How to Soothe Your Dog’s Achy Joints
Tips to make an arthritic dog more comfortable and mobile
Does your dog no longer bound up the steps? Does he appear stiff in the morning or perhaps even limps? If so, there’s a good chance your dog has arthritis, also called osteoarthritis or degenerative bone disease. The Arthritis Founadation conservatively reports one in five dogs suffer from this chronic joint pain condition. The good news is there are ways you can make your dog more comfortable.
Schedule an appointment with your vet. She can determine if your dog’s stiffness or reluctance to play is in fact a symptom of joint pain, and not a torn ligament or even cancer. They can also advise if your dog ought to be on pain medication.
Lose the extra weight. Dogs, like people, have a tendency to pack on some extra pounds as they age. This extra weight puts considerable added strain on already sore joints. Your dog will be happier—and healthier—at his optimal weight.
Add natural supplements. Turmeric and the omega-3’s found in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce joint pain. Turn to page 84 for dosage information.
Get comfortable. A supportive dog bed that cushions sore joints is a must. A high-quality, super-comfortable dog bed that cushions painful joints and that is easy to get into and out of is a great investment. Dogs spend an average of 12–14 hours a day sleeping. Why not make them dreamy ones? Check out the Dormeo Octaspring Bolster Bed by Buddyrest.
Massage your dog. Not only does canine massage ease pain, it’s a wonderful way to deepen your bond and show your dog how much you love her. For canine massage technique how-to, go to moderndogmagazine.com/caninemassage.
If your buddy is starting to have a really hard time climbing the steps or getting up to his favourite spot on the couch, invest in ramps or floor runners to improve traction. Helpyourpets.com builds awesome, Martha Stewart-approved steps in a variety of styles to assist pets getting onto places they can no longer jump up or down to without help. Woodrowwear.com makes amazing dog booties that provide traction on slippery surfaces like hardwood, making a huge difference in your dog’s stability.