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Published: Oct 17, 2011

People and dogs suffering from arthritis tend to feel the aches and pains more acutely during the winter months. Although there are many thoughts on this phenomenon, it is a fact that most people and dogs are less active during the winter which can cause an increased stiffness and discomfort associated with arthritis.

According to, the best way an owner can reduce the painful effects of arthritis in the winter is to make sure their dog maintains a healthy weight. An overweight dog can put added stress on its already-pained joints and muscles. Those concerned about their pet packing on winter pounds should consult with a veterinarian to see if it's time to switch their dog to a low-calorie dog food or one that is designed for older canines.

Aside from keeping a dog's weight in check, owners may also want to consider giving their dog a daily supplement that's full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA. These fatty acids have been proven to help dogs alleviate discomfort caused by arthritis VCA Animal Hospitals reports. Ask your veterinarian if this supplement might be right for your dog.

Keeping arthritic dogs warm in the winter months can further aid their achy joints. A warm blanket or thickly padded dog bed can give them a place to relax and stay warm. VCA reports it is advised to keep your dog active during the winter months to avoid added stiffness. There are many facilities that offer indoor dog activities if you live in a snowy climate. Swimming is also an excellent year-round activity for dogs suffering from arthritis.