*This is a collaborative post.
When we think of dogs and arthritis, our minds tend to instantly go towards older dogs. However, arthritis can affect dogs of all ages; in fact, it has been suggested that one in five canines will show signs of arthritis before they reach the age of one. No matter what breed you have or how much love and support you give your pooch, it’s likely they will experience arthritis in their lifetime.
No one wants to see their dog in distress, and while there isn’t a cure for arthritis, there are lots of things you can do to keep your dog comfortable, happy, and healthy. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips that can help.
Speak to Your Vet
Although it may seem obvious, many dog owners are scared to go to their vet about their dog’s arthritis. You must remember that your vet is there to help and provide the best care for your pooch, so if your dog is starting to limp or you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour, now is the time to make an appointment. Knowing the signs of arthritis is key, so if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional. Once your dog is given a treatment plan, you should notice a huge improvement in their behaviour and mobility.
Make Exercise a Priority
Regular exercise is important for dogs, but if yours has arthritis, you need to take things a little slower. Arthritic dogs should exercise daily, but not participate in high-impact activities like rough play, jumping, and running. While each dog will be different depending on their age and breed, you need to find the right balance. The last thing you want is to force your dog to exercise, as they may struggle to keep up, which could do their body more harm than good. If you aren’t sure what’s best for your pooch, make sure you speak to your vet.
Keep Your Dog Busy
If your pooch isn’t up to going out for the day, keeping them entertained at home is important. Giving your dog something mentally challenging to try out like puzzle games and scent work games is critical for your dog’s mental wellbeing. It can be hard to see your dog in pain or struggling to get around like they used to, so having fun things to keep their brains stimulated is vital.
Make Changes in Your Home
As your dog gets older, they may start having difficulty jumping up onto the sofa. If your pooch is struggling, there are adaptions you can make in the home which can make their lives a whole lot easier, such as a small step or dog ramp so they don’t need to jump. When it comes to taking your dog out in the car, they may have the same problem getting in and out of your vehicle. Therefore, having a special ramp or even using a sling can help. When your pooch is eating, a raised food bowl prevents your dog from having to bend down each time they tuck in. We all understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, both for humans and dogs, so make sure you provide your canine companion with a comfortable place that promotes rest and relaxation.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Above anything else, arthritic dogs need to maintain a healthy weight. The more weight your dog carries, the more pressure and pain they will endure. Even a couple of extra pounds can make a huge difference in your pet’s health, and when you factor in that half of all dogs in the UK are classed as overweight, it may be time to alter their diet. Make sure your dog is eating the right foods, and provide plenty of healthy, nutritious treats that will be good for their mind and body.
You may also want to look into joint tablets for dogs from suppliers like YuMOVE, as these can make a world of difference to your dog’s health. Joint tablets for dogs can aid stiff joints and maintain joint comfort. YuMOVE has many years of experience helping arthritic dogs live their best lives by using top ingredients like glucosamine, green-lipped mussel, and manganese which, when combined, can help your dog be more active. The amount of supplements your dog needs will depend on their breed and size.
Regularly Groom Your Dog
If your dog has long nails, this can put immense pressure on their joints, making it difficult for them to get around. Whether you’re going on a walk, or they’re roaming around the house, you’ll need to ensure their nails are regularly trimmed. Grooming your dog regularly is key for ensuring your dog is free from pain and disease.
For most of us, our dogs are our best friend, but if your pooch has been diagnosed with arthritis, doing what you can to keep them happy and active is key. Combining all the tips above should make a positive difference in your dog’s life, but if you aren’t getting the results you expect, it’s recommended to see your vet.