Dogs now have a longer life than they did a few decades ago. However, they also struggle with modern medical problems and cognitive difficulties that weren’t present in aging dogs before. One of the most significant issues that dogs face as they age is mobility difficulties that prevent them from fully enjoying life.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to support an arthritic dog that’s facing mobility issues. You don’t have to refurbish your home or change the structural design of your spaces to accommodate your aging pal. Providing your dog with ongoing medical care will be affordable and shouldn’t take that much time or energy from you. In fact, all you need is to make a few non-medical and simple lifestyle changes that don’t break the bank.
Want to know how? Read on for some tips on what you can do today to improve your dog’s mobility and help it live with aging conditions like arthritis.
Give It Nutritional Supplements
There are many nutritional supplements that come with benefits like reducing joint inflammation, increasing the amount of joint fluid that your pooch has, healing, and protecting joint cartilage. All of these benefits are crucial to healing arthritis in dogs that suffer from it.
Some of the scientifically proven supplements for arthritic dogs include antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), chondroitin, and glucosamine.
Buy Dog Stairs
Incorporating specially designed dog stairs and ramps can go a long way in making your dog’s life easier. That’s because dog stairs are made in a way that won’t strain your canine companion’s joints when climbing up and down the stairs.
Help Your Dog Lose Weight
One of the best ways to overcome arthritis in overweight dogs is to help them lose weight. As with humans, the easiest way to do this is to feed your dog a diet that supports weight loss and health. Ideally, your dog’s diet should include the right amount of protein needed to help your dog maintain the right amount of muscle mass while promoting weight loss.
Your dog’s diet should also be geared towards supporting healthy joints and minimizing the amount of body fat. This will help to limit the amount of inflammation and joint stress that your dog experiences.
Try Physical Therapy
Exercise is known to support weight loss, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles. You don’t have to enroll your dog in a pet triathlon to keep it active. All it takes is getting a few leashed walks every week and getting it into a customized physical therapy program that alleviates the symptoms associated with arthritis.
Severe cases of arthritis require joint surgery but this only happens in the worst case scenario. The type of surgery your dog receives depends on its situation and the type of joints affected. For instance, senior, large breed dogs may require hip replacement to treat severe hip arthritis.
Massage Your Dog
Getting a massage has tremendous benefits for joint health and can help to alleviate symptoms like stiff muscles and painful joints while improving mobility. In fact, an increasing amount of scientific data shows that massage can reduce inflammation and stress hormone production. It also affects the action of pain neurotransmitters related to arthritis.
Acupuncture is another popular form of treatment for arthritic dogs, and it has been shown to treat several other conditions. It works by promoting the release of pain-relieving endorphins while reducing muscle tension.
NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, are a well-known treatment for dog arthritis. That’s because they’re highly effective at reducing joint pain and inflammation. This’ll make your dog more comfortable to move around. Some of the most effective NSAIDs that are commonly prescribed to arthritic dogs include meloxicam, etodolac deracoxib, and carprofen.
Do Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy is another wide-spread form of treatment for dog arthritis. Laser therapy promotes natural cell repair and speeds up the healing process while taking care of symptoms like joint pain and inflammation.