Just like human beings, many dogs also suffer from arthritis as they age. Arthritis is the number one health condition in older dogs, so if you own one chances are that you will encounter it in the future. Statistics show that 20% of all adult dogs experience chronic pain brought about by arthritis, and this figure doubles in dogs that are older than seven years. It is also commonly referred to as Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease since the inflammation occurs in a dog’s joints.
Dogs love to play around and engage in various activities, and with time, the cartilage that covers the bones wears away. Once the bones that form a joint are exposed, the result is pain and discomfort which affects mobility and the quality of life. You’ll notice that suddenly your dog isn’t too keen to take the usual walks that you do together and jumping on chairs and tables to pick something becomes virtually impossible. Other symptoms of arthritis in dogs include limping, stiff, swollen joints, lameness in certain limbs and producing a deep groan as they lie down. Thankfully, there are various strategies that you can adopt to provide arthritis relief for dogs so that they can remain healthy and comfortable.
It is important to realize that the food your dog eats throughout its life will affect arthritis later in its life. Dogs primarily love playing and eating, but this doesn’t mean you should put too much food in its plate. When they overeat, they will probably grow overweight which is one of the major causes of discomfort in arthritic dogs due to the additional pressure on joints.
Certain foods have been known to aggravate arthritis such as grains, potatoes (excluding sweet potatoes), peppers and tomatoes. Some people have discovered that removing them from the diet significantly improves the symptoms so much such that additional treatment may not be required. This will require you to prepare regular homemade diets since almost all dry foods contain either grains or potatoes. You could opt for canned and fresh foods instead such as celery, ginger, alfalfa, cooked vegetables and tropical fruits such as mango and papaya.
Adding apple cider to the food and water you give to your dog has been known to alleviate the symptoms. If the dog is not too keen on drinking water that has vinegar, be sure to avail a separate container that has plain water.
Weight and Exercise
As mentioned above, it is vital to keep your dog as lean as possible if it is suffering from arthritis. Get a postal weighing scale for monitoring the weight of the food rations so as to control the intake. A low carb, high-protein diet is ideal for arthritis relief in dogs because it has more nutritional value and less carbohydrates to reduce weight gain.
Regular low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming are extremely important for improving flexibility and stabilizing the joints. It’s likely that your dog will want to lie down all the time but this will only lead to stiffer joints and more pain. Swimming is especially good because it thoroughly works out your dog without stressing the joints with any weight-bearing. Remember that regular short walks may be easier at the beginning rather than a long one.
Eventually, despite all your good efforts, you dog may require dog arthritis pain relief. The problem with conventional medications is that they cause numerous side-effects and may lead to more serious health complications later in life. Just as in humans, aspirin and steroids cause many unpleasant side-effects in dogs, and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) prescribed by most vets are not any better since they can damage the stomach, liver and kidneys. Luckily, you can bypass the harsh conventional medications by using a natural pain reliever such as Pet Bounce. Pet Bounce uses natural, plant-based homeopathic ingredients which effectively provide arthritis relief for dogs without causing any side-effects. It’s a completely safe treatment which will make your beloved canine friend happier and improve its quality of life.
Finally, go out of your way to make sure that your dog is comfortable. Some well-padded bedding away from cold drafts will be thoroughly appreciated by your dog. Other measures that you can take include:
-Providing a ramp to climb on and off the bed.
-Regular body massage and other forms of physical therapy to improve blood circulation and soothe the joints
-Clipping the toenails well to ensure that normal gait is maintained. Groom the body parts of the dog that become harder to reach due to arthritis.
-Food and water plates should be placed on a low table to prevent neck and back sprains.
-Providing a firm orthopedic bed for your dog.
Observe your dog keenly and consult your vet as soon as you discover symptoms that may be related to arthritis. With the appropriate therapies, diet and exercise, your dog will live a long, happy life.