Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Arthritis in Dogs - What to Do and How to Prevent

By Dogercise

old dogArthritis in dogs can be hard to deal with simply because you feel sorry for the dog and because of the extra care Fido needs.  Remember the worst thing you can do is feel sorry for him.  But there are many things you can do for Fido to make him feel useful and comfortable.

  1. Exercise-regular, low-impact exercise is very important for dogs that have arthritis.  Swimming is ideal, but walking works too.  And don’t stop working on a little obedience-it just might take Fido a little longer to sit than it used to.  They need to keep using there muscles just like people-it just takes them longer to get them going when they have arthritis.
  2. Weight loss might be necessary-even a little bit of extra weight makes a difference so see your vet to see if Fido could drop a few pounds.
  3. No Cure-but antibiotics, painkillers or anti-inflammatory meds may be needed.
  4. Nutritional supplements to help replenish cartilage
  5. A firm, orthopedic foam bed can make a big difference.
  6. Placing food and water bowls in a raised feeder or on a low table can avoid neck and back strain.
  7. Continuing to play with Fido gently and for a short amount of time is very necessary to keep up the moral.
  8. Make sure you have a portable dog ramp to make it easier on the both of you in situations where he used to jump up or down.

Know how to diagnose arthritis in your dog-symptoms:

  • showing discomfort and stiffness when getting up
  • seems to experience pain when touched in specific areas
  • loss of flexibility
  • walking stiffly and/or favoring certain limbs
  • seems to have sore joints
  • getting hesitant to jump, climb or walk stairs

The most important thing you can learn from this is that you can’t control age or genetics, but you can control keeping your dog fit with exercise and proper nutrition.  This can sometimes prevent or atleast prolong arthritis.  One cause of arthritis that we can control is OBESITY in dogs.  Don’t let it happen to your beloved pet.


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