Joint pain is an unfortunate part of getting older. Seeing your once playful and energetic dog suffering from the effects of inflammation of the joints can be emotionally painful for you as well. Many dogs never show signs of joint pain until it’s already become severe so don’t wait until they are visibly limping and struggling to start taking proactive measures.
What Causes Inflammation?
Inflammation of the joints can occur for many reasons. Congenital disorders, degenerative problems and injury are some of the factors contributing to inflammation of the joints. Larger dogs and overweight dogs are also more prone to these problems because the extra weight creates more stress, but joint problems can affect dogs of all sizes and ages.
Inflammation can also affect:
- Gastrointestinal system
- Mental capacity
You can’t reverse joint disease but you can try to help delay its onset, mitigate its effects and slow down advancement.
Weight Management and Diet
Keeping your dog’s weight at the recommended level will help to relieve the stress on joints that can lead to inflammation. It’s not only the extra pressure the weight puts on the joint, but fat itself is also a source of inflammation. Check with your vet on the ideal weight for your dog. You’ll also want to look closely at what you’re feeding him. Make sure your dog gets a high quality, nutritious food that’s high in protein with no grains or glutens, and that fruits and veggies are on the list of ingredients.
Exercise is essential. Leash walking or slow jogging is great for a dog with sore joints. Walking on a treadmill is another good option and swimming is an excellent low impact exercise that limits wear and tear on sore, stiff joints. It also provides a wide range of motion that will help improve joint function.
Comfortable Sleeping Area
Just like in humans, a good night sleep is crucial to overall health. Make sure you provide your dog with a sleeping area that helps to accomplish that. Sleeping on a cold, hard floor will make joint problems worse. Providing your furry family member with a soft warm space, whether you use blankets or a nice comfy dog bed, can help ease the effects of sore joints and add quality years to your dog’s life.
Jumping from Bed
If you’re like many of us, it’s hard to say no to letting your pup cuddle on the bed, couch or cozy chair. While these options will provide a soft warm place to sleep, they can also come with problems. Jumping down from these high places can lead to health problems like aggravating already inflamed joints. It’s worse for heavier dogs, but jumping can take its toll on dogs of all sizes.
Another concern is back problems, especially for pups with short legs and long backs like corgis or dachshunds. All that jumping can lead to a slipped or ruptured disc, which can sometimes lead to paralysis. This doesn’t mean your pup is doomed to a life on the floor. Instead, check out the many styles of ramps or stairs that will greatly alleviate the stress on joints. You can find many different options on chewy.com and petco.com.
Medications and Supplements
If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from joint pain, you should have him evaluated by your vet. They can do a thorough examination to see exactly what the problem might be, how far it’s progressed and what can be done to ease pain and prevent further damage. They might also prescribe your pup medication to help with symptoms.
All-natural supplements are another healthy way to deliciously ease joint pain, reduce inflammation and more. The best joint supplements should include natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory turmeric, Glucosamine HCL, Vitamin E and black pepper to assist with absorption. Our own Naturegood Hip + Joint soft chew supplements contain all of those ingredients and more, in tasty bacony bite your dog won’t know is actually good for them.
These are just a few of the many ways to ensure your dog lives a long life free from joint pain. Though aging is inevitable, there are countless simple ways to provide joint health and comfort for years to come.