6 Critical Things to Do to Keep Your Dog’s Joints Healthy
Just like us, dogs experience joint problems as they age. They will have difficulty walking, running, climbing, and even playing becomes a problem. It is only that they are not able to express themselves like human beings.
We all know the pleasure that comes from seeing our pets enjoying and play. Whether playing with toys, walking and running for fun, or as a jogging partner, these are some of the best experiences you can have together.
But age can take a toll on the dog’s joints, making it difficult for them to move around as well as doing other ordinary things. For this reason, as your dogs age, you should carefully take care of their joints so they can have an active and healthy life.
Some dogs are more prone to joint problems than others, due to their breed and size, but here are some of the steps you can take to maintain healthy joints for your dog.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the causes of joint problems in dogs is excess weight. Naturally, bones and joints are prone to significant stress and strain, but when subjected to excess weight, the pressure increases, leading to severe joint problems over time.
Just like humans, as pets age, the metabolic activity slows down and so maintaining a healthy weight becomes slightly more complicated.
The best way to ensure your dog has the right weight is by encouraging gentle exercises and feeding it a low-calorie diet. Exercises promote muscle tone, which supports joints.
While your dog may not be as active as they used to be when younger, you can still involve them in gentle runs or games.
2. Check Your Dog’s Diet
Diet and joint health medications for dogs play a critical role keeping your pet’s joints healthy. You can use proper diet as a preventive measure as well as for treatment. When used for treatment, particularly for an overweight dog, changing the diet can have huge health benefits.
After confirming that your dog is overweight, your vet will advise you how you can change your dog’s diet for their greater good.
You should not wait until when your dog is old or obese to introduce a vitamin supplement into their diet.
You can also feed your pet with the right amount of natural glucosamine to help rebuild cartilage.
3. Regular Exercise
Dogs that don’t have a regular exercise schedule are at a high risk of having arthritis. They say “let sleeping dogs lie’’, but allowing your dog to lie for too long can cause stiffness in their muscles. In the long run, your dog may put up more weight and be at a higher risk of having joint problems. Just like humans, regular exercises can help maintain healthy joints for your dog.
If your dog is having difficulty performing regular exercises such as walking and running, you can try introducing swimming by going to a local dog pool. A 12-20 min session in the water can serve the same purpose as a run, with no extra stress on joints.
4. Pamper Your Dog
Ever experienced this? You’ve woken up from a deep sleep and experienced stiffness in your joints that it takes some time to crawl out of bed? Your pet can also experience the same as their joints can stiffen after sleeping. Gentle massage can help your pet feel better.
5. Make the Home Environment More Accommodative
When your pets reach the elderly age, they are unable to do some activities that they used to do before. You should, therefore, find ways to make their life easier. One of the measures you can take is making your home environment more accommodative for your dog.
For instance, you can provide your dog with soft bedding that are easier to reach. Also, slippery floors can be difficult for dogs with joint problems, and so you should consider laying traction strips or rugs, particularly through the routes that your dog uses more often when entering the house.
6. Get Your Dog Checked More Often
Having a vet check your dog for joint and hip problems more often is very important.
If you are concerned about your dog's hips and joints or notice your dog having difficulty when walking or running, talk to your veterinarian to know what needs to be done. Your doctor might suggest a special anti-inflammatory diet or supplements. Omega3 and glucosamine are commonly used for canine joint health problems, but we’d recommend that you consult your veterinarian before giving them to your dog.