As our dogs start to age, the inevitable fate of creaking joints will come creeping round. The maintenance of your dog’s joint health starts from young and the benefits of early care definitely carries into their senior years. Here are 6 ways we can care for our dog’s joint health!
Exercise, exercise, exercise! The benefits of exercising are countless and it’s critical that dogs maintain certain levels of activity everyday. Preventive habits should start when our pups are young to effectively combat potential joint problems. There are many ways to integrate exercise into your dog’s lifestyle; short daily walks are great and even play dates with his furry friends are beneficial! Always be mindful though, that too much exercise isn’t necessarily a good thing - overexertion can take a toll on their joints.
Diet is a major consideration when it comes to joint maintenance. A couple of extra pounds on your dogs also means extra pressure on their joints. This would in turn encourage a more sedentary lifestyle as they start to find it tiresome to lug the extra weight around. Monitor their weight and make appropriate adjustments to their diet if need be.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with extra glucosamine will boost and improve the health of their joints. Glucosamine is a building block for cartilage which is the primary part of your dog’s joints - thus extra supplements will help alleviate joint inflammation issues especially if your dog suffers from arthritis. You could try a supplement that contains both glucosamine chondroitin and MSM (a sulfur for connective tissues) likeDr. Mercola orNaturvet (which comes in a soft chew form) to complement their active lifestyle.
Good night's sleep
A good bed translates to good sleep! Choosing the right bed will reduce the pressure on your dog’s joints as they slip away to slumberland. Orthopedic beds likeLifeApp’s or soft memory foam beds are durable and provide the right support - especially for senior dogs with joint stiffness issues!
Home environment considerations
A comfortable home environment will help to ease the struggles our dogs face daily that we may have (unintentionally) turned a blind eye to. As they age, the inevitable decline of their joint health makes it difficult for them to engage in activities that they had no problem with previously. Adding short stairs or ramps will definitely facilitate easier movements around the house!
If your dog is showing signs of joint pain or have a known arthritis condition, set aside five to ten minutes before bed to give them a gentle massage. Rub their joints in small circular motions to relieve them of any pain or stiffness. If your dog yelps in pain, stop the massage to prevent further aggravation - schedule a vet visit to get it checked.
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.