These are the 5 signs of arthritis in dogs:
- Your dog has difficulty getting up after resting
- He’s more reluctant to jump into the car or up onto your lap
- Your pooch can’t seem to get comfortable when going to bed
- Your dog starts slowing up when you go out for your favourite walk
- You hear pain noises. Little moans, huffs, and groans.
There’s been a lot of research into the symptoms and treatment of arthritis pain in dogs, so we don’t have to feel completely powerless to help our old mates.
Fortunately there are a few ways we can help and we’ll go through these here.
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When you notice joint pain in your dog
These are the things to review when your dog starts to show signs of hip and joint pain or stiffening.
- Encourage regular, consistent exercise. It’s important to keep taking your dog for a walk. Exercise is so important to keep the joints lubricated and muscles strong. Make sure it’s at a pace that is comfortable for your dog so it doesn’t cause damaging stress to the joints.
- Diet – Look for the best dog food for older dogs – Purina Supercoat Senior: contains Omega 3 to help joint issues
- Pain relief and food: Supplement your dog’s diet with vitamins that can help provide relief and keep pain at bay.
- Provide a snug bed– Make sure your dog’s bed is comfortable and warm. It’s especially important to be cosy and protected in winter and the colder months. The bed should be raised up, off the cold floor and out of a breeze. The step up to lay in the bed should not be too high for your dog. Just a comfortable height to hop in and out.
- For the well-being of your dog, check with your vet to make sure there is nothing sinister going on with their health.
Hip and Joint Supplements
Hip and joint supplements make life a whole lot more comfortable and help to relieve some of the discomforts that your dog will be feeling.
A supplement that contains antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and glucosamine is a good, base combination. These ingredients are well researched, extensively documented and known for the beneficial effects they have on joints, muscles and connective tissue.
The reason for adding a joint supplement to your dog’s daily routine is simple. It’s to help maintain healthy muscles, lubricate and reduce joint inflammation for greater mobility. This eases joint stiffness making life much more comfortable for your dog.
The other job of the supplements is to undertake the repair work on joints and cartilage while supporting joint strength and healthy cartilage.
You can choose either a powder supplement that can be added to your dog’s food or a soft chew formula supplement.
I haven’t had any trouble getting my dogs to take chewable supplements but some find it easier to add a powder to the meal. You know you’ll be doing the best to help your dog.
I thought I’d share a little about my experience with our dogs getting old and suffering from arthritis.
One of our dogs, ‘Beepa’ was a ‘bitsa’. He was quite a big dog with a lovely nature and a much loved part of our family. You could see the characteristics of all sorts of breeds in him at different times. The vet even said to me one day “he had the heart of a greyhound and a ‘bit of dingo’ in him”. So he was quite an interesting combination, certainly a unique dog, and I loved him to bits.
I’ll share one little story to show you how agile and active he was. When he was a young dog he could jump into the back of my ute in a single bound, and he did that often. One day I was playing with him and he was chasing me. I was ducking and weaving, in and out of things, challenging him. I couldn’t shake him, so I quickly climbed up the Jacaranda tree in the front yard as fast as I could, not thinking. As I looked behind, I expected to see him at the base of the tree gazing up at me puzzled.
Instead, he had somehow managed to follow me up the tree and was right behind me. I couldn’t believe it and had to grab him quickly in case he fell. I laughed so much at the time, and it still makes me smile. A dog in a tree – now that’s something that you don’t see every day.
He was a great mate and would follow me anywhere.
As he got older it was sad to see my old mate not being able to jump into the ute and unable to do the things that had been so much a part of his life.
He was starting to slow up. I’d hear the little groans as he got up from rest and the ‘huff’ when lowering himself down to sleep. Signs that age was catching up. Hip and joint pain were making life uncomfortable.
Dogs can’t tell you when they’re in pain. They just soldier on.
Just like us, as our pets get older, they often suffer from pain and inflammation of the joints. It’s our job as responsible owners to provide a healthy diet, comfort and exercise for our dog.
A natural, home remedy you may want to investigate is localised cooling to reduce joint inflammation in dogs. You can read about the benefits here.