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The weather is getting much colder throughout the U.S., and with colder temperatures comes joint stiffness in our older fur-babies. This is primarily due to an increase in blood flow to the major organs, which is how the body stays warm. While the major organs have increased blood flow, this means that there’s less blood flowing to the limbs, making the joints colder and stiffer.
As pets get older, the issue becomes more pronounced. Many older dogs and cats have a harder time getting exercise outside in the cooler weather. Joint health is especially important for short-haired dogs during the winter because they don’t have as much fur protection.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell when a pet is not comfortable. While dogs may show physical signs of discomfort, cats are more likely to hide their physical signs. Indoor cats may have fewer issues with the cold, but as they age, they may move around less. This is why it’s important to make sure even older cats get moderate exercise. Here are a few additional joint support tips:
It’s essential to give your pets as much exercise as possible during winter, as well as year-round. Dogs need to exercise outdoors multiple times throughout the day. Taking older dogs on short walks will help prevent joint stiffness. Cats, especially indoor cats, need exercise too, and will play on their own if given the right toys and incentives.
Cats usually have enough fur if they’re indoor/outdoor cats. It’s helpful to have a cat door so they have the opportunity to go inside whenever they need to get warm. Greyhounds and other short-haired dogs need extra layers. Make sure you have a sweater that fits your dog snugly, but don’t leave it on 24/7, as it can cause the fur to mat.
Don’t Overdo It
Even though it’s important to give your pet exercise, it’s also important to pace your pet so that you don’t overdo it. For dogs, ask your vet to recommend the right amount of outdoor exercise in the winter. For cats, make sure you take them to the vet for regular visits because they tend to hide signs that they’re not comfortable.
Use Hip and Joint Supplements
Hip and joint supplements are designed to offer a strong line of defense during times of cold weather and stress. High levels of creatine, which promotes muscle support in pets, can make a major difference. Tomlyn’s Joint & Hip Chews for dogs and cats contain high levels of creatine and other nutrients to help support healthy joints and connective tissue in your pets.
Whether your goal is to support healthy joint structure and function or to help with flexibility and joint comfort, it’s important to speak with your vet before giving your pet a new supplement.