The Wonderful World Of Pets

Is Your Doggy Feeling Its Age? 4 Steps To Help Alleviate Arthritis Pain

by Samuel Sullivan

If you thought arthritis was something that only affected humans, you're wrong. Unfortunately, arthritis can also affect your dogs. If you have a dog that's advancing in years, it might be time to have it tested for arthritis. This is particularly true if your dog has a hard time moving in the morning or is walking more slowly than it used to. Large dogs, such as Saint Bernard's and Great Danes are particularly vulnerable to arthritis. If your senior dog has arthritis, here are four steps you can take to help keep it comfortable.

Watch Its Weight

If your dog is overweight, those extra pounds could be exacerbating its arthritis. The heavier your dog is, the harder it is for it to move around without pain. Help alleviate the discomfort by watching your dog's weight. You can help your dog shed unwanted pounds by implementing the following suggestions.

  • Eliminate table scraps and between-meal snacks
  • Add fiber to its diet
  • Switch to a lower-calorie dog food

Start Taking Walks

If your dog has arthritis, it might not feel like moving around much. Unfortunately, that inactivity can increase the discomfort your dog experiences on a daily basis. To help reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, take your dog for a walk at least once a day. Better yet, try taking a couple 15-minute walks around the neighborhood each day. If you have a doggie park in your community, take your dog for a romp in the park several times a week. They'll get their exercise and they'll be able to socialize with other dogs.

Elevate the Feeding Area

If you have a large-breed dog, arthritis can make it difficult for it to bend down to reach the food and water bowls. Help make mealtime more comfortable for your pet by elevating the feeding area. Placing the bowls on a feeding tray will allow your dog to eat without bending too low.

Try Doggy Massage

Doggy massage is an excellent way to alleviate the discomfort associated with arthritis. You don't even have to take your dog to a professional masseuse. All you have to do is spend a few minutes each night massaging your dog. Be sure to focus on the hip and knee joints, as well as your pet's feet.

If your dog has arthritis, there are some simple things you can do to help make it more comfortable. If your dog's symptoms get worse, be sure to contact your veterinarian. There are treatments available for your pet. 

For a veterinarian, click the link or do an online search.