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Cold Weather Effects on Arthritis in Dogs

Older dogs can become arthritic just as humans can, and canine arthritis can put a real damper on the quality of your dog’s life. One of the most troublesome issues is cold weather effects on arthritis in dogs.

This condition is a degenerative joint disease for which there is no cure, but there are things that you can do to ease the pain for your pet.

Cold Weather Effects on Arthritis in Dogs


As your dog’s arthritic pain increases, which it will over time, and especially when the weather is cold and damp, he will be stiffer in the morning and not as ambulatory as he once was.

He may start to sleep more and his appetite may decrease.

Your dog may have trouble running and climbing stairs, and he may be reluctant to get up from a lying position or lie down because it hurts him to do so.

You may hear a clicking sound when he is walking, and your dog might limp and have visible swelling of the joints.

Canine Arthritis

Dogs also can suffer from osteoarthritis, which manifests itself in bone spurs and the loss of cartilage within the joints, which causes bone-on-bone rubbing.

The vet can give your pooch pain medication for this condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis can afflict your pet as well. This results in pits in the cartilage and is treated with steroids and cancer drugs.

Septic arthritis, which is an infection in the joint, can also occur. This type of arthritis is treated with antibiotics.

Dog wearing a knit hat in the snow

Cold Weather

People with arthritis will tell you that cold weather is not their friend. It can cause painful arthritic flare-ups.

The cold weather effects on arthritis in dogs are no different. They will suffer more joint pain when the weather is cold and wet.

It goes without saying that in extremely wet and cold weather you should keep your older and arthritic dog inside.

Let’s take a look at a few other recommendations for cold weather effects on arthritis in dogs.


When the winter months and cold weather sets in, it can be hard for pet owners to keep their furry friends comfortable and healthy.

This is especially true for owners of dogs with arthritis.

The cold can cause arthritic joints to stiffen up and become painful, making it difficult for dogs to move around.

Luckily, there are several steps that pet owners can take to help keep their arthritic dogs comfortable.

Pain Medication and Supplements

Pain management is important. Giving your canine pain or anti-inflammatory medication will allow him to get around better because he won’t hurt as much.

Joint supplements such as Glucosamine and chondroitin may help relieve inflammation and the degenerative process that is occurring in your dog’s joints.

They also attract fluid to the joints, which keeps the enzymes that destroy cartilage under control and helps repair joints that are already damaged.

CBD products may also be an option for pain management along with the care and direction from your vet.

Weight Control

You can help ease your dog’s arthritic pain somewhat by not allowing him to pack on extra pounds.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is one of the best ways to help ease arthritis pain in dogs.

Dogs that carry extra pounds cause extra strain on joints and worsen existing arthritic conditions.

Extra weight can also lead to other musculoskeletal problems due to increased stress on joints.

Small dog wearing a blue and white sweater in the snow


Regular walking is beneficial because it will help him maintain flexibility and mobility.

Walking is an important form of exercise for dogs with arthritis, as it can help keep joints flexible and improve mobility.

However, it is important to be aware that cold weather can cause pain and stiffness in arthritic dogs, making walking more difficult.

Therefore, when taking your dog out for a walk in cold weather, it is important to take certain precautions.

First of all, it is important to keep your dog warm by putting a coat or sweater on him and avoiding icy surfaces.

You should also adjust the length of the walk based on your dog’s current level of pain and discomfort.

Lastly, it is important to provide plenty of breaks for your dog during the walk so that he can rest and warm up if needed.

The most important thing for a dog with arthritis is to remain as active as possible without overdoing it.

Avoid strenuous exercises and activities such as running or jumping, which can make arthritis pain worse.

Instead, focus on providing your dog with gentle exercise that keeps him active but does not cause too much strain on his joints.

Portable Dog Ramps and Steps for Easier Mobility

A portable dog ramp can be beneficial in helping get your arthritic dog in and out of a car without putting strain on its joints.

Dog steps can be extremely useful if your dog sleeps on your bed or likes to lie on the couch and can no longer jump up.


Massaging your pet is a great way to help manage the pain associated with arthritis in dogs during cold weather.

Massage helps improve circulation, which can reduce inflammation and stiffness.

It also relaxes the muscles and tendons around the joints, giving them more freedom of movement.

Additionally, massage may bring some temporary relief from swelling and discomfort due to arthritis.

Comfortable Bedding

As temperatures begin to drop, arthritis flares up in many older and afflicted canines.

When the cold weather hits, it can be extremely uncomfortable for those suffering from arthritis.

This is why providing the proper orthopedic bed for your canine companion is essential for reducing their discomfort during the colder months.

Orthopedic beds provide extra cushioning and support that helps alleviate pain from bone and joint issues.

These beds are usually made with memory foam or other materials that provide superior comfort and support.

Additionally, they are designed to be durable and keep your pet warm during cold weather.

Huskies running in the snow


Cold temperatures and damp weather can indeed have a significant effect on the arthritic pain of dogs.

This is why pet owners should monitor their dog’s health during wintertime and be sure to offer adequate protection against the cold.

Pet parents should also take measures to provide relief such as warm clothing and comfortable dog beds.

Additionally, adding supplements or medications that contain natural anti-inflammatory agents can further help relieve some of the pain associated with arthritis in dogs during colder weather.

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