Arthritis for Dogs

Basic care guide for owners of dogs with arthritis.

Older dogs are most prone to arthritis and that’s the sad fact. Arthritis in dogs is very similar to arthritis in humans. And there are no absolute cures yet. The only thing that you can do for now is to manage the disease and make your dog feel comfortable despite its condition.

Old or young dogs with arthritis can still live a normal life if owners just give them what they need to ease the pain. For starters, your dog is going to need comfortable bedding. Arthritis is a joint and muscle condition that could really be crippling. The most you can do is give your pet soft beddings, ideally a rubber foam mattress that is about five inches thick.

Dogs with arthritis would benefit most from regular exercise. However, never allow your dog to perform any extraneous exercises any longer as it may negatively affect their condition. Mild and gentle walking exercises are good enough. Make it a point that you walk your dog a few blocks everyday. Running is discouraged. If your pet is a guard dog or a field dog, maybe you should consider retiring it and just make it a regular household pet.

What complements good exercise is proper diet. Always watch the weight of your dog, especially if it belongs to the larger breeds. These dogs can easily become overweight. But just the same, smaller dogs can be obese. And being overweight limits their daily activities. As such, they won’t be able to do several long walks with you. What’s more, your dog’s weight will be putting too much strain on its joints. This aggravates the condition even more. If your dog is overweight, give it a light diet. Don’t wait for it to contract arthritis before doing something about its meals.

On the other hand, there are dog food formulas that are especially designed for arthritic dog. Ask your vet about it. Sick dogs require a change in their diet plan. Your vet should be able to provide the right nutritional meals for your pet. He might advise you to use Purina’s JM dog food or Hill’s RX J/D formula.

It may also be necessary to give your dog commercial medicines to aid in its health. These medicines are again, prescribed by the vet. Give it to your pet as indicated and always bring your dog to its regular checkups. The vet needs to monitor the health of your pet so that it can adjust the medications as needed. Some dogs respond well to certain medicines while others don’t. This is the reason why post-diagnosis visits are always crucial. Never miss one or your dog may suffer unnecessarily from arthritis.

Aside from prescription drugs, there are over-the-counter medicines and natural remedies that can help your dog. Aspirin is known to relieve pain and inflammation in pets if used the right way. As for natural medicines, Omega 3 supplements, vitamins, and minerals can contribute so much help alleviate the condition. Under the guidance of the vet, give your dog a combination of these medicines so it can live longer and much happier with you.

Dog Arthritis
Dog arthritis articles and resources.

By Cristian Stan
Published: 12/15/2008

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