Joint problems like arthritis, degenerative joint disease and of course injuries are a common issue faced by our canine friends. These joint conditions can have a detrimental effect on our dog’s quality of life. As dog owners it is important to do what we can to keep our dog’s joints healthy and pain free to ensure our companions live a happy, healthy and long life and this means looking after their joints. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help care for your dog’s joints and keep a spring in their step for longer.
Weightplays a very significant role on an animal’s health impacting many aspects of their overall well-being. Keeping your dog in their ideal weight range is essential to prevent extra strain on bones, joints, ligaments and circulatory system. Speak to your veterinarian about the ideal weight range and body score for your dog.
Jumpingin and out of cars, off beds or couches and just during day to day play can put a lot of extra stress and impact on the joints. Try to limit these repetitive actions as best as you can. You can use pet stairs or ramps to stop the jumping on and off beds and couches as well as getting them in and out of the car. Or you could try to train them not to jump up and down but instead wait to be lifted.
Exerciseis really important for a dog’s physical and mental health as well as helping them to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise also helps keep a dog limber by lubricating the joints and keeps connective tissues from stiffening up. Just be mindful of the type of exercise you do with your dog as lots of fast running with sharp stopping and starting puts extra strain on joints and increases the chance of injury.
Supplementsare a great addition to your dog’s diet to not only help with the treatment of existing joint conditions but they are also extremely helpful in preventing joint issues. There are a wide range of supplements available that help in different ways by supporting joint health, assisting in rebuilding cartilage and having anti-inflammatory effects.
Veterinary check-upsand early Intervention is really important when it comes to joint conditions to try and prevent the condition from rapidly deteriorating and hopefully find a way to stop or even improve the damage. Regular vet check-ups are essential as a vet can often identify possible concerns before owners even realise they exist.
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Originally published in myPET Magazine Issue 20 Autumn/Winter 2020.
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