Arthritis in Dogs

photoCanine arthritis can hamper the quality of a dog’s life; joint problems can limit his mobility and prevent him from doing physical activities such as walking. This ailment, which can result from physical trauma, is more common in large breeds and can set in with age, especially if your pet is overweight.

Dog arthritis is similar to human arthritis. When your pet experiences pain, it is due to the breakdown of the cartilage around his joint, causing great discomfort during movement. If you notice that your canine companion has difficulty climbing, jumping, or getting up, or if he is hesitant to walk or play, then he may have dog arthritis.

Treatment for canine arthritis is available but it can be expensive. In addition, some medications can have side effects, so you need to talk to your vet about this. However, aside from drugs, there are other factors that can help alleviate your dog’s condition.

Diet

Feed your dog a natural diet rich in vitamins and minerals to ensure proper formation of bones and tissue, which is the foundation of a long, healthy life. See to it that your dog does not become overweight. Choose dog food that is low in fat and carbohydrates. Or you can prepare your pet’s meals yourself.

Herbs

Various herbs can be used to treat canine arthritis. Devil’s Claw, which is used in traditional African medicine, is said to be effective due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Another example is alfalfa, which promotes joint health.

Exercise

If possible, take your dog out for several 10- to 15-minute walks throughout the day instead of a single long walk. Swimming is a great activity as it does not put any pressure on the joints. For small dogs, you can give them a bath rub. Exercise plays a very important role in your dog’s recovery, so make sure he moves around regularly.

Weight

Excess weight can put stress on your dog’s joints and cause more pain and swelling, so if your pooch is overweight, cut back on treats and put him on a low fat diet.

Moist Heat

Place a hot water bottle or a warm damp towel on your dog’s joints. Moist heat penetrates deeply and provides much needed relief to dogs with arthritis. Do not use a heating pad as it can get too hot and burn your pet, especially if he has limited movement and might have difficulty getting away from it.

Massages

Everyone loves to have their aching muscles rubbed, even dogs. Softly rub the sore joint and massage the surrounding area. Your dog will appreciate this gentle movement combined with the comforting warmth from your hands.

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1 thought on “Arthritis in Dogs”

  1. Just wanted to pass along info on the HipHug. I made this natural heating pad for my 12 year-old Golden, Gracie. It is a 100% cotton, rice-filled blanket that heats in your microwave. The rice creates moist heat that then cuddles your dog’s hips and lower back, easing joint pain and relaxing muscles. It has also been helping with mobility. It is veterinarian recommended and endorsed by Atlanta Animal Rehabilitation and Fitness.
    Thank you for your information…our older dogs need all the help they can get.

    Deb

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