The cold season continues to freeze Melbourne and most of us are getting their winter coats, scarfs and beanies out to stay nice and snug. The heater and extra blankets help us to stay warm at home. What about our furry little friends? Do they feel the cold just as we do?
You may have noticed a shivering little dog here and there waiting in front of the coffee shop for his owner to return on a cold winter morning. Dogs do feel the cold just as we do, and although some of them have a thick coat for natural insulation, others don’t and need some extra protection. In general, puppies, geriatric dogs and breeds with a thin hair coat (Whippets, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Staffordshire Terrier) should wear a jacket on those cold and rainy days, as they cannot keep their bodies warm by themselves. https://www.weatherbeeta.com.au/weatherbeeta-dog , http://www.chillydogs.ca/ or http://www.greytsweaters.co.uk/ are some great sources for good quality coats.
If your dog is in the advanced age group (> 7 years of age) you may have noticed him/her being a little stiff in the mornings during the cold season and a little slower to get going. A lot of “oldies” love lying near the heater or fire place now and prefer to stay inside in cold weather. Just as people, when they get older, dogs also suffer from osteoarthritic pain and aching joints, and just as humans, they feel the stiffness and soreness a lot worse in winter.
There are a few things we can do to make the cold season more enjoyable for our senior dogs:
Keep the house nice and warm during the day, even when you’re not home.
Make sure your Dog has nice and comfortable bedding to sleep on- www.henryhottie.com is an Australian company, that provides therapeutic dog beds for warmth and support, specifically designed for our aging friends.
Heat packs/wheat packs don’t just relax our sore necks and backs, the can do the same for your Dog. Try placing one on your dog’s tender lower back or shoulders, when you enjoy your night time cuddle and see if he/she likes it (be careful the heat pack is not too hot!!!)
Gentle massages over the entire back on a daily base can make a huge difference for ageing dog. Start at the enck and gently pick up the skin under your fingers, then gently work your way down to the tail in tiny little rolls. You may notice, that at the beginning you cannot pick up much skin at all, as your furry kid is very tender- this will improved over time, if the massages are done frequently.
Other things you can do to help slow down the progression of osteoarthritis are oral joint supplements (e.g. 4Cyte Canine, Glyde Oral Powder), arthritis injections and pain relief if needed- feel free to book your dog in for an arthritis check and we can arrange an individual treatment plan for your best friend, to make sure he is comfortable for many years to come.