Arthritis doesn't just affect aging adults. It's a condition that can also affect aging dogs. Unfortunately, dogs can't tell you when they're in pain. It's up to you to recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention for them. If your dog is growing older, and having a difficult time moving around without difficultly, it's time talk to your veterinarian. Here are some steps you can take to help your dog overcome the discomfort of arthritis.
Control Its Weight
If your dog is carrying around some extra weight, those added pounds could be increasing the symptoms of arthritis. The best way to help your dog is to get its weight under control. Some ways to do that include reducing its serving sizes, giving it several smaller meals throughout the day instead of two large meals, and cutting out the between-meal snacks. If you do choose to continue the daily snacks, try switching to healthy options such as bite-size pieces of apples, or frozen blueberries.
Increase Daily Exercise
If your dog has arthritis, moving around can be uncomfortable. However, the added exercise can help keep your dog's joints strong, and improve mobility. To keep your dog active, try taking it out for a leisurely walk each day, or enrolling it in a doggy swim class at the local pool. If you don't have a community pool that allows dogs in your area, fill your tub with warm water and allow you dog to soak at least once a day.
Elevate Its Sleeping Arrangement
If your dog sleeps on the floor, it's time to elevate its sleeping arrangements. Switching to an elevated dog cot will allow your dog to sleep more comfortably. First, it will be up off the cold floor. Second, it will have an easier time settling in for the night if it doesn't have to maneuver down to the ground. You might not realize this, but cold can radiate into arthritic joints, causing increased pain. Not only that, but it can be painful for an arthritic dog to curl up on the floor.
Speak to Your Veterinarian
If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, it's important that you remain in contact with your veterinarian. They'll be able to provide a treatment plan that will help alleviate the symptoms of canine arthritis. If your dog shows signs of increased pain, or is unable to move without assistance, you should contact a veterinarian such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc as soon as possible.