It's tough to see your beloved pup struggle with the pain and fatigue of canine arthritis. It's common in certain types of dogs, and many older dogs are afflicted by it naturally as they age. However, here are some things you can do to help preserve your dog's joint health.
Talk to Your Vet
Your dog's vet will be able to assess your dog and help you develop strategies for managing their arthritis. In addition, the vet will evaluate risk factors such as your dog's size, age, diet, and exercise.
Your vet may put your dog on prescription medication to help manage the arthritis pain. Common medications vets prescribe are Amantadine, Gabapentin, and Tramadol. Or, your vet may suggest alternatives to medication that can involve changing your dog's diet or modifying your home to accommodate their reduced mobility.
Create a Pain Treatment Plan With Your Vet
Your vet will have recommendations for managing your dog's arthritis, but it's also important to be open with your vet about what you and your dog can handle. Come up with a treatment plan with your vet that meets both of your expectations.
Prescription medications are commonly given to dogs for arthritis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, often known as NSAIDs, can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Refrain from giving your dog any medications that are prescribed to you. Dogs require different medications and dosages than humans, though you should be able to pick up any medications prescribed to your dog at your regular pharmacy.
CBD oil has been proven effective in managing arthritis in dogs. In 2018, researchers found that a small dosage of CBD oil can help reduce dogs' arthritis pain. CBD oil for dogs is shown to relieve arthritic pain and help soothe sore joints.
Feeding your dog healthy and nutritious food is a key part of keeping arthritis at bay. Lean protein is good, and so is fatty fish like salmon for preserving joint health. Add some fresh vegetables, such as broccoli and sweet potatoes, to round out your dog's diet. Look for vet-recommended dog food brands, and be sure to purchase food optimized for your dog, whether they're an older, larger dog or a smaller, younger dog.
Don't forget to make sure your dog is hydrated! Always have fresh water available for your pup.
A strong diet goes a long way, but sometimes your dog needs a little more to stay healthy. Try adding these supplements to your arthritic dog's routine.
Glucosamine is an over-the-counter treatment to help your dog's joint health improve. It's often paired with chondroitin and given to dogs as an alternative to prescription medications that may have adverse side effects.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This supplement is known to improve muscle strength in dogs. Omega-3 usually comes in the form of fish oil or krill oil, and the dosage should be based on your dog's weight.
Tumeric, which contains curcumin as its active ingredient, is an anti-inflammatory drug and is shown to work just as well as other types of medicine, but without the gastrointestinal side effects.
This supplement contains antioxidants vital for combatting the inflammation that comes with arthritis. MSM can come in the form of powder or capsules, and it's best taken with meals.
This is another alternative to NSAIDs that can help dogs with poor joint health. It's safe for dogs of all ages, and hyaluronic acid can be given orally in tablet form.
Exercise with Moderation
It's tricky to keep an older pup with arthritis active, but it's still vital to their health. The key is to get them exercising consistently but in moderation. For example, taking them to play high-intensity fetch at the dog park isn't a good idea for an arthritic dog, but a few short walks daily is a much better way and safer way for your dog to get exercise. In addition to walks, swimming is another low-impact activity that can benefit your dog's arthritic joints.
Help Their Paws with Better Grip
Make walking and getting around as easy as possible for your pup with dog shoes. Our specially designed sneakers are made with natural rubber inner and outsoles to help dogs stay secure on uneven or slippery surfaces. Safe traveling that's easy on the joints is necessary for dogs with arthritis. The shock-absorbing material makes it easier on dogs' joints by giving additional support when walking or participating in other activities. RIFRUF offers a range of sizes, so you can get a pair that fits your pup's paws perfectly.
Related: 10 Reasons to Wear Dog Shoes
Modify House to Assist with Mobility
It's your dog's house too, and they deserve to be able to navigate it safely. One way you can help your arthritic dog get around is to install ramps around your home. These ramps can help your dog reach common areas, such as their bed or the stairs into your house.
A simple modification you can make involves placing their food and water bowls on an elevated surface if they have arthritis in their neck. Also, lay carpeting or carpet runners to prevent your dog from sliding on slippery surfaces like wood.
Upgrade Their Doggy Bed
A better quality doggy bed can provide additional support for your arthritic dog. Find a doggy bed with ample cushioning to support their joints as they sleep. Look for a doggy bed with memory foam that conforms to your dog's unique shape. Be sure to put it in an area they can reach, and install a ramp if you elevate the bed.
Help Your Arthritic Pup
Having a dog that struggles with mobility is tough. However, there are many things you can do for your dog to help keep them as mobile and pain-free as possible. Pay attention to their health, make a plan with your vet and invest in dog sneakers to help them get around.