Canine arthritis is one of the most common diseases affecting dogs.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for it, but the good news is that canine arthritis is preventable. Most people think that arthritis is limited to older dogs, but this isn’t the case. There are so many causes of arthritis in dogs, among them are injuries to the joints such as dislocation and fractures, as well as infections that result in cartilage damage.
Certain dog breeds are also more prone to arthritis than others. For these breeds, it’s important that one watches out for arthritis symptoms from an early age. In addition to this, it’s important that dogs with inherent conditions such as hip dysplasia be often checked for early signs of arthritis.
Common Symptoms of Canine Arthritis
But what are some of the symptoms you need to look out for to confirm that your dog has arthritis?
- When the pup is limping
- Difficulty in laying down and getting back on his feet
- Certain resting positions are painful
- They are unwilling to jump, climb and run
- Reduced activity
Assuming that you’ve established that your dog is suffering from this common joint ailment. Let’s look at various ways on how to help a dog with arthritis at home.
Throw Some Treats
If your dog still has his appetite, you can always get them munchy treats to snack on. These will always help lighten up their moods. Get those snacks that are tasty and those that are packed with the necessary nutrients.
This is also the best way to help with a dog that has lost their appetite. This may not always be food-related, you can also treat them on an outing. A swimming session can be both fun and therapeutic for an arthritic dog.
Just like in humans, arthritis can affect mobility in dogs. Sometimes when your dog is arthritic (severe), it can be extremely difficult for them to make the slightest of moves. This makes it crucial to eliminate the need for them to use the stairs. If your dog likes to take comfort on your furniture, invest in some steps or ramps that they can use.
Additionally, ensure that they can easily access their food, water, and beddings. In doing so, they’ll have everything they need without the need of having to climb the stairs or walk for long.
Manage Their Weight
If your dog had put on extra weight, it may be time to reduce their rations. The extra weight only exerts more pressure on the joints, making it harder for them to walk. Putting him on a diet and encouraging him to exercise often may help reduce his weight and improve his overall general health.
You’ll want to ensure that you provide your dog with all the comfort they can get. This means that if they were used to sleeping on the floor, buy them an orthopedic foam bed. It goes without saying, that cold temperatures exaggerate arthritis pain in humans, and this is no different for canines. You, therefore, need to raise the dog’s bed some inches off the floor.
when your dog is arthritic, it’s important to ensure that they get a healthy diet. as a matter of fact, joint pain calls for supplementing their diets with nutritional elements and nutrients that their normal diet doesn’t provide sufficiently. Proper nutrition is important in fighting the painful effects of arthritis.
For instance, adding some omega 3 fatty acids in their diet may help reduce inflammation. There are special dog foods that contain 60% of the fatty acids in omega 3 form, buy those. Additionally, foods like salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, and cheese are important during this time, but you’ll need to first ensure that the dog is not allergic to any of these.
There are also many helpful natural pet supplements formulated to combat joint pain in dogs. Flexpet is a good example. Chondroitin, MSM, and glucosamine are some of the crucial ingredients to look for in a dog’s joint health supplement.
Trim The Dog’s Nails
A healthy dog will naturally have their nails trimmed through the friction from the ground. But then again, your dog’s movements are restricted as a result of the pain from arthritis. This means that their nails will not wear down naturally.
As a result, the nails will overgrow, potentially causing the feet to unnaturally angle. This can intensify arthritis pain, which makes it important to trim the pooch’s nails.
Apply Heat on the Affected Areas
Heat application can dramatically help improve circulation and stimulate the muscles surrounding the affected areas. With improved circulation, your dog will experience less pain. The best way to do this is to use heating pads or a warm bath. However, you’ll need to test the temperatures of both the heating pads and the warm bath.
Heat treatment provides lasting soothing effects that may last for hours. You can as well invest in waterproof heated pads for dog beds.
Buy Dog Mobility Products
This is especially ideal if your dog is suffering from advanced stages of arthritis. At this point, their mobility can be very limited even for mild exercises. Ensure to talk to your local vet for more help on this. They’ll help your four-legged friend get around with ease even in accessing food and other provisions in your absence.
One question that always seems to bother pet owners during the advanced stages of illness is, “should I put my dog down?” Sadly, it may be the most humane thing to do to help your dog out of their suffering. Most people don’t agree with this method, which is why it’s left for you to choose. When it comes down to this, the decision is left to rest on gut feeling and the facts on hand.
This is usually at the point where the dog completely stops enjoying life. They are constantly growling in pain,and can even pose risks to you and your family. Remember, pain may cause your dog to become overly aggressive, he’s an animal, and that’s how some express their pain. Euthanasia is only considered when there’s no other option to improve your dog’s quality of life.
Since the beginning of time, dogs have been considered to be man’s best friends. They will stick with you through thick and thin. At the time when they need you the most, being humane, kind and caring to them may be the only way you can help improve their quality of life.
With the above tips in mind, your arthritic dog can possibly lead a happy, long life with less pain and suffering. Additionally, remember that prevention is better than cure. Always ensure that your furry companion is regularly checked up by a vet and receives the important pet vaccines for dogs.