Arthritic Dogs: Encourage Better Mobility and Overall Health

Rocklin_iStock_000088600891_LargeArthritis is a common problem among senior dogs. Witnessing a beloved pet struggle with pain and discomfort can be heartbreaking, but advances in veterinary medicine have vastly improved the lives of many arthritic dogs. Keep reading to find out how you can help support a pet living with this condition.

10 Ways to Help an Arthritic Dog

  1. Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Dogs who are obese or overweight have a greater risk of developing arthritis and other joint conditions and can suffer from more pain. Consult with your friends at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital regarding the best dietary choices for your canine companion.
  2. Follow up with wellness appointments. Regular exams help monitor the progression of your pet’s arthritis. They also allow for better recommendations to reduce pain and improve quality of life.
  3. Consider a nutritious specialty diet. As with any aspect of health and wellbeing, diet plays a significant role in your pet’s ability to thrive. There are many nutritious foods formulated for joint health, and our team is happy to make recommendations.
  4. Learn more about the benefits of supplements. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can improve mobility in arthritic dogs. Ask your veterinarian about the wide range of vitamins and supplements we carry for your fur friend.
  5. Keep your pet moving. Although you might be reluctant to walk an arthritic dog, short, gentle walks are necessary for the health of your four-legged friend. Other low impact exercises, such as swimming, can actually help slow the progression of arthritis.
  6. Make accommodations at home. Add extra layers to your pet’s bed or consider purchasing an orthopedic bed. Provide throw rugs or carpeting for traction, and decrease (or eliminate) your pet’s need to climb any stairs.
  7. Keep your pet warm and dry. Arthritic pets are particularly sensitive to cold, damp weather. To keep him or her warm, place a bed in a draft-free location and avoid taking rainy or damp morning walks.
  8. Inquire about pain management. Managing pain is one of the most important factors to address for arthritic pets. Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital offers several options that can help your pet feel better and happier.
  9. Consider alternative therapies. Modalities such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and laser therapy have proven effective in reducing inflammation and promoting healing in arthritic pets.
  10. Consult with us about orthopedic surgery. If a pet is suffering from advanced arthritis, orthopedic surgery may be the best option to improve health and longevity.

While arthritis is sometimes an inevitable condition, there are ways to keep your pet moving and feeling good. Overall wellness care – encompassing diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors – can play a significant role in improved health.

We welcome your questions about pet arthritis and encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable veterinarians today.