If your dog lives a nice long time, chances are they will develop arthritis at some point. In fact, 80% of senior dogs over the age of 8 have arthritis. Having arthritis means that your dog's joints ache, especially during times of extreme weather like severe cold, or after a lot of exercise. If your dog is experiencing arthritis, they may limp at times, be reluctant to jump onto or off of furniture, and tire more easily on walks. Here are a few things to try for your arthritic dog in order to keep him comfortable and happy:
Exercise Your Dog the Right Way
Some dog owners are afraid to exercise their arthritic dogs because they don't want to aggravate their arthritis but gentle, moderate daily exercise is actually key to keeping their arthritis under control. Exercise helps loosen and warm up stiff joints and muscles, and also prompts the body to release feel-good hormones and natural pain relievers, just like when humans exercise. As long as the exercise is low impact, such as walking, swimming, or less strenuous hikes, your dog will feel great and not feel sore afterward.
In addition, daily exercise will help keep your dog at a healthy weight. This is important for their general health, but especially important if your dog has arthritis since being overweight can exacerbate their symptoms.
Add Steps for Furniture
An easy way to make your home more comfortable for your pup is to buy steps or ramps designed specifically for dogs to place next to your bed, couch, and any other furniture your dog is allowed onto. Walking up carpeted steps or a ramp is much easier on their stiff, sore joints than jumping.
Supplement Their Diet
With the guidance of your vet, it's a great idea to begin incorporating a few joint-friendly supplements into your dog's diet. Glucosamine is great for dogs with arthritis and other forms of joint pain, as it helps rebuild cartilage and treats pain at the same time. Omega-3 supplements can also be beneficial, helping to treat the symptoms of arthritis while also being good for your dog's heart health and eyesight.
Being proactive in treating your dog's arthritis will help avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain. If you aren't sure if your dog has arthritis, it's a good idea to set up a vet appointment. In addition to diagnosing your dog, they can offer treatment suggestions to complement the items on this list. For more information, contact establishments like Veterinary Emergency Services Of Lincoln.