Author: Fay Smith
Dogs suffer from arthritis pain, too. When your canine pets get older, they may be prone to arthritis or a joint disease caused by the weathering of the cartilage.
Dog arthritis may be due to obesity, physical stress, and improper diet.
There are safe alternative treatments for dogs, like aromatherapy using essential oils. Other pet owners seek the advice of their veterinarians for joint supplement recommendations to help their dogs manage arthritis.
Aside from these therapies and medications, there are lifestyle and activity alterations that can help alleviate your dog’s arthritis.
Modifications to Help Your Dog With Arthritis
As a dog owner, you will have to manage your dog’s arthritis at some point.
Listed below are some helpful adjustments that you can apply to your dog to help them manage their condition without reducing the quality of their short life.
Since dogs with arthritis have a limited range of motion, these modifications may help them get moving again.
Start small and try walking your dog most days and prepare some light physical activities at least once a week.
Keep their walks short to prevent overfatigue. Low-impact exercises, like underwater treadmill exercises, may be the best choice for these dogs.
If the weather is not pleasant and you need to stay indoors, motivate your dog to move by playing “find the treat” or short sessions of tug of war.
Your dog’s weight may contribute to the pressure on its joints and muscles.
Adjusting the kind of food, time of feeding, and the amount of food you are giving your dogs may help decrease their weight and lower the impact of exercises on their joints.
An increase in weight may contribute to the wear and tear of the joints of your dog. This situation may result in the worsening of your dog’s arthritis pain.
It is best to consult your veterinarian to determine your dog’s healthy weight and appropriate diet plan.
It is recommended to feed your dogs foods that can reduce inflammation and promote joint health.
These anti-inflammatory foods include:
Feeding your dog with food high in omega-3 and glucosamine may help in reducing inflammation and increasing the lubrication of their joints.
Altering your dog’s environment helps prevent them from falls and accidents that may worsen their arthritis.
It is recommended to give them a bed where they can lie comfortably in. Make sure that the bed is bigger than your dog, with clear margins and reasonable depth.
Warm beds may also help in soothing your dog’s arthritic pain. Warm blankets or warm towels over your dog’s bed can help keep his crib cozy. You can also ask your vet for orthopedic bed recommendations.
Note that slippery floors are hazardous for dogs with arthritis. Provide a safe path for your dog using non-slip rugs.
Things to Avoid With Arthritic Dogs
- Avoid running. It is best to stick to walking when your dog suffers from arthritis pain. Jumping and too much running can increase your dog’s pain.
- Avoid cold places. The environmental temperature may have an impact on your dog’s arthritis pain. Encourage your dog to lie on a warm bed rather than on the cold floor.
- Avoid tough terrains. When you walk your dog, it is best to follow a straight and safe path rather than uneven and unpredictable surfaces. Winding and changing roads and surfaces can leave your dog with sore muscles and joints.
- Avoid excessive exercise. Even though regular exercise can benefit your dogs, it is not advisable to give them long walks. Increasing the frequency of physical activity can contribute to the stiffness of their joints.
Dog Arthritis Treatments
To ease your dog’s discomfort and pain due to arthritis, you may want to seek your vet’s advice on choosing the possible treatments for your dog.
Typically, these treatments may include:
● Pain Relievers and Joint Supplements
These medications may aid in the swelling and pain of your dog’s joints. These pain-relieving medications may be administered daily, depending on the recommendation of your veterinarian.
Aside from these medicines, vitamin supplements for your dog’s joints and muscles are also part of the arthritis treatment.
However, these supplements are not a replacement for your dog’s medications. These are additional treatments that may support their joint strength.
This therapy is a non-pharmacological way to treat your dog’s arthritis. Hydrotherapy uses water to relieve pain and encourage your dogs to relax.
There are different types of hydrotherapy used to treat dog’s arthritis. One of them involves the use of dog pools, with a doctor’s assistance.
This type of hydrotherapy allows dogs to freely enjoy the water while exercising their shoulders, elbows, and limbs.
The surgical option is for those arthritis cases that are intolerable and severe. Your vet may suggest joint replacement or fusion if your dog is in a critical condition. Surgeries are usually done in a vet clinic or hospital, supervised by your dog’s veterinarian.
When to Consult Your Vet
Arthritis symptoms can gradually develop in your dogs. It is recommended to be vigilant of your dog’s behavior.
When you notice your dog with these symptoms, visit your vet immediately:
- Swollen joints
- Lethargy or low energy
- Weak muscles