Arthritis is a word well known to pup parents, whether their pup is currently experiencing issues related to arthritis or if they are preparing for the future. Unfortunately, arthritis is almost inevitable in dogs, especially certain breeds that are predisposed to hip and joint pains. Much like arthritis in humans, these pains prove to cause complications in dogs’ health and wellness.
If your dog is experiencing arthritis pains, or pains associated with hip and joint problems, we have some solutions for you! Here are 5 things to do when your dog is arthritic:
1. Diet Change
Changing your dog’s diet may seem unnecessary, but there are a few ways this can help your dog with arthritic pains. Many dog food formulas are lacking two key components for arthritic dogs: glucosamine and chondroitin.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are essential nutrients that promote healthy bones and joints. If your dog is missing these from his diet, he may experience greater than average joint pain. By switching your dog’s diet to a kibble formula that includes these two ingredients, you will help relieve your dog’s pain and strengthen his joints.
Large breed dogs, and dogs prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should eat kibble with glucosamine and chondroitin, regardless of their age or medical history.
2. Natural Supplements
If you do not wish to change your dog’s diet, or your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach or food related allergies, consider giving him natural supplements.
Natural glucosamine and chondroitin supplements will provide your dog with the exact dose he needs for his body weight to maintain healthy joints and prevent further arthritic development.
You can find natural supplements at health food stores, specialty pet shops, or online. There are many forms of supplements, including pills, powder, liquid, and chewables!
Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog supplements.
3. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy for dogs is not only real, but an incredible healing tool! Canine massage therapy is growing more popular, and for good reason. Much like humans, massage therapy helps relax joints and muscles, relieving stiffness, soreness, tension, and even chronic pain.
Finding a canine massage therapist for your dog could make a huge difference in his life. After massage therapy, your pup will feel like an entirely different dog!
Ask your vet and research online to find a registered canine massage therapist near you.
No matter your dog’s age, or severity of arthritis, he will need some form of exercise. Light exercise will help keep joints moving properly, preventing them from becoming too stiff.
“A dog with mild, early arthritis can and should get more exercise than an ancient pooch with severe cartilage erosion. Non-weight–bearing exercise— swimming, for example—is excellent if not contraindicated by other medical conditions.” – Kathy Davieds, The Bark
By exercising your pup regularly and tailoring to his abilities you will promote health and happiness.
5. Memory Foam Bed
A memory foam bed may seem extreme, but for most dogs it’s entirely necessary. When humans are suffering from joint, muscle, or back pain, they are always recommended a memory foam bed. This is because memory foam has many healing properties for humans – and dogs!
These benefits include temperature regulation, natural spine alignment, daily pain relief, minimal movement, cell regeneration, and allergen fighting properties.
You can read more about the benefits of memory foam for aging dogs in a previous article.
Providing your dog with a good night’s sleep will “add years to his life, and life to his years.” Read more about the memory foam mattress by World of Angus.
If you believe your dog is suffering from arthritic or joint pains, be sure to contact your veterinarian.