Dogs are one of the most popular pets in America, but many people know very little about their health. Dogs often develop arthritis, which is a disorder that causes inflammation and pain in a joint or joints. This can cause your dog to become less active and even immobile. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to help your pup live a healthy life with osteoarthritis. This article will discuss ways to improve your dog’s quality of life.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that causes pain and immobility in dogs. This condition affects the ‘articular cartilage’, which is the hard surface on the end of long bones, like those found in your dog’s legs. When this tissue becomes worn down, inflammation occurs. Many dogs develop this problem as they grow old. In some cases, dogs that have been in car accidents may develop this disorder as well. While there’s no cure for this condition, there are many treatments available to make your dog feel more comfortable and improve its quality of life.
What Are Some Common Signs Of This Condition?
Osteoarthritis is very common in dogs and can affect any breed. However, some breeds are more prone to arthritis, like Labradors, Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers. If your dog has this disorder, you may notice they move more slowly than normal or whine when they try to get up. They may also be stiff after resting for a long period of time. You should pay attention to your dog’s overall activity level; if it decreases significantly, talk to a veterinarian. Besides this, pay attention to licking joints, depression and low mood, feeling the cold more than usual, and grumpiness. This condition usually affects older dogs, but some younger canines may develop this disorder as well. Although old age and poor genes are two main contributors to the development of arthritis, injuries and joint deformity are also common indicators.
The Right Medication Can Help
If you opt for medication to control your dog’s osteoarthritis, make sure that it is safe for dogs. You should consult with your vet before administering any medication. Your vet will likely recommend some form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are only available with a prescription and can improve inflammation in your pup. There are many different medications that fall under this category, making it easier to find one that works for your dog. These include Metacam for dogs, carprofen, and deracoxib. Whatever you choose, make sure that you follow your vet’s instructions for dosing and always give the medication with food.
Medication Alone Is Not Enough
Don’t just rely on medication to help your dog with arthritis feel better because it can’t provide complete relief. To truly improve your dog’s quality of life, you also need to give him some supplements. Supplements can help your dog get the nutrients it needs to maintain his bone and joint health. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that helps reduce inflammation, improve joint fluidity, and even strengthen the bones. This supplement is completely natural and can be purchased over-the-counter at almost any pet store or pharmacy. Besides this one, you may also want to consider supplementing with chondroitin, which helps with cartilage regeneration. You can find these two supplements in pill form or even as chewable treats. However, ask your vet before giving any supplements to your pup. You should also consider adding omega-6 fatty acids to your dog’s diet to help with the problem.
There’s No Excuse For Not Exercising
One of the most important things you can do is exercise your dog regularly. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between exercising and working your dog to the point of exhaustion. Start off slow and work your way up as you go along. Not only will this help take some strain off of the bones and joints, but it can also improve your dog’s circulation and stimulate its metabolism. You’ll even notice that your pup starts acting like a young dog again. Be sure to take plenty of breaks if your pup gets tired or starts limping, but don’t let the pain slow you down either.
Love Your Pet And Help It Live A Happy Life
All dogs deserve to live a healthy and happy life, but osteoarthritis can make this difficult. You should never ignore the condition or force your dog to keep going when it’s in pain. Be sure to give your pup plenty of rest days if they need them, and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. At the same time, be sure to give them lots of love and affection. This will make your pup feel loved and supported as it fights to overcome its condition. Make sure to give your dog plenty of hugs and kisses and lots of yummy treats to help it feel better! Also, try to keep your dog’s environment free from dirt and other things that could irritate the joints. If your home has a lot of wood and tiled flooring, consider covering them with mats or carpet to make walking easier for your pets. Slipping and sliding can be extremely dangerous for pets, particularly those with weak joints.
Osteoarthritis is a serious, painful condition that can make everyday living difficult for your pet. However, there are a lot of ways to make your dog’s life better, from medication and supplements to plenty of exercises. Remember-you should always consult with your vet before administering any medications or giving your dog additional supplements. Whether you want to give them glucosamine or omega-6 fatty acids, remember that they’re there for a reason and will help your dog a great deal. Of course, give your pet plenty of love and affection as well because it will show that you care about its health and happiness even when osteoarthritis is making things difficult for them. Just make sure to give them lots of rest, take frequent breaks from exercise, and have fun with them to improve their quality of life. We hope this article has helped you understand osteoarthritis and how to improve your dog’s quality of life.