Everything You Need to Know About Caring for your Big Dog with Arthritis
It’s nearly inevitable, but many large breed dogs will develop some form of arthritis at some point in their lives. Caring for and successfully treating and reducing the symptoms of this condition will help your dog live a more comfortable life. It’s a no-brainer that regular vet visits will put your dog on the best path possible to treat his or her arthritis. Consistent visits will allow your vet to track and modify treatment options and help reduce the chances that your dog’s condition will spiral out of control. Your vet can prescribe supplements such as glucosamine and pain medications to keep pain and discomfort in check.
Keeping your dog’s weight under control is essential. The more weight your dog has to carry will only put greater stress on their arthritic joints, which in turn will cause more discomfort and pain. Consider changing your dog to a senior or light dog food to help control excessive calorie intake and cut their weight.
Light exercise like walking on soft surfaces such as grass or on a beach will keep weight under control and reduce impact on joints. Swimming is an ideal exercise too. Be sure to closely monitor exercise though. Even though your dog may hurt from their arthritis, they still can get overly excited during playtime and may over exert themselves. They have no understanding of the consequences of their actions, so make sure to keep their running and bouncing around to a minimum.
Learn massage therapy for your dog or find a local pet massage therapist. Massage therapy can increase range of motion and flexibility, while also providing a lot of relief for arthritis.
Be sure to keep your dog in a comfortable and dry environment. Keep your dog dry and warm and avoid getting them wet other than for bathing or swimming for exercise. Cold temperatures and wet conditions are bad combinations for arthritic dogs and should be avoided, as these will only aggravate their condition.
Arthritic dogs should have a good, supportive bed. Hard floors and thin beds do nothing, but worsen arthritic symptoms. You’ll notice a huge difference in your dog’s mobility after a good rest on a supportive and comfy bed. Good dog beds will cradle your dog’s joints and hips, thereby reducing pressure on those sensitive areas.
Avoid letting your dog jump up or down from furniture, cars, stairs or any other similar high point. Jumping and landing puts a large amount of stress on healthy joints, so you can imagine what this type of impact will have on arthritic joints. Try to provide ramps or stairs for your dog to keep them from jumping up or down.
"Big Beds For Big Dogs"