Humans suffering from aches that come with old age and arthritis use heating pads to relieve the pain.
“Heat therapy is a common tactic for dealing with everyday pain, especially pain caused by joint or muscle aches. And the same can be true for dogs, with some caveats of course,” said Laura Mueller in “Should You Get a Dog Heating Pad? The Benefits (and Safety Concerns) of Dog Heating pads” in The Spruce Pets website.
Dog parents have been using heating pads and heated beds to help their furbabies heal from injuries or cope with the aches and pains due to old age and arthritis. However, MAKE SURE YOU USE A HEATING PAD CORRECTLY. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE SAFETY CONCERNS.
Mueller discussed what furparents should know about dog heating pads, including some quick suggestions for buying one for your own canine baby.
The Benefits of a Dog Heating Pad
Heating pads can be beneficial for dogs in the same for way they are beneficial for humans. Heat, when applied strategically to the body, helps improve circulation and blood flow, and offers a momentary increase in muscle flexibility.
The benefits of using a heating pad include:
· Muscle soothing and relaxation
· Relaxation of muscle spasms
· Relief from stiff and/or sore joints
· Relief from arthritis pain
· General pain relief
The benefits of a dog heating pad are temporary but it can help your dog while he/she is recovering from an injury. A heating pad is always found in homes with aging or older dogs and dogs who suffer from arthritis. “As a bonus, many dogs simply love to lay on a heating pad, especially on a cold day,” Mueller said.
How to Safely Use a Heating Pad with Your Dog
Heating pads are safe for dogs in general. But it is important that you know how to use them safely. A heating pad can turn into something dangerous for your dog if you do not use it properly.
1.Make Sure It’s a Dog-Specific Heating Pad
Dogs and humans tolerate heat differently. You can not just use your heating pad for your dog.
“Purchase a heating pad that’s specifically made for dogs, and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so that you know exactly how it works and how long your dog can safely be on it,” Mueller said.
2. Monitor Your Dog When They’re on the Heating Pad
Your dog may have a heat stroke if you leave your dog in a heating pad for too long. Never leave your dog unattended or in a confined or small space when in the heating pad. Your dog may feel too warm at some point and being arthritic or in pain, he or she may not be able to get up from the pad quickly.
“…help them out if it looks like they’ve had enough. Signs of overheating include panting, increased salivation, and a rapid pulse,” Mueller said.
3.Regularly Check for Wear and Tear
If your dog chews most stuff around him, he might chew your heating pad, specially its electrical component. “In addition to discouraging this, check the pad regularly for any signs of damage, since it can lead to wiring concerns that may put your pet at risk, “ Mueller said.
Buying a Dog Heating Pad
Here are the kinds of heating pad to choose from:
1. Electric heating pad: You plug this directly into the wall and is often thermostat-controlled in order to maintain a consistent temperature. “They can get pretty warm, so it’s crucial that you monitor your dog and the heating pad itself. Keep an eye on the cord too, particularly if your dog or other household pets are known chewers.,” Mueller said.
2. Thermal heating pad: This contains a “reflective layer that radiates your pet’s body heat back at them. They can’t get quite as warm as an electric bed, but there are no cords to worry about—plus no need to worry about overheating, since they can’t exceed your pet’s own body temperature,” Mueller said.
3. Microwavable heating pad: This is similar to a warm compress. This pad is filled with a special material (often a gel) that traps heat when you microwave it. It cools down while in use so there is not much risk of your dog being overheated. But this pad may be too hot after being heated in the microwave, so make sure it is not too hot for your dog to lie on.
4. Orthopedic heating pad: This offers additional comfort for aging or aching dogs. It is heavier than traditional heating pads, but has extra layers to protect and cushion joints, Mueller said.
5. Outdoor heating pad: If your dog will use a heating pad outside the house, this is recommended by Mueller. “These are made with water-resistant outer materials to ensure they can stand up to moisture, and come in both electrical and thermal options,” Mueller said.
“Use the information above to choose a heating pad that’s the right fit for your dog and your home. It may be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian first to see what they recommend, both in terms of the type of heating pad you should purchase and how you should ensure safe use,” Mueller added.
Cats also love heating pads, Mueller said. Cats love heating pads whether or not they have arthritic pain or are injured.