joints – your pooch may be limping worse than usual, or may be reluctant to go up or down stairs or go outside. Although it is always important to provide your pooch with relief from this type of pain, you may want to ramp up your joint care regimen during the winter months with direction from your veterinarian.
If you don't usually give your pooch a joint supplement, now may be the time to start. Consider one with glucosamine for dogs, because this ingredient naturally occurs in dogs' healthy cartilage, and helps hydrate the joints by increasing the production of molecules that bind and hold water in the cartilage, providing cushioning for the joints. Dasuquin or Joint Chewys might be good pet drugs to try. You can give these to your dog in addition to pet drugs like Previcox that treat arthritis.
Items around the house can also improve your arthritic dog's quality of life. Investing in certain pet products like beds and dog steps can soothe achey joints and prevent impact that can be extra sore in the winter. Look for beds with memory foam like the Plush Memory Sleeper, as these provide the ultimate support to your pooch's joints. A heated bed can also soothe sore joints – the Thermo Heated Dog Bed is a good option for the floor, and the Heated Dog Pad can be placed on the couch if your pooch prefers to lounge there. If your dog likes to be on the couch, consider setting up Plush Foam Dog Steps so it doesn't have to jump up and down – a painful movement when the joints are sore and inflamed. Dog steps and ramps like the Deluxe Large Dog Ramp can also help Fido get in and out of the car.
You might also want to add some omega-3 into your pooch's diet. You can do this by switching to a pet food that has this nutrient added to it, or can give your dog a supplement like Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet, since this fatty acid helps with arthritis pain. Give your pooch a Greenies JointCare Dog Treats as a way to keep its joints and teeth healthy.