Dogs are a wonderful company, they can bring you joy and comfort when you need it most. As your dog ages, you can return all that affection that gives you making you feel as comfortable as possible.
Older dogs often develop arthritis, however, this disease is not only caused by old age. If your dog suffers from arthritis there are medical and natural treatments that you can try to make your furry companion feel happy and comfortable.
Relieving joint load on a daily basis
Put your dog on a diet. A dog suffering from arthritis may have difficulty staying active and maintaining a healthy weight. However, being overweight can actually worsen arthritis, so it is important that you help your dog control his weight. Reduce your daily food ration, and you will most likely see a substantial improvement in your state.
- In fact, it has been shown that really if you help your dog lose excess weight can relieve arthritis in such a way that no longer requires take any medicine. It is recommended that you take your medicines while you lose weight, however, when your dog reaches a healthy weight, you can talk to the veterinarian about the possibility of taking the medicine.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
Even though a dog suffering from arthritis may have difficulty walking, it is still important to make sure that you perform low-impact exercises regularly, because inactivity can truly stiffen your joints. Low impact exercises help joint mobility (maintaining your dog’s flexibility), promote blood circulation and maintain muscle strength.
- Your dog should exercise for the same amount of time each day. A good reference is 30 minutes daily of walking, swimming or racing. Swimming is especially beneficial because it keeps the dog moving without putting pressure on the hip and joints.
Help your dog with a heat therapy.
Heat therapy is excellent for relieving pain at a specific point. Heat helps the circulation of synovial fluid (which favors the flexibility of your dog) and reduces the accumulation of inflammatory substances inside the joint (which causes joint stiffness). Here are some ways you can give your dog a heat therapy:
- Put your dog on a warm sleeping mat. Hot mats give warmth to your dog to avoid joint stiffness in the morning, while protecting your arthritic joints making you feel more comfortable.
- Cover your dog with a blanket during cold nights. The blanket will help your dog stay warm, which in turn will prevent joint stiffness.
- Get a microwave-safe dry heat bag. These bags can be heated in the microwave and then placed in the most painful area and with greater joint stiffness.
Place a padding to help your dog walk on slippery floors.
Smooth wood floors pose a challenge for a dog suffering from arthritis, as it does not have a good grip while walking. For this reason you should consider placing an anti-slip surface, such as the pads you put under the carpets on slippery wooden floors to help your dog move.
- If your dog goes up and down the stairs it is particularly useful to place mats or non-slip pads on the steps that are slippery. This will help you to get on and off without risking falling.
Place ramps in your house.
Provide your dog with a ramp so that he can access the car or any other level of the house without putting pressure on sore joints. The ramps make it easier to go up and down stairs as they eliminate pressure on the arthritic joints.
- Some dogs will ignore your pain in an attempt to follow you to the second floor at night. For that reason, it would be a good idea to put a barrier at the bottom of the stairs in case your dog wants to climb but you have not yet gotten an anti-slip rug or a ramp.
Raise your dog’s water and food containers.
Sometimes, dogs develop arthritis in the neck and spine. If your dog has this problem, you can make life easier by placing your food and water container on a small table or raising it in some other way. This way, your dog will have access to his food and water much more easily without having to put pressure on the neck and spine which causes him pain.
Tips and Advise
- Demonstrate to your dog a lot of affection every day. Affection has a positive effect on physical and mental health.
- Always consult your doctor before starting any medication, including over-the-counter medicines.