A good pet-coat or jumper will give coverage from the neck to the base of the tail while also giving protection to their belly. Make sure your pet’s coat is the right fit and isn’t restricting movement.
Remember, don’t leave your pet’s coat on once they are in a heated indoor environment as they may over-heat under all those layers!
Make sure your pet’s bed is away from drafts and elevated off cold, hard surfaces. You should raise the bed off the ground and add an extra blanket for warmth and comfort. Try not to place the bed too high though, as cold temperatures are especially tough on older dogs or cats with stiff joints who may have difficulty in movement after long periods of rest.You can place a heating pad or disc in their bed (avoid hot water bottles as there may be the temptation to chew!) to gently warm up the bedding and create a cosy, warm and safe sleeping environment.
If your dog is usually kept outside, you could bring them indoors to sleep at night, somewhere warm and dry, away from cold drafts and damp.
Or, brave the cold, grab the lead, put on both your winter coats, and head out for a brisk walk together! Your dog will still love the joy of their walk even if it’s a bit colder, and you will feel better for the exercise too.
Make sure your pet has a warm, comfortable rest area away from drafts and elevated off cold, hard surfaces. If you notice your pet is showing signs of discomfort associated with arthritis, you should take them to their vet for a check-up. Signs of pain or discomfort include stiffness, chewing or licking certain joints, difficulty walking up or down stairs, eating slowly and noticeable behavioural changes.
Your vet may recommend a number approaches to help treat arthritis:
Be mindful that all medications have side effects, so be sure to discuss the prescribed drugs in detail so you can decide the best course of treatment for your pet.
Rebecca is a full-time marketing professional with experience working in London, Sydney and Brisbane. As a member of the RSPCA creative team, Rebecca hopes her volunteer work will help re-educate the community and change attitudes towards animal welfare.