Arthritis is a painful condition that can debilitate a family pet. There are many ways to relieve a dog’s joint pain and improve his mobility and health.
When a dog is diagnosed with arthritis, the veterinarian may recommend several lifestyle changes to help ease the pain of discomfort associated with this condition. Pain medications may be prescribed, but pet owners should be aware of other ways to help their dogs manage arthritis.
Arthritis can not be cured, only managed. Dog owners should have a full understanding of safe activities and medications that will ease their pet’s pain. Some treatments may even reduce the severity of symptoms and lead to a longer, healthier future.
A Healthy Lifestyle: Exercise & Diet
Believe it or not, exercise is an important activity for dogs with arthritis. The movement of exercise releases lubricating joint fluid that helps to ease the pain. Some movement makes more movement easier, so dogs will stay active longer if they continue to get daily exercise. Although too much exercise can cause further damage to the cartilage, a good, safe amount can be recommended by a veterinarian.
Weight compounds the strain and pressure on aching joints, so dogs that are overweight can experience very serious pain from arthritis. Managing the dog’s weight, in turn, lessens the joint pain. Switch to a weight control formula dog food or seek veterinary advice for a suitable diet. A dog at a normal weight for its breed will suffer less from arthritis.
A Comfortable Home
To ease painful joints, a soft and comfortable place to sleep is important. Take some of the burden from the dog’s legs and provide him with bedding. Soft foam rubber about four inches thick or an old mattress are good substitutes if a manufactured pet bed or pillow is unavailable. Also keep the bedding at a height that is easier for the dog to reach.
If a pet is used to climbing onto a bed or couch in the home, provide him with a small set of pet stairs to ease the transition. Jumping can be an intense strain on the joints, so encourage the pet to avoid doing so whenever possible.
Supplements & Medications
Many natural supplements are available to aid joint and cartilage health. Look for products containing these active ingredients for success:
- perna caniculus
According to Placerville Vet, most veterinarians recommend using these supplements, since they have been shown to aid the dog’s health with little to no side effects. Omega 3 supplementation might also be helpful, even in the earliest stages of arthritis.
In terms of pain medications, several over-the-counter pills might be prescribed to a dog suffering from arthritis. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aleve, have been shown to greatly reduce a dog’s pain. Although it can get expensive to keep a dog medicated daily, such treatment can make a huge difference in the life of a pet.
As is always the case with such conditions, prevention is preferrable to curing or treating arthritis. Keeping a pet active, at an appropriate weight, and healthy from infections and diseases is the best treatment for arthritis. It if is not too late, take the proper steps to avoid a diagnosis of arthritis for the family pet.