Senior Dogs and Arthritis Care

Arthritis in dogs in one of the most common diseases that affect them. Large breed dogs are the most prone and just like in people, arthritis can get worse with age. If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis and has a hard time standing up after a nap, or limps after a long walk, here are some tips to help him out:

1: Bedding – a soft bed can help support your dog’s joints and make your pet comfortable. Some beds are designed for dogs with arthritis and are either super padded or made from some material that gives extra support. Some dog beds are even heated!

2: Slip-Free – Dogs, in general, do not like to feel unstable on their feet. Wooden and tiled floors that are polished can make dogs nervous as they slide about. For dogs with arthritis, it can be difficult for them to move around. Place an area rug down in rooms where your dog likes to hang out and this will help prevent injuries and joint strain.

3: Peace and Quiet – As dogs age, their patience level decreases. If they are in pain or feel sore, they are likely to be easily irritated by things such as rambunctious children, young dogs, and lots of noise. Your dog may not feel as social as he used to and want to just relax and not be bugged. Give him some quiet time on his warm cushy bed instead of bringing him to any festivities.

4: Massage – If you think massages feel great, then you know your dog does too! Massages can increase the flexibility in his joints, increase circulation, and help relax the tightened muscles. Your dog will feel better and move with more ease after a good massage session.

5: Weight Control – If your dog is a bit on the chubby side, reduce the treats and try to get your dog to an ideal weight. The pressure put on the joints can cause more pain than necessary. A thinner dog can also mean a more mobile dog.

6: Vet Checkups – Your dog will need some more TLC and more visits to the vet to make sure the medications are helping to alleviate pain, and suppress any inflammations.

7: Exercise – Your dog will still need exercise, but catching frisbees might be out of the question now. Walks, strolls, and maybe an occasional jog or trot can keep your dog muscles strong and reduce the chances of injury.

8: Grooming – Keep your dog’s fur and skin clean and healthy to decrease any other discomforts such as dry skin, dirt irritations, or fleas and ticks. Your dog may not be able to scratch and lick all the areas he used to now so help him out. He’ll love the attention!

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