As your pup ages, their joints may start to stiffen up. Most dogs in their senior years develop arthritis. It’s very common and and can cause the same discomfort and pain that we feel. Most of the time, you may not notice the signs because as dogs age, their energy level changes and their activities differ. You might notice though that your dog is having more difficulty jumping in and out of the car or seems to have discomfort walking up and down the stairs. More severe signs of joint pain could be holding up a limb, limping, or lameness and seeing the legs slide out.
What Can You Do
To help maintain good joint health with your dog try the following 5 tips:
- Keep your dog’s weight in check – overweight dogs can have additional stress on their joints. Exercise and correct portions of food can help keep your dog trim.
- Exercise – even if your dog wants to leap, gallop, and play hard, don’t overseers your dog’s joints. Light walks and maybe even swimming can work off all that energy without stressing the joints.
- Pet ramps and stairs – small dogs, especially, can get joint problems jumping on and off of surfaces. Ramps and stairs reduce the strain on the dog’s joints.
- Carpet and rugs – adding surfaces that prevent your dog from slipping can help reduce tension on the body.
- Give your dog a supplement – talk to your vet about giving your dog glucosamine or another supplement that will help keeps your dog’s joints in great shape for as long as possible.
Image from ABJ Photography