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Savvy Pets

Arthritis in Dogs: 10 Tips for Helping Your Pup Manage Pain

It’s hard to watch your beloved pet deal with the pain of arthritis. Here are some tips for dealing with arthritis in dogs and how to help them manage pain.

It’s never pleasant to see your pup in pain, especially when you don’t know what to do about it. Arthritis is a common source of this pain, specifically for older dogs. It causes chronic pain and discomfort for your dog, reducing their quality of life. 

If you want to learn more about arthritis in dogs, check out this article! For your convenience, we’ve provided ten different tips you can take to mitigate and cushion your dog’s arthritis.

1. Incorporate Padding Around the House 

One of the most important ways to minimize pain for your dog is to put in extra padding around the house. In areas where your dog walks, put in carpet or soft mats. 

If your dog likes to get on couches or beds, consider using a carpeted ramp to help your pup get up and down. Hard surfaces can aggravate the joints, so cushioned areas in your home can help ease their discomfort.  

At the very least, try and ensure your dog’s bedding is cushioned, so they have a soft place to sleep.

2. Canine Massages 

Like humans, massages can also help dogs. Giving your dog a muscle massage can help with their pain. Tissue massages stimulate blood flow to atrophy muscles, which can be soothing. 

Lightly petting or kneeling the muscles around the joints that tighten from arthritis can help. Stretching the joints while you massage is also useful. 

If you’re uncomfortable doing this on your own, you can always go to a certified canine massage therapist. They will know the exact ways to compress the joints and get your pup feeling better in no time.

3. Regular Nail Trims 

Getting the nails of your dog trimmed regularly is another way to increase their mobility. It sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference. Long nails can aggravate dogs and get in their way. 

Plus, when nails get too long and constantly touch the ground, they exert force into the nail bed, causing the dog pain each time they move. It can make them more susceptible to injuries and interrupt their posture. 

By trimming them regularly, you won’t ever have to worry. 

4. Daily Moderate Exercise 

Exercise is suitable for all dogs, especially for dogs with arthritis. If your dog has early, mild arthritis, you should be incorporating in daily exercise for at least ten minutes. 

If your dog is older and has more severe arthritis, you can incorporate low-impact exercises. Swimming is a great non-weight bearing exercise that would be perfect. 

Keep in mind that you also don’t want to overdo it with exercise because there is a point where it can make arthritis worse. Find the sweet spot and stick to it.

5. Joint Supplements 

There are tons of great joint supplements available for dogs. They help to promote joint and cartilage strength. 

If your dog has yet to develop arthritis, this may also be a good preventative option. However, always speak to your veterinarian first before giving your dog anything. 

Your vet will know the best way to incorporate a supplement and if it’s appropriate. 

6. Raised Dog Bowls 

One overlooked tip to help with your dog’s arthritis is to have easily reachable food and water bowls. Sometimes, this requires the bowls to be elevated off the floor. 

This can especially help dogs that have arthritis in their neck or back. This makes mealtime more comfortable for your dog. 

7. Physical Therapy 

There are several types of physical therapy available for dogs with arthritis. Acupuncture has promising outcomes for making dogs more mobile. 

Other therapy options include controlled exercises to strengthen joints and decrease muscle stiffness. By regularly incorporating these exercises, your dog’s joints will loosen. 

8. Watch The Dog’s Weight 

It’s easy for dogs to get overweight, but this can contribute to greater pain in dogs. When dogs carry excess weight, it puts a more considerable strain on their muscles and joints when they walk or move. 

If you’re worried about your dog’s weight, talk to a veterinarian about getting your dog on a diet. They can advise you on foods that are likely to work best for weight loss.

9. Anti-Inflammatory Medicine 

Anti-inflammatory medicine calms inflammation in the joints and muscles, easing the dog’s discomfort. Steroids are a standard option. They can provide pain relief for 4-6 weeks following one injection. 

If you don’t want a steroid, NSAIDS is another anti-inflammatory option for dogs. They are highly effective at managing pain stemming from arthritis.

It would be best if you spoke to your vet before doing anything because they do come with some side effects. The vet likely will require blood work from your dog to ensure they have a healthy liver and kidney.

If you do give your dog NSAIDS, you should use a limited dosage and approach with caution.

There are also natural options available, as well. If you’re looking for natural pain relief for dogs, CBD is a popular choice.

10. Laser Therapy 

A new and innovative option to treat arthritis in dogs is laser therapy. Both hot and cold laser therapy is available, but cold laser therapy is less invasive. 

The purpose of laser therapy is to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation. A bonus is that the treatment is relaxing and pain-free for dogs. Costs tend to vary, so you’ll need to do your research.

As always, speak to your vet first before deciding anything. 

Now You Know How to Manage Arthritis in Dogs 

Unfortunately, arthritis in dogs is a common occurrence. But, by incorporating these tips in your home and daily life, you can give your pup significant pain relief. Soon enough, you should see improvements in your pup’s mobility and overall happiness. 

So, why wait any longer? Start incorporating some of these tips today! 

And if you found this article helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our page. We cover an array of topics, including all things related to pets! 

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