9 Ways to Help your Arthritic Dog

Watching your beloved furry friend struggling with arthritis can be heartbreaking. But with the right care and lifestyle adjustments, you can make their life a lot more comfortable. Here are nine key ways to help your arthritic dog.

Manage Their Weight

Keeping your dog’s weight under control is one of the most effective ways to help manage arthritis. Excess weight not only adds mechanical stress to their joints but fat cells increase inflammation and pain. It’s important to provide a balanced diet and control portion sizes to prevent weight gain. Regular check-ups with the vet can also help monitor their weight and adjust their diet as necessary.

Keep Them Moving

Even though your dog may be dealing with arthritis, it’s still essential for them to stay active. Short and gentle walks are ideal to help keep their joints lubricated and moving smoothly. However, always watch for signs of discomfort. If your dog shows any sign of pain or struggle, it’s time to head home and let them rest.

Strong Muscles Support Arthritic Joints

Muscle loss that occurs with ageing can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Strengthening your dog’s muscles can help support their arthritic joints and make it easier for them to move around. Regular gentle exercise and physiotherapy can be beneficial in maintaining muscle strength.

Keep Joints Warm

Arthritic joints love warmth. Keeping your dog inside during cold weather, using heated beds, heat packs or joint wraps can all help to alleviate discomfort. The warmth can help to increase blood flow to the area, reduce stiffness and improve joint mobility.

Provide Comfortable Bedding

The ideal bed for an arthritic dog should be thick, supportive, easily washed and placed away from cool draughts. Orthopedic dog beds can be an excellent choice as they provide extra support and can help to alleviate pressure on sore joints.

Add a Supplement

Supplementing your dog’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. Foods or supplements rich in omega-3 such as green lipped mussels can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. However, always discuss any dietary changes or supplements with your vet to ensure they are suitable for your dog.

Avoid Slippery Surfaces

Slippery surfaces can be a hazard for arthritic dogs. Provide non-slip surfaces like rugs and foam matting to help your dog move around safely. Also, keep nails and fur between the pads trimmed to further prevent slipping.

Minimise Jumping

Jumping places a great deal of stress on joints, which can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Stairs and ramps can help your dog avoid jumping on and off beds and couches. Training your dog to use these aids can help to reduce unnecessary strain on their joints.

Get Hands On

Massage can be a wonderful tool to help relax tight muscles and decrease pain in your arthritic dog. It can not only provide relief but also improve your bond with your pet.

Want help managing your dogs arthritis? Book an online or in person consult today! 

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