How to Help a Dog With Arthritis at Home

How to Help a Dog With Arthritis at Home

Seeing your dog getting old isn’t easy. Many problems come with age and arthritis in dogs and humans is probably one of the most common diseases. Arthritis usually affects the joints of the elbows, knees, and hips making any movement less smooth and painful.

You are probably asking yourself “How can I help my dog with arthritis?” because this immobility cannot be cured. But there are many things that you can do for your dog at home to help him with his arthritis. Many tips are simple and inexpensive and will provide your dog with much more quality in life.

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

Before you get your hands on any solutions for your home, closely monitor your dog throughout the day and see what he struggles with the most. The common signs and symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Limping
  • Problems catching up during walks
  • Leg shaking
  • Unable to climb the stairs anymore
  • Growling when being touched
  • Excessive licking
  • Panting from the pain

Write down any problems that are occurring when your dog gets up from a nap, goes into the car or climbs up the stairs. Maybe he is unable to hold his position while eating and leash walking might become harder for him.

How to Care for a Dog With Arthritis

You could buy the best arthritis products in the world but without general care, your dog won’t feel any better. Before you purchase anything, make sure that you set the right foundation for a healthy dog.

Monitor the rooms in which your dog spends most of his time and adjust the temperature for comfort. A dog with arthritis shouldn’t be laying outside or on cold, hard surfaces all day nor should the room be too hot.

Regularly weigh your dog and always ensure a healthy and normal body weight. Obese dogs face a lot of problems including mobility issues that will cause them much more pain due to excess weight.

Controlled and regular exercise is a must to ensure that your dog won’t hurt himself while running. He should always be kept on a leash and discouraged from racing through the fields. Suitable exercises for a dog with arthritis include swimming and moderate walking.

Trimming your dog’s nails should have a high priority. Toenails that are too long will impact your dog’s movements and will make it harder for him to get up or climb the stairs. If you don’t know how to cut your dog’s nails, read the last part of this blog post that also talks about the potential consequences of overgrown dog nails.

Must-Have Products for a Dog With Arthritis

Starting with the activity that your dog spends the most time of his day with…sleeping. Dogs spend the majority of their day fast asleep either on the ground, couch or dog bed. A dog with arthritis should have a high-quality orthopedic dog bed that is specifically tailored to his needs.

I can highly recommend the PetFusion Large Orthopedic Dog Bed with memory foam to sooth soar joints. It’s water-resistant, easy to clean and most importantly, very comfortable.

A mobility-impaired dog should always be able to feel supported and have a stable grip on every ground throughout the house. Consider laying out area rugs on cold and hard surfaces and fixate them with rug gripper pads. If your stairs are very slippery you can either prevent your dog from going up and down or you may want to buy non-slip carpet stair treads.

Another alternative would be to invest in anti-slip dog boots that provide your dog with stability and fraction everywhere he goes. Even if you don’t have a dog with mobility issues, providing your dog with support on slippy surfaces can prevent diseases like hip dysplasia.

Think about any obstacles around the house that your dog might have problems with getting around. Jumping up and down the bed, for example, is impossible for some dogs and can hurt their joints in the process. The couch and armchair might also become unreachable for your dog.

The PetSafe Solvit Wood Bedside Dog Ramp does a great job on carrying your dog safely up and down the bed or couch. A dog ramp should be very durable and layered with carpeting to provide traction and confidence.

Occasional or regular car rides should always be accompanied by a car ramp. If your dog is too big to be picked up then you should consider buying a ramp that makes it easier for your dog to get in and out of the car. The ramp should be strong enough to safely carry your dog and easy to clean, like the PetSafe Solvit Pet Ramp.

A dog with back issues cannot and should not lower his head to reach the water and food bowl. Elevating your dog’s bowls will make it more comfortable and accessible for your dog to drink and eat his meals. I recently bought the Pet Zone Adjustable Elevated Dog Bowls as I don’t like seeing my dog crunch her back when eating on the ground. Large breeds are simply too big for that whether they have arthritis or not.

What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis?

After your dog has been diagnosed by a veterinarian, treatment will follow in form of drug and physical therapy and maybe even surgery. Before you give your dog anything at home you should always consult your vet first.

There are different joint supplements available that are offered as a drug-free alternative to help with arthritis. I am giving my dog fish oil every day to augment her raw diet. Two of the many traits of fish oil are anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.

Consider changing your dog’s diet to an anti-inflammatory diet to treat chronic inflammation. You can find out more about all the anti-inflammatory foods here. What your dog eats on a daily basis greatly influences his health. Make sure that you gradually switch between foods and diets.

Ask your veterinarian about a rehabilitation specialist that is working with water treadmills. Water therapy is incredibly effective in treating joint problems. It keeps movements smooth and is less painful and more comfortable for a dog with arthritis.

How Long Can a Dog Live With Arthritis

Arthritis in itself is not a deadly disease. However, the induced pain will make it very uncomfortable for your dog to live. That’s why proper care and treatment are a must to ensure that your dog keeps having a happy life.

Do not try to perform some physical therapy by yourself. Massages and acupuncture should only be practiced by a professional as you might cause your dog more damage than good. Medication and supplements should be consulted with your veterinarian first.

Don’t completely stop the exercise routine. Especially in the early stages, your dog must stay active to ensure longer mobility by maintaining muscle strength. If you discontinue exercising, your dog might be at risk to completely lose his ability to walk.

With the right diet, treatment, and care at home, your dog will able to continue living a healthy and happy life despite having arthritis.

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