When Winter Woof Woofs Turn into Whines: Helping Your Senior Pup Manage Arthritis Flare-Ups

Wednesday June 19, 2024

As dog owners, we cherish those playful moments with our furry companions. But as our canine friends reach their golden years, those zoomies around the park might be replaced by a slower, stiffer gait. This can be especially true during winter when colder weather can trigger arthritis flare-ups.

Don’t worry, paw-some pet parent! There are ways to help your senior pup stay comfortable and keep those happy tail wags going strong all winter long.

Why Does Winter Make Arthritis Worse?

Think of your dog’s joints like well-oiled machines. In a healthy joint, cartilage acts as a smooth cushion, allowing for pain-free movement. But with arthritis, that cartilage wears down, causing inflammation and stiffness.

Now, here’s where winter comes in like a grumpy Grinch. Colder temperatures can cause the fluid surrounding the joints to thicken, making them even stiffer and more painful. On top of that, barometric pressure changes (think air pressure fluctuations) that often occur during winter can irritate those already sensitive joints.

Spotting the Signs of an Arthritis Flare-Up

Our furry friends are pretty good at hiding discomfort, but here are some signs to watch out for that might indicate your dog’s arthritis is acting up:

  • Stiffness, especially in the mornings or after periods of rest.
  • Difficulty getting up from a sitting or lying position.
  • Hesitation to climb stairs or jump on furniture.
  • Licking or chewing at painful joints.
  • A shorter stride or limping when walking.

Keeping Your Senior Pup Comfortable During Winter

Here are some tips to help your senior dog manage arthritis flare-ups and stay happy and active during the colder months:

  • Keep them warm and cozy: Provide a comfortable, draft-free bed with plenty of padding. You might even consider a heated pet bed for extra comfort.
  • Adjust their exercise routine: Shorter, more frequent walks on warm surfaces (like grass) can help keep your dog’s joints loose without overdoing it. Indoor playtime or games can also be a great way to stay active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra strain on joints, so keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial for managing arthritis.
  • Talk to your vet: Your veterinarian can recommend pain medication or supplements that can help manage your dog’s arthritis.

Dig-In Canine Prebiotics: Supporting Your Dog’s Overall Health

While Dig-In Canine Prebiotics aren’t a cure for arthritis, we believe in a holistic approach to canine health that can benefit your dog in a number of ways.

Dig-In Fresh is a great option for dog parents who love making homemade meals for their pups. Our prebiotic blend provides essential vitamins and minerals, while also promoting a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut is linked to a stronger immune system, which can be helpful for senior dogs who might be more susceptible to winter illnesses.

Dig-In Prebiotic Supplement is another great option for any dog food, including store-bought varieties. Our prebiotic formula helps support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, which is important for all dogs, but especially for senior pups whose bodies might not be as efficient at processing food.

Remember, a happy and healthy dog is a dog with a wagging tail! By making some adjustments to your dog’s routine and talking to your vet, you can help your senior pup manage their arthritis and enjoy a cozy and comfortable winter.