It's estimated that arthritis affects 10 million dogs, most of which are seniors. Winter's cold, damp weather only exacerbates painful symptoms that can make it harder for an arthritic dog to walk, run, or climb stairs. While medication can help relieve discomfort, many vets are also recognizing the benefits of low-level therapeutic heat to treat joint problems like arthritis.
We all know how soothing it feels to take a long soak in a warm tub: our muscles relax and we feel calmer. The same thing is true for our furry family members. While hot baths and traditional heating pads aren't practical or safe ways to provide heat therapy to a dog, more and more vets are recommending heated orthopedic dog beds.
These specially designed beds usually feature a flat-screen heater within an orthopedic foam bed that provides safe uniform heat at vet-recommended temperatures. The heat therapy combined with an orthopedic bed helps to evenly distribute body weight and eliminate pressure points while relaxing muscles and promoting increased mobility and activity.
Soothing relief for separation anxiety
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.