Just like in humans, becoming arthritic is to be expected when your dog ages. Here are a few helpful tips that can keep your pooch as pain free as possible:
1. Overweight dogs with arthritis are bound to be in more pain as there is more weight bearing on the joints. Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog reduces the stress put on the joints.
2. Avoid keeping your animal in cold and damp places as this can aggravate arthritis. Instead, offer your pooch soft, padded areas on the floor to lie on. Using warm compresses on the joints is another trick to stave off the stiffness that comes with cooler seasons. Slip-free mats and ramps instead of stairs are other modifications you can make to your home to reduce the occurrence of arthritic flare-ups.
3. Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate arthritic pain in dogs. Searching for relevant holistic veterinarians in your area would be a good place to start to acquire more information.
4. Similarly, massage therapy for animals has been shown to improve circulation, joint mobility and joint function. Holistic animal practices usually offer these services.
5. Exercising your dog on soft surfaces can loosen joint stiffness.
6. The effects of DMOADs (disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs) such as glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to significantly improve joint mobility and alleviate pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin come in both liquid and pill form.
7. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) have also been shown to have alleviating effects on a dog’s arthritis symptoms.
8. Be sure to keep your dog in a low-stress environment. Provide them with lots of affection, encouragement and patience.
As always, be sure to discuss the options with your veterinarian to formulate the best plan for your pooch’s health!
Please note that these remedies pertain only to dogs, as many dog medications for arthritis can be poisonous to cats.