How Can You Relieve Your Dog’s Arthritis Pain?
It happens to all of us, humans and dogs alike…we all age…and with that aging process usually comes aches and pains as our bodies get older. Again, like humans, arthritis is a common condition that affects older dogs, in fact, the older they get the more likely it is for the pain to get worse.
Some dogs are more prone to getting arthritis than others, especially the larger breeds such as German Shepherds or Golden Retrievers, as well as dogs who are overweight. Although, just because you have a smaller breed of dog, or a fit and trim dog, doesn’t mean they will avoid getting arthritis, the likelihood just isn’t as great.
Arthritis is painful and restrictive…
Because of the arthritis, which is deterioration of the cartilage, which causes inflammation of the joint, your dog will begin to function and move with more difficulty. If you suffer from arthritis, you’ll understand what your dog is going through. And if you don’t, these are some of the symptoms you’ll see:
- Reduction in activity – lethargy
- Standing after lying down becomes more difficult
- Jumping and climbing stairs becomes more difficult
- Painful yelps when their joints hurt and when they are being touched
- Stiffness in their walk
- A loss of playfulness and joining in the fun with the family
- Loss of appetite
- Repeated licking at the joints where pain is being experienced
- Movement simply becomes more difficult and painful, becoming more avoided
How can you help your dog?
You can help make your arthritic dog’s life more comfortable by simply making a few adjustments around the house, such as providing simple ramps to help him negotiate steps, or his favorite chair, bed or couch easier. Make sure his bedding is well-padded and located in warm and non-drafty places.
For physical relief, your pup may enjoy a muscle massage, which stimulates blood flow to the affected areas. There are certified certified dog massage therapists, or you can find someone who will teach you how to administer the massage yourself. Also, applying warm, not hot, compresses to the sore joints can be very soothing and helpful.
Don’t forgo exercise…although if the arthritic pain is too bad, you may need to cut back on strenuous exercise, but a certain amount of reasonable exercise will help keep Fido moving…just make sure it’s at the pace he can comfortably handle. You might want to talk to your vet for advice. Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs with arthritis, it’s exercise without stressing the joints.
Another conversation with your vet could be about taking joint supplements, pain meds, or arthritis medication and what he/she might think and recommend.
If your dog is overweight, try helping him to shed a few pounds. This won’t make the arthritis go away, but it can alleviate extra stress and strain on the joints.
At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experts in dog day care. Our facility features a full size swimming pool for fun and exercise. We are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.