Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that usually occurs in older dogs. When the cartilage that protects your dogs’ joints starts to wear down, either through old age or perhaps after an infection or an injury, this can bring about early arthritis.
Although arthritis in dogs is not curable, there are certain things that we, as responsible dog owners can do that will help our dogs feel more comfortable with this affliction.
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Treating Arthritis In Dogs
As with any dog health issue, there are certain prescription medications that you can give to your dog, but that is for your vet to decide.
In this post, I will tell you about the natural, over the counter supplements, as well as some common sense tips to help pooch feel a little better about everyday life with arthritis.
Here are some natural ways that you can help to reduce the joint inflammation that causes arthritis and the pain that comes with that.
Dog Supplements Commonly Used For Arthritis
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown, that by making a golden paste from this warming spice and adding it to your dog’s food daily, the effects and any further advance of arthritis have been hugely reduced.
Glucosamine Sulfate has to be on the shopping list for any dogs suffering from arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural substance found in your dogs’ body, with the highest concentration found in healthy cartilage.
By supplementing your dog with extra Glucosamine, studies have shown that the pain and discomfort associated with the joint pain are often reduced.
Glucosamine sulfate is said to not only improve the body’s production of joint lubricants, but it can promote healthy nails, skin, eyes, bone and also cellular growth and structure for your dog.
Glucosamine is a nutritional supplement and is usually extracted from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells. There are three forms of glucosamine, look for glucosamine sulfate over any others, as this seems to be absorbed and utilized best.
Chondroitin is another natural substance that is found in your dogs’ cartilage and when taken with Glucosamine is said to have a better effect on your dog’s overall joint comfort.
You can either buy a combined Glucosamine with Chondroitin or give it to your dog separately.
How Do I Give These Supplements To My Dog (And Are They Safe?)
The supplements can be bought in the form of a liquid, in tasty treats or in a basic tablet that you can easily crumble onto your dogs’ food.
Obviously, as with any medication, you must administer them to your dog with common sense. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean you can give as much of it as you deem fit.
Use your doggy common sense and you will find that yes, giving your dog this natural supplement is safe. If you have any concerns, speak to a holistic vet. (Be aware that traditional vets may be ‘sceptical’ as to whether or not natural remedies work on dogs).
How Long Will The Supplements Take to Work On My Dog’s Arthritis?
We suggest giving it a couple of weeks. After that, you should start to see the beneficial effects of the supplements.
You may notice that your dog appears to move about with less discomfort, is more playful and is willing to go back to his regular walking regime.
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Ways You Can Help Your Dog Cope With Arthritis
Below are some simple tips that will help your dog feel better about living with arthritis.
- Keep your dog slim – watch his weight! He does not need an extra load to carry around on his ageing joints. As tempting as it is to give him a few extra treats from the local doggie cafe, try and refrain. You are not helping him in the long run.
- To help keep an eye on your dogs exercise levels, use a health tracker for your dog such as the FitBark 2. These amazing devices will tell you how much exercise your dog needs for her age and breed, helping you to ward off arthritis.
- Keep your dog moving regularly, even if it is to the local park for a ten-minute stroll. Remember the saying use it or lose it? Well, this rings true with old age in dogs too. You are not expected to take him on a ten-kilometre hike, but know that it is important keep him moving.
- If you have to leave your dog with a pet sitter or a friend while you away then make sure that they know about your dog’s condition. Leave clear instructions on what supplements he takes and how he is to be walked.
- Cold and damp conditions can aggravate arthritis, Keep your dog warm and dry at all times. It is super important that your dog has her own comfortable bed so that she is comfortable and happy. We recommend using a secure dog crate that has your pooches favourite bed inside. This way your girl will feel happy and secure while knowing she is still within sight of you.
- Massage can work wonders for your arthritic dog by increasing the circulation and your dog’s flexibility. You can ask your local vet if there is a trained massage, or, you could do it yourself.
- Gently ask your dog to lay down beside you, make sure he is warm and comfortable and then gently massage his joints. If he shows signs of discomfort then decrease the pressure. You will find that your dog (and you) takes great pleasure in the bonding that massage brings.
Above all, make sure that your dog is as comfortable as possible and doesn’t have to endure any unnecessary stress. By giving her the natural supplements that we have talked about and by letting her know that you are there, arthritis in your dog will soon take a back seat, and you can enjoy the senior years with your pooch.