One of the most common health conditions faced by older dogs is canine osteoarthritis. This kind of arthritis is degenerative, which means it occurs due to wear and tear on the joints. A lifetime of long walks and active play sessions are ideal for keeping your dog healthy and entertained. Unfortunately, arthritis later in life is sometimes the toll for these good times. Fortunately, there are many things you can do with the help of your vet to reduce your pup’s aches and pains and help him or her get as much out of life as ever.
When your dog has sore joints, he or she may seem a little less excited to go for a walk or play a game of fetch. However, staying active will reduce your dog’s pain and keep him or her healthy. Being active will reduce stiffness and cut the risk of muscle loss, which is important to maintaining mobility. Try taking multiple shorter walks per day, instead of one long one, and work in plenty of rest time between shortened play sessions.
Reduce Mobility Problems
Arthritis invariably leads to some degree of muscle loss, and this can make it hard for your dog to maintain footing on hardwood or laminate floors. Place rugs or mats across those surfaces along a path your dog can walk to reduce the chances of falls. Add ramps near your sofa or bed so your dog can climb up to his or her favorite rest spots to reduce the need for jumping.
Get an Orthopedic Bed
Dog beds that are lumpy or worn out will be uncomfortable for your dog to lay in and get in and out of. Orthopedic dog beds are flat, so they are easy to get on, and have orthopedic foam that supports your dog’s joints, so he or she can rest comfortably. Some are even heated for additional comfort in cold weather.
Your vet at Horizon Animal Hospital can provide additional advice on helping your dog stay comfortable with arthritis, from tips for supplements to pain medications when needed. To make an appointment with our vet in Scottsdale, call (480) 614-9500.