Mature dogs or dogs who have problem joints as a result of obesity, disease or an accident can suffer when the weather turns. Stiff joints can be exacerbated by the cold, so our friends at Hill’s Science Plan have shared their top tips to improve joint health in your dog over the coming months.
1. Encourage daily gentle exercise
Your dog may want to run and jump around, but this puts a lot of strain on stiff joints. Alternatively, they may want to do the opposite and hardly move at all. Encourage low-impact exercise such as walking, swimming, and games that promote agile movements. Reward them with treats that promote healthy mobility.
2. Introduce a joint supplement
Joint supplements for dogs can help to improve their mobility. When and what age you should give your dog joint supplement depends on your dog’s overall health and your vet’s advice. Your vet will be able to recommend the best supplement for your dog.
3. Switch up their diet
The food your dog eats can also help to improve their overall health and joint mobility. Choose a specially-formulated recipe to support joint health, such as Hill’s Science Plan. Look for recipes that are made with EPA from fish oil, to keep joint cartilage healthy. All Hill’s Prescription Diet recipes, such as this tasty chicken dry food, contain glucosamine and chondroitin that are needed to help build blocks of healthy cartilage in joints.
4. Keep them comfortable
Your dog’s comfort should be a priority in the winter. Make sure their bed is protected from draughty, cold or wet areas. Cold, hard floors can cause stiff and sore joints so relocate or upgrade their bed to somewhere soft and warm. Many dogs change their sleeping spots between day and night, so make sure there are at least two cosy and inviting areas for them to snooze in.
5. Consider weight loss
Joint care for dogs includes keeping them in good physical condition. Excess body weight can add unnecessary pressure on already painful joints. Weight loss in dogs with joint issues can be tricky, but ultimately it will improve their quality of life. Encourage your dog to do more low-impact exercise and introduce a lower-calorie diet. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic & Mobility aids both weight loss and joint issues. Talk to your vet if you’re concerned about your dog’s weight.
Our articles are not a replacement for face-to-face vet advice. It’s important to consult with your vet on a regular basis to raise any pet concerns that you may have.