Caring for an Arthritic Dog

The years take their toll on the bodies of our canine friends just as they do with us. Your dog’s walk may become stiffer and the jump up to their favorite chair may become more difficult.  The many advances in veterinary medicine have allowed dogs to live longer lives, but that also means that they are more likely to suffer from the problems of old age. Those problems include age-related degenerative arthritis.

The loss of cartilage due to arthritis makes movement painful and keeps joints from functioning properly. Naturally, you will want to do everything you can to make this stage of life as comfortable as possible for your pet. Here are some tips that can help you to care for your arthritic dog:

Make Your Home More Comfortable and Accessible

This can mean installing a ramp if steps are required to get inside. A carpeted ramp to get up to the couch or bed may also be necessary.

Opt for Low-Impact Exercises

Walking and swimming are two types of exercises that can strengthen your dog's muscles without putting excessive strain on their joints. These exercises can also keep your dog from gaining weight and ensure that blood gets circulated to the joints. Make sure that your dog gets too warm up before exercising. A few minutes of gentle playing can help to reduce sprains and cramps.

Nutritional Supplements

Supplements that promote joint health typically contain ingredients like glucosamine chondroitin and green lipped mussel. Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial for relieving arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory effects.

Painkillers

The pain from arthritis can be relieved with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications to your pet.

Keep Your Dog Warm and Dry

Cold and damp conditions aggravate arthritis; therefore, it is important to make sure that you provide your dog with a warm and dry environment. Get them a padded bed and keep the bed away from cold areas and drafts.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Along with monitoring your pet's health, your veterinarian will also be able to tell you the best ways to combine diet and exercise to meet the unique needs of your dog.

At all times, remember that it is important to provide your dog with lots of affection as this plays a major role in helping them to feel better.

 


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