Just as it is common for people to begin to experience pain and inflammation in their joints as they age, your pet may begin to suffer from joint problems as she gets older. The good news is that with the help of your Scottsdale veterinarian, you can help your canine companion maintain healthy joints so she can enjoy her golden years. Continue reading for a few tips to help you care for your aging dog’s joints.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Getting the Right Nutrients
When it comes to joint care for aging dogs, nutrition is one of the most important aspects to consider. You may want to switch your dog to a senior-specific dog food once she is around seven years old. This type of food will contain ingredients specifically designed to support healthy joints. You can also ask your veterinarian about adding a joint supplement to your dog’s diet as she gets older. If your dog regularly participates in high-impact activities, such as running or agility competitions, then you may want to introduce a joint supplement into her diet while she is still young to help keep her joints supple.
Ensure Your Dog Maintains a Healthy Weight
Another critical aspect of joint care for pets is weight management. If your dog is overweight, the excess pounds will put additional strain on her joints. This may make her more prone to osteoarthritis as she ages. Consult your vet about the ideal weight range for your pet, and feed her a nutritious diet so that she feels satiated without having to overeat. You should also be sure to incorporate regular exercise into your dog’s routine. In addition to helping her stay in her ideal weight range, exercise can help to strengthen your dog’s muscles, which is important for stabilizing her joints.
See Your Vet Regularly
It is important to bring your dog to your vet for regular check-ups throughout her life. You should schedule these at least annually. As your pet ages, your vet may recommend that you bring her in more often for additional exams. During a check-up, your vet will be able to assess your pet for signs of osteoarthritis and make recommendations to help you maintain your pet’s joint health. If your dog is experiencing joint pain due to arthritis, then your vet may offer pain injections, medications, or other treatment options to help keep your pet comfortable.
At Horizon Animal Hospital, we are committed to preserving the health and wellness of Scottsdale-area pets. We offer a range of veterinary services, including laser surgery. To schedule an appointment, call our Scottsdale veterinary clinic today at (480) 614-9500.