One of the most common issues that we all have to deal with when we get older is joint pain. But do you know that dogs also suffer from joint pain as they get older? Just like you, your beloved furry friend will have to deal with joint pain including arthritis, as it reaches the senior years. Once the bone cartilage starts to degrade as a result of injury or strain, your dog might find it difficult to move.
It is the large breeds of dogs that are more susceptible to arthritis because the extra body weight puts more pressure on the dog’s joints. Nevertheless, all kinds of dogs are also at risk of arthritis. Medical conditions like hip dysplasia, even if it appeared earlier, may not manifest until the dogs reach the senior years, which is around the age of 6 or 7.
The most common problem spots are the knees, elbows, and hips. However, dogs are stoic, so the signs will only show up after damage has been done. Some of the most common signs are the inability to use the stairs, difficulty getting up from sleep, and not being able to exercise.
Joint disease cannot be reversed but it’s possible to slow down its progression and prevent it from becoming worse.
Below are some tips on how to keep your dog’s joints healthy.
Most pet owners and vets agree that exercising regularly is good for the overall health of the dog. But if your senior dog is already suffering from muscle and joint problems, certain exercises might be avoided.
Instead, try to introduce swimming and taking short walks to your pet. Look for activities that will not require them to move a lot or jump.
Once your pet pooch starts to show signs of aging, you should take the proper measures to make it comfortable at all times and that might include changing its environment, including the sleeping area. Perhaps, you can provide your pet with a more comfortable bed to sleep on, such as those beds made of memory foam.
Consider putting ramps, so your pet doesn’t have a hard time reaching the bed when sleeping time comes.
Your dog’s diet can significantly affect the overall health of its joints. So to ensure that your dog’s bones and joints are in excellent condition, you should feed it with food that’s rich in nutrients.
For instance, you can supplement your pet’s diet with fish oil that will provide it with enough Omega 3 fatty acids to help keep its bones strong and healthy. Fish oil also provides your senior dog with essential vitamins and minerals to stay tough despite aging.
Now that your dog is older, it is prone to injury. When this happens, make sure you take your dog immediately to the vet to be given proper treatment.
Even if you feel that the injury is not too severe, you should still get your pet checked. Remember that at this age, your pet’s body is very delicate, so even small injuries might have a big impact on it.
Just like humans, senior dogs require extra love and attention at this stage of their life. Unlike when they were younger when they could play and run around, your dog might now choose to be alone instead of spending time outdoors.
Therefore, try to spend as much time with your canine companion. Give it hugs and kisses and make it feel loved. Your pet will crave for more affection now that it’s older and this somehow helps it to deal with joint pain.