Unfortunately, Arthritic pain in dogs is all too common.
It's estimated that 80% of dogs over 8 years of age are affected by arthritis in varying degrees. Younger dogs aren't immune too with an estimated 20 % of dogs older than 1 year of age struggling with arthritis.
As with humans, dog arthritis comes more symptomatic with age. The average age for dog diagnosis of Arthritis is 9. Luckily, there are plenty of things which we can do as owners to reduce the effects and give your pup a happy life.
Keeping your pup fit and trim to lower the chances of arthritis developing
Studies have shown that keeping your dog fit and trim reduces the overall chance of them developing arthritis. Several larger dog breeds are more prone to arthritis unfortunately so making sure they are healthy and active is essential to reduce the chance in the first place.
It is important to keep Arthritic dogs active
First of all, Arthritic dogs should stick to low impact exercises such as walking and swimming. These exercise help keep your dog healthy without exerting their joints too much. Arthritic dogs should not be encouraged to jump, walk on their hind legs or run long distances.
Daily low impact exercise will help their muscles stay strong which helps stabilise their joints, keeps their tendons flexible and helps circulate blood to stiff joints.
The importance of warming up and cooling down
We can't stress this enough at The Pampered Pet. In dogs with arthritic pain, warm-ups and cool-downs are necessary. Quite often when your dog first exercises their joints are stiff and sore, a warm-up can aid in circulating blood to these joints.
A warm down could consist of a slower walk than your normal pace and then followed by a nice doggie massage. It helps them mentally calm down and can improve their muscle aches and stiffness.
Soft blankets and beds can also be excellent in warming up joints after their exercise and keeping them comfortable. We have PET SOFT Blankets which are perfect for this at The Pampered Pet. Click here to view them.
A list of great exercises for dogs with arthritis
Swimming - Swimming is by far the best and most popular choice for this. As in the case with humans, swimming is a low impact exercise in which water supports your dog's bodyweight and inhibits excessive, sudden movements.
Swimming encourages a large range of motions and limits the stress placed on joints caused by other exercises. It also maintains cardiovascular health and maintains strong muscles and bones.
Walking - Walking is a great way to keep your dog trim and fit. If your pup isn't used to this, start slow and definitely don't over-exert. If afterwards, your loved one is noticeably stiff and sore you may have overdone it. It is important to monitor your pup for signs of discomfort and pain.
Hide and seek - Playing hide and seek with your dog keeps your dog mentally stimulated and is good for bonding. Also, it allows your pup to exercise in a relaxed and fun environment.
Nose work games - These games get them moving around whilst being mentally stimulated. Hide some of your pups favourite treats and train them to put their nose to work by sniffing them out.
The important message from this blog is it is still important to keep your dog active both physically and mentally.
Besides exercise, their are a number of things you can also do to help. There are supplements like Dog Krill Oil which may help.
For any other treatments etc it is best to consult a vet. There are special diets, physiotherapy treatments and medications which can also help your pup.
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If you enjoyed this article also enjoy our article on general care for older dogs. Click here to view this blog post.
Thanks for reading,
The Pampered Pet