Arthritis affects an estimated 10 million dogs, mostly seniors. A cold winter, damp weather only aggravates painful symptoms, making it harder for an arthritic dog to walk, run, or climb.
While medication relieves discomfort, many vets also recognise the benefits of low-level therapeutic heat to treat joint problems.
Just as a long soak in a warm tub works for us, the same is true for our dogs. Hot baths and traditional heating pads aren’t practical or safe ways to provide heat therapy. Vets now recommend using heated orthopaedic dog beds.
These specially designed beds usually feature a flat-screen heater within an orthopaedic foam bed that provides safe uniform heat at recommended temperatures. The heat therapy with an orthopaedic bed helps to evenly distribute body weight and eliminate pressure points while relaxing muscles and promotes increased mobility and activity.
Heat therapy can also be an effective tool for dealing with the stress caused by separation anxiety. Older dogs in particular can become anxious when left alone for long periods of time. This stress can often produce physical changes, such as tightening of the muscles. Resting in a heated bed increases blood flow and allows muscles to relax. The soothing comfort may also help to ease stiffness and anxiety.
For more information about how therapeutic heat can help your senior pooch, speak to your veterinarian. He or she can also recommend specific products that can relieve aching muscles and joints and improve your dog's overall health and well–being.
Review this article: