As dogs age a number of changes occur to their body, mind and personality. Here are some tips for all you fellow senior dog owners to help your arthritic dog feel emotionally happier throughout the cold miserable winter months…
- Rather than skipping your dogs daily walk on the cold rainy days, feed his/her breakfast/diner in a food ball to encourage walking. Walking will also help to lubricate arthritic joints. Food puzzles help to stimulate the mind if walking is difficult.
- As warmth brightens the spirit, keep your dog cosy and warm by allowing him/her to sleep/rest inside out of the weather. Outdoors, position your dog’s bed near the back door, for a view of the family inside and out of the wind. Safely heat your dog’s bed with wheat bags or provide an electric heated bed. Warm bedding will also help keep your dog’s arthritic joints comfortable.
- Keep daily routines the same so your old dog can spend more time resting rather than guessing what is going to happen next. Refrain from dramatically changing around furniture in their environment, to reduce stress if your old dog has limited sight.
- Pheromones are available to help support your dog in a range of stressful situations. With the help of pheromones your old dog can feel less stressed and able to relax the day through, resting his/her arthritic joints on warm, comfy bedding.
Veterinary Nurse Kirstie Hancock is qualified in animal behaviour with her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Society. She has lots of great tips and ideas when it comes to misbehaving pets. Keep an eye out for her monthly tips on our Facebook page. Also check out her own business Facebook page - Positive Paws.