Want to help your dog run even in his senior years? If so, you should focus on joint health. Read on to see how to achieve this easily.
As long as your canine has strong and healthy joints, his health should be fine.
Of course, regular veterinarian check-ups and proper nutrition are mandatory to keep your Fido healthy, but you still shouldn’t forget to give your best to keep those joints strong.
When joints are healthy and functioning as they should, they enable free and easy movement.
When healthy and strong, joints enable those fantastic jumps in dogs that people are so fascinated about.
Joints allow dogs to move their bodies without any pain and stress.
For active dogs, joint health is everything because it influences their life quality, mechanical movement, and overall has a massive impact on a dog’s physical and mental well-being (no matter how old the dog is).
Some breeds are more prone to joint problems, such as German Shepherds, and they need regular exercise, proper nutrition, and extra care throughout the life to keep those joints moving without any pain.
Not all joint problems are preventable, but prevention still matters.
Joint Health In Dogs
We all know that dogs don’t live too long, but we still want to postpone that final goodbye as long as possible.
Today, thanks to veterinarian care and medical advantage, and better ways of handling dogs, many dogs get to experience old age to their fullest.
On the downside, that longevity can increase the odds that dogs will suffer from some form of arthritis.
Just like humans, as dogs get older their body changes. In fact, the cartilage surfaces of their joints begin to thin, and cartilage cells eventually die.
When the cells die, they release enzymes that cause inflammation of the joint capsule and release excessive joint fluid. At that moment, the extra bony growths (osteophytes) can develop.
When severe cartilage thinning occurs, the normal joint space narrows.
As result, the bone beneath the cartilage deteriorates.
All of these forces further change the normal functioning of the dog’s joint and pain occurs, followed by a constant spiral of pain, lameness, inactivity, and muscle atrophy.
These changes are usually easily seen on X-rays, so make sure that your veterinarian explains everything to you.
Arthritis In Dogs
You may have heard of it, but you are not sure what arthritis really is. By definition, arthritis is a joint inflammation very common in older dogs.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs and it is thought to affect 1 in 5 dogs!
Common arthritis symptoms include:
- Lameness, and
This condition cannot be treated without veterinarian monitoring and the right therapy.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs. As a progressive disease, osteoarthritis gets worse with time.
To handle this condition as much as possible it’s mandatory to get the right treatment, respect the treatment, serve medical treatment as suggested and conduct needed lifestyle changes such as controlled exercise and weight loss.
Other Types Of Arthritis In Dogs
Arthritis is a general term that means inflammation in joints. As such it stands for a few different types of arthritis in dogs.
Each type of arthritis will ultimately lead to osteoarthritis if the condition isn’t treated on time.
Here are some other types of arthritis which can affect dogs:
- Immune Mediated
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Septic Arthritis
Arthritis in dogs affects the quality of a dog’s life and usually prevents them from doing things that were everyday occurrences. Can you imagine a dog being happy without being able to jump?
Arthritis usually affects senior dogs, and it’s expected condition at some time – simply said, arthritis in dogs is inevitable. Still, young dogs are still at risk of experiencing bone and joint development problems.
As mentioned earlier, arthritis is commonly seen in German Shepherds, but there are other breeds prone to this condition, including:
When arthritis kicks in some dogs may experience a little bit of discomfort, while some may be hit so hard, that they could have difficulties not being able to walk at all.
Don’t you wish you can just take that pain and enable your Fido a pain-free life? In a way, you can do so. Here is how.
Keep Dog’s Weight In Balance
Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his health.
Moreover, your influence on a dog’s health and overall development is tremendous, because you’re directly affecting the dog’s health.
Have you noticed that dog obesity in the States is on the rise?
The main reason for this is that dog owners aren’t well-informed on how much their dogs shoudl eat per day, and what they should be eating.
Make sure that you know how much your should feed your day per day and how often, to keep your weight in balance, and keep obesity away. If your dog is already eating too much or he has the tendency to retain weight, chances are he is obese.
If you are not sure if your dog is obese or not, you can learn that by trying this test here. Just like in humans, excess fat puts a lot of strain on a dog’s bones and joints, which eventually results in arthritis.
To keep your dog fit monitor the dog’s weight, provide regular daily exercise, and serve high-quality food that’s low in fat.
Each meal should be a part of a long-term diet plan that’s focused on helping your dog lose excess weight.
Discuss with your veterinarian what are the best foods to serve to your dog and focus on serving Fido food that’s rich in protein and fiber.
Give Tested Supplements
With so many supplements on the dog market, it can be tricky to choose the perfect one.
How can you trust that specific supplement will actually help your dog? Is reading the labels enough or there should be more?
It’s never easy to choose, but if you have a trustworthy veterinarian, make sure that you ask for the best advice and proper guidelines.
With hip and joint supplements you should focus on the most natural ones, that will lubricate the dog’s joints and help repair cartilage damage.
If supplement also offers anti-inflammatory effects, can reduce swelling and pain and you are on a good path.
Re-Think Your Dog’s Environment At Home
Prevention is everything. You may think that your house is dog-proof, but is it really? If you already have experience with dogs, you know that puppy-proofing your home is a must.
Sometimes you need to make some in-house adjustment seven for adult dogs.
By securing the living area, you are actually preventing countless injuries that can take time, energy, and money fixing later on. Make adjustments.
If your stairs are slippery when wet, add non-slip rugs, or carpets, to keep yourself and your dog from slipping and hurting. If your dog loves to sit on a high couch, install dog ramps or plush steps near furniture.
Visit the Vet Regularly
This should go without mentioning. Regular veterinarian visits are what will keep your dog young and healthier longer.
Joint pain is part of your dog’s aging process, and as such, it should be monitored.
Regular visits will lead to early detection of any problem of any joint problem and beyond. Also, if you suspect that your dog has any health-related issues, make sure that you take him to the veterinarian’s office as soon as possible.
Make Way for Daily Exercises
Exercise is everything. Being a responsible pet owner means that you acknowledge that your dog has emotions, feelings, and needs to eat, exercise, and be happy.
Also, being a responsible dog owner means that you get to serve high-quality food and take the dog’s nutrition to another level.
To keep your dog healthy as much as possible you need to provide enough exercise. Not only that you need to provide proper exercise, but you need to provide regular exercise time.
Taking your dog for a quick extra walk or a quick and short run can help keep the weight down. Truth be told, exercise is a good way to keep your pet’s joints healthy and strong.
Make sure that you do not over-exercise your dog as this can make your stress on your dog’s joints and overall health.
Think about introducing him to light exercises like swimming, hydrotherapy, or any other water-based exercise.
Water-based exercise can take the load off your dog’s joints, while he remains fit.
The Bottom Line
Owning a dog is a great experience, as long as you are truly committed to caring about your furry friends.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming to own a dog, after all, it’s a 24/7 commitment, but it’s definitely worth it.
By taking care of your dog you are actually caring about his health, and by doing that the right way you are prolonging his active life.
Good quality of life means a healthier and longer life. The best way to incorporate healthy habits into your dog’s life is to start doign so while your dog is still a puppy or a very young dog.
Your dog is a senior? Don’t worry, because it’s never too late to start implementing preventive solutions that can keep him active longer.