Did You Know...
59% of those surveyed say pets are good for their health and the
health of their family and help them relax. 40% say that owning
a dog motivates them to exercise on a regular basis.
Three-quarters of dog owners consider their dog like a child or
family member and more than half of cat owners say the same (NPOS).
A Guide to Arthritis and Joint Care for Dogs
Joint care for dogs is a way you can provide the support your
dog needs to lead an active lifestyle throughout his life.
Arthritis, a general term for abnormal changes to the joint,
causes pain and reduced mobility and has a wide range of causes.
Each dog is going to react to arthritis differently, so it is
important that each case of arthritis is treated individually,
taking the symptoms and the individual dog’s reactions into
Causes of Arthritis
Congenital causes of arthritis range from being
predisposed to the condition to diseases such as hip
dysplasia which can cause arthritis to develop because of
the misalignment of the joint.
Disorders of the immune system can also cause
joint tissue inflammation and deterioration, leaving little
or no protection for the joint and clearing the path for
arthritis to develop.
Excess weight can also cause undue stress on your
dog’s joints. This stress can cause extra wear and tear on
the joints, allowing arthritis to set in.
Lack of activity can also allow arthritis to
develop in your dog’s joints. It is important to keep your
dog active as lack of exercise can advance the arthritis and
its degenerative effects.
Age is a contributing factor in many cases of
canine arthritis. The normal use of the joints over time can
deplete the natural lubricants and tissue that exist for the
aide of movement.
Caring for Your Dog’s Joints
Whether your dog has arthritis or you simply want to prevent
the onset of the disease, there are a variety of tools that can
be utilized in his care.
Medication is available for dogs with arthritis.
Every year it seems there are more medications added to the
approved list for canine arthritis treatment. There are a
variety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
that can reduce the inflammation and pain associated with
arthritis. There are also corticosteroids available for the
treatment of arthritis, but with the development of newer
drugs they’re typically only used for older dogs whose
arthritis flare-ups can’t be controlled by any other means.
Dietary supplements are widely used in the
treatment and prevention of canine arthritis. Glucosamine
and chondroitin are two of the most commonly used
supplements as is the addition of Omega-3 fatty acids to a
Weight management is one of the key ways a dog
owner can both prevent and reduce the effects of arthritis
on their dog. Reduced caloric intake and exercise are keys
to weight control. By maintaining a healthy weight there
will be less impact upon your dog’s joints.
Exercise is important to both preventing and
lowering the impact of arthritis on your dog. The activity
will allow him to retain his range of motion in his joints
as he ages and in an arthritic dog, can keep him moving and
Providing a warm place for your dog to sleep can
prevent the onset of arthritis and can keep movement in the
joints of an arthritic dog. Keeping the muscles and tendons
warm promotes blood flow and encourages movement.
Joint care is important whether your dog is predisposed to
arthritis or not. By providing the appropriate dietary balance
and adequate exercise for your dog, you can keep him moving by
your side at a healthy clip for a long time.
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