8 Ways to Prevent Dog Arthritis
Even though arthritis is common in dogs, it doesn’t mean your pet has to live in pain or experience discomfort on a daily basis. While experts claim genetics plays a crucial role, so does suitable preventive care.
Your pet can develop various habits over time that can delay symptoms or entirely prevent arthritis from appearing. From proper diet to supplement intake, your pup can lead a fully functional life, free of pain and full of joy!
Remember, you can’t reverse arthritis but you can try to prevent it. Let’s find out how!
How to prevent dog arthritis?
Before taking preventive actions, remember that diagnosis and treatments should start in your vet’s office. We will share with you only things we believe are important and can help your pet in home conditions.
Start with a proper diet early
Puppy’s skeletal and joints system benefits from a slower growth rate through a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Many orthopedic diseases happen due to an accelerated growth rate.
Pet parents that feed their pups excessively can make them gain weight much faster than their bones can handle. This leads to numerous bone disorders and can result in arthritis.
When feeding your puppy, make sure to use food designed for their age to keep their development on track. Many food options support proper canine growth while providing a nutritious and balanced diet.
Visit the vet regularly
Partner with a vet you trust, so they can offer you guidance throughout the course of your canine’s life. Regular checkups and at least twice-a-year full body checkup will ensure early detection, diagnosis and treatment planning for any arthritis symptoms or conditions leading to arthritis.
Your veterinarian will also tell you how to recognise discomfort or pain signs in your pet in the early stage. For example, your furry companion may show subtle symptoms that might look like arthritis and by the time you notice limping, there might be irrevocable joint damage.
Don’t skip exercise
It doesn’t matter how much action your dog has during the day because they still need the right kind of workout for pups. This will promote proper bone growth and ensure their bodies are properly developed.
Be aware that too much running on a hard surface can affect your dog’s joints. It’s better to pair your dog with another puppy and let them play together. They will both tire at the same time and take breaks when needed.
You could take your dog to swim when younger. In fact, this is an excellent workout that promotes joint health. If you get your pup accustomed to swimming early on, you won’t have problems getting them in water when they are seniors.
Adjust the level and type of exercise according to breed. For example, Labradors like to swim, but that’s not always the case with Poodles.
Get familiar with joint supplements
Supplements have a beneficial effect on your dog’s joints. Particularly glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce the loss of cartilage and help your pup live a life without pain. Many dog foods contain joint supplements as well.
Keep in mind that not all dog supplements are made equally. Talk to your vet to decide on the best option for your pooch. You should make this decision based on your dog’s particular needs and previous medical history.
Keep your pet’s weight under control
Obesity is dogs’ biggest enemy because it strains their joints excessively, resulting in faster wear and tear. Not only will losing weight help your pooch avoid arthritis but it will alleviate symptoms in canines that have already been diagnosed with this condition.
Ensuring your dog has a healthy body weight is one of the best ways to keep their health under control. If your furry companion needs to lose weight, the vet will recommend a nutritional plan and exercise routine.
Make sure your pup has warm, soft bedding. Prolonged exposure to the cold, hard surface isn’t good for their overall health or joints and can further aggravate the joint condition.
Even if your dog develops signs of arthritis, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and dog arthritis injections can slow down the progression of the disease and minimise the pain. In extreme cases, the only option is surgery, which relieves symptoms and slows down the degeneration of joints.
Arthritis treatment for dogs
If your dog suffers from arthritis, there are several ways you can help them feel more comfortable! We have included a couple of options along with the best arthritis treatment for dogs Australia.
Talk to your vet about possible treatments
You can treat arthritis with dietary supplements and anti-inflammatory medications. Your veterinarian may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, great for pain and inflammation. Don’t give your dog drugs before consulting your vet because you might do them more harm than good.
Install slip-free flooring, cubes and ramps
Senior canines find it hard to navigate the stairs, tile floors and hardwood. Now you can get ramps and cubes, which help your pup climb the stairs or get up or down from the sofa. If you place rugs on slippery floors, your dog will be more stable on their legs.
Just think of how many times your pet has helped you feel better. Well now is the right time to repay that favour. Massages will boost your pet’s mobility, increase flexibility and circulation and help them relax.
You can gently massage your pet’s stiff muscles while avoiding the joints or schedule an appointment with a professional therapist who will pamper your pooch.
Your pup’s diet shouldn’t be high in calories. Your vet may recommend a specifically designed diet that targets joints. With the help of nutritional components, the diet’s goal is to alleviate pain and inflammation and improve mobility.
It can also assist with weight management. A veterinarian may suggest using nutraceuticals like omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin and glucosamine in addition to a diet.
What are the best dog arthritis supplements?
Joint supplements represent one of the most common, long-term, safe treatments recommended for minimising pain and inflammation in dogs.
Here is what to look for:
This naturally occurring compound alleviates stiffness and pain by directly affecting inflammation in arthritic joints. Glucosamine works by repairing damaged cartilage; unlike many other supplements, this one is proven safe for long-term use.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to give your pet glucosamine early on as a preventive treatment or use it as an actual remedy on dogs that have already developed arthritis.
Another natural substance that stimulates cartilage repair, Chondroitin, pairs really well with glucosamine. Chondroitin will help your dog with pain, boost joint mobility and reduce arthritis progression.
Supplements containing vitamin C benefit older canines with arthritis and vets will often recommend a high dosage for this purpose. Vitamin C helps the body synthesise collagen. Many studies have confirmed that excess vitamin C supplementations can really have a beneficial effect on arthritis symptoms.
How to choose the best product supplements for dog arthritis?
When you are looking to buy joint supplements for your dog, you need to take a look at the following features:
While many products use glucosamine and chondroitin, it’s necessary to look for those that have scientifically proven levels of key ingredients, so they can minimise pain and keep your dog’s joints healthy.
You need to follow the dosage instructed on the packaging or consult your vet for additional information. Keep in mind that with some supplements, you will need to start with a higher dosage initially and taper down.
Taste and smell
Most dogs will have no issues with supplements that come in the form of a chew or dog treats for arthritis. However, some supplements might be in a pill that you’ll have to administer but you can always hide the pill in cheese or soft foods your dog enjoys eating.
What foods your dog should avoid
Grain-free food is highly recommended if your dog is suffering from arthritis. Many store-bought dog foods feature grains like spelt, soy, rice or wheat, which cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate and increase painful swelling. By limiting grains in your pet’s diet, you are decreasing inflammation.
Corn has been a controversial ingredient for quite some time. In fact, corn is a popular filler in many commercial dog foods and due to its high carb contents, it’s a great energy source. Keep in mind that corn can cause a sensitivity that leads to inflammation for some dogs.
Omega-6 fatty acids
While omega-6 fatty acids are commonly found in dog food, mostly in cheaper ones, they are not that great for arthritis sufferers. Dog’s body converts excess omega-6 fatty acids into arachidonic acids, which are highly inflammatory to canines with arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, and we hope some of these tips will help your pup prevent or combat this disease. Even though you can’t cure arthritis, there are many ways to make your pet feel comfortable. Provide your furry companion with a life free of pain.