July 07, 2021 / by Emma Jones

Your dog’s health is absolutely important, and maintaining it should be at the top of your priority list in order to avoid future illness, especially for older dogs. If your pet is a senior, there’s a high chance that it may suffer from joint conditions. As much as you try to provide them with a healthy and active life, dogs can still get joint problems and arthritis in older years.

Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in elderly dogs is associated with joint pains that are caused by trauma, diabetes or even obesity. The most prevalent kind, osteoarthritis, often known as degenerative joint disease, affects one out of every five dogs.

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as degenerative joint disease, is a degenerative joint inflammation caused by cartilage decay. Cartilage functions as a cushion in a healthy joint, allowing the joint to move smoothly across its entire range of motion. This cartilage cushion begins to break down due to different factors such as age, injury, and repetition. When this protective cushion is lost, it causes discomfort, inflammation, restricted range of motion, and the formation of bone spurs. While osteoarthritis may affect every joint in the body, it usually affects the limbs and lower spine in dogs.

giving dog a pill
source: zoetispetcare.com

If your dog’s breed is prone to osteoarthritis, it is critical to schedule regular health examinations with your veterinarian to avoid any potential bone damage. Your assigned veterinarian can assist your dog in maintaining a healthy weight and leading an active lifestyle, as well as diagnose osteoarthritis early on and give required food supplements or pain medicines.

Osteoarthritis may affect any dog, especially as they get older and less mobile. However, particular breeds, such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers are predisposed to this disease as are other contributing factors such as obesity, age, repeated stress on the joints, bad diet, heredity, and a diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

Osteoarthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages, and symptoms frequently do not appear until the afflicted joint is severely damaged. Some dogs are also incredibly stoic, hiding their agony until it gets serious. As a result, it is critical to keep an eye out for early indicators of joint illness in middle-aged to senior dogs, as well as those prone to osteoarthritis. Among the few indicators for arthritis are lethargy, stiffness and limping, weight gain due to lack of exercise, changes in behaviour, loss of muscle mass and strength.

Ways You Can Help Your Dog with Arthritis

When arthritis develops, therapy is usually aimed at managing pain, reducing inflammation, enhancing the quality of life, and delaying the progression of the disease. Osteoarthritis treatment is most effective when multiple different therapies are employed concurrently. So, let’s go over the few simple things you can do to treat arthritis and joint conditions in dogs.

source: topdogtips.com

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Supplements for Joint Support and Arthritis

Natural joint supplements have been shown to improve the quality of life for dogs suffering from this condition. You can find a variety of effective supplements such as Antinol for dogs that you can buy over-the-counter from any pet chemist.

Antinol is high in omega 3 fatty acids and is produced entirely of naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acids. It’s is a safe and healthy addition to your pet’s food to promote joint metabolism. Antinol is widely used to improve function, reduce inflammation and water retention in cartilage, resulting in greater joint cushioning.

The daily recommended supply of Antinol for dogs is two capsules for dogs weighing less than 20 kilograms and four capsules for dogs weighing more than 20 kilograms, over the course of two weeks.

Control Weight and Diet

Whatever the state of your dog’s health is, it is critical for it to have a healthy weight and an active lifestyle. Carrying extra weight on injured joints in dogs with osteoarthritis is not only uncomfortable, but it can also hasten the breakdown of cartilage. Just like the case with arthritis, obesity in dogs can predispose them to a variety of other disorders, like heart disease and hypertension.

dog with his diet
source: pets.webmd.com

Losing weight relieves some of the pressure on your dog’s bones and joints, and may reverse the effects of arthritis on the affected joints. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphate can also help alleviate arthritic symptoms and may increase your pet’s comfort.

House and Environmental Modifications

Senior dogs may have difficulty navigating stairwells, hardwood floors, and tile floors. Install rugs and carpets on slippery surfaces to make it easier for your dog to move and get to their food bowls. For additional help, you should elevate your dog’s water and food bowls to relieve strain on their neck when reaching for their nutrients. With these simple home changes, your dog will be much more steady, which will relieve the unnecessary pressure on their legs.

Exercise and Massage Relief

Massage may enhance your dog’s mobility and flexibility, as well as promote circulation and relaxation. If you begin with massages for better blood circulation, you should start by gently kneading your dog’s sore muscles, or you can make an appointment with a professional pet massage therapist who can help you.

Additionally, remember that your dog needs a moderate amount of activity to maintain a healthy muscle mass, yet still you should avoid overly strenuous movements that may do more harm than good, such as leaping out of the car or running after the ball.

massage for a dog
source: akc.org

I am not sure whether you’ve heard of hydrotherapy, but this is a terrific approach to get your dog moving while avoiding additional straining of the bones like regular exercises do. The water motions will lower the load on their joints as they attempt to recover from this condition. Because of the potential to decrease swelling in human tissues, this sort of treatment is also a natural anti-inflammatory.

Provide Soft Bedding For Your Dog

You can keep your dog happy and comfortable by providing proper pet supplies, such as an orthopaedic dog bed. Some pet retailers provide beds designed specifically for dogs suffering from arthritis. A memory foam orthopaedic bed can assist and support your dog’s joints and bones. When shopping for an orthopaedic bed, opt for one with up to 15 cm of memory foam to avoid having your dog feel the hard surfaces in your home.