Give those tired and sore muscles or joints a rejuvenation by applying a heat pack once or twice a day. This will help to relieve muscle stiffness and warm your pet’s tissues prior walking or exercise. Cover with a towel and check the skin temperature every 1 min as you apply heat pack for 3-5 mins. Make sure your heat pack is non-toxic to pets or if using a water bottle, make sure there are not leaks.
Adjust your pet’s food portions to trim away excess weight, since any extra weight increases the burden on the joints of their legs and feet leading to progression of arthritis and pain during movement. Check the diet’s fat and protein levels are sufficient to maintain muscle mass and requirements with a veterinary professional.
Provide a soft but firm padded bed, in a dry area away from cold breeze or direct air-conditioning flow. The firm bed will make it easier for your pet to get up, as well as provide joint support. The softness will also help to protect against pressure sores. Avoid a step up onto the bed- keep it at ground level. An additional layer of vet beds or incontinence pads provide wicking away of urine if incontinence is an issue.
Exercise should be consistent. Too much and problems can be made worse, too little and the muscles will weaken. For dogs, maintain a routine of several short walks in a day instead of one long walk. The walks will keep the muscles strong, prevent weight gain and boredom as well as stimulate appetite and a good mood! Carry them up and down the stairs and inclines to prevent strain on their sore muscles and joints. Help Em’ UpTM or GingerLead® harnesses can be used for assisted moving too! For small indoor pets, use indoor games and toys to encourage play and activity.
Lastly, if you want to treat your pet’s pain without drugs, a great alternative is the Assisi LoopTM. Approved for both human and pet use, the Assisi Loop is a targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (tPEMF) which is non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive to encourage the body’s natural healing process to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. Simply place the Loop over the sore area, and press the “on” button. It can be used several times daily to help ease any discomfort around the muscles and joints.
To learn more about the Assisi Loop, and see if it could help your pet, see our FAQs or contact us.
Remember: Pets of all ages should never be given human medicine, because even a small dose can be toxic! Always check with your vet first. If your pet is showing more significant signs of pain- see your family veterinarian.
How we can help? At Paws in Motion, we love our older pets because they love us back! It’s wonderful to be able to help them feel more comfortable so quickly and see their progress with our tailored physiotherapy, advice and home care support. We offer nutrition programmes including information on supplements; pain assessment and advice; exercise plans; guidance on mobility support and home care; as well as home physiotherapy assessment and plans for senior dogs, cats and rabbits.