Like humans, dogs are not immune to the aging bug and as they get older they can have trouble climbing stairs, experience pain or achy hips and joint stiffness, and develop arthritis.With middle age comes mid life crisis, arthritis that is. Small or medium breed dogs can get began getting arthritis symptoms by age 7 or 8. While larger or giant breeds like your lab can start having aching joints as early as age 4 or 5.
But don't throw in the towel and start planning your dogs early retirement confined as a couch potato. Here are some ways you can help manage arthritis, improve your dogs quality of life and keep him comfortable in the process.
1. Daily supplements- Supplements can slow and even reverse some joint damage. Glucosamine-Chondroitin supplements, often containing the anti-inflammatory effective in the management of arthritis. Zukes Hip Action treats contains Glucosamine, to keep your dogs joints healthy and maintain mobility. While our Happytails Joint Resolution improves joint health and provides comfort for dogs suffering from arthritis & hip dsyplasia. With these wonderful & effective products that active dog in your life won't have to be the commentator on the sidelines in his or her aging years.
2. Maintain Healthy Weight- Keeping your dog on a strict diet will help to maintain healthy weight. Extra love handles, although the more to love can put strain on the joints and arthritis.
3. Regular low-impact exercise of walking and swimming will help maintain mobility and keep those furry bods trim and in shape. Avoid jogging and running with your dog which can put strain and trauma on the joints.
4. Purchasing a good yet firm Orthopedic bed will help reduce joint stiffness and pain, especially in the morning. When selecting a bed make sure it is firm enough to provide support to the hips, shoulders, spine and neck.
Cold weather and drafty living corridors is not good for any dogs, especially ones with arthritis. So make sure your dog has a warm sleeping area to lay his head. One way to guard your dog from the cold is to keep his bed elevated off the floor, which helps to relieve stiffness and pain due to the cold.
5. Heating Pad- Applying heat to the achy spot can help minimize stiffness and pain, particularly in the morning or on a cold day. Applying a microwavable heat pack or a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time, two or three times a day, can help lessen arthritis discomfort. Don't forget to apply heat to those problem areas such as the shoulders, back and hips.
6. Give a Deep Fur Massage- Nothing beats a nice massage to relieve arthritis pain and stiffness. Start at the end of the extremities and move in toward the heart massaging all those trouble and achy spots. Not to mention a deep fur massage can be relaxing to say the least and a good bonding time with your dog. Now, all you need to do is train your dog to reciprocate but with the lack of opposable thumbs this can be a challenge.
7. Medication can help dogs who are in need of a bit more pain relief and prescription medication can be beneficial. Speak with your pet’s veterinarian if you feel that medication may improve your pet’s quality of life.
So for all you young pups, its never to early to fight the war on arthritis. Start now and your joints will thank you later when you are climbing Mount Staircase. Don't let squeaky joints and pain stand in the way of a good old game of fetch or chase the squirrel.