Arthritis in dogs is a serious concern. The disease is painful for your pooch and, although not life-threatening on its own, can lead to one serious medical issue that will take years off your pup’s life – obesity. Many people wait until it’s too late to do anything about it.
There are a few things you can do to help your dog’s body protect itself against canine osteoarthritis, the form of arthritis that occurs as a result of age, injury or obesity. The best time to start taking care of your dog’s joint health is today – right now.
#1 – Find your dog’s healthy weight, and maintain it
One of the most critical aspects of the prevention of arthritis is maintaining a healthy weight for your dog. Excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on joints. In addition, the problem is circular. Increased weight leads to increased joint pain. Increased joint pain leads to less activity, which leads to even more weight gain. Don’t let your precious pup get stuck in this vicious cycle!
#2 – Don’t over-exercise your pup
Regular exercise can help your dog maintain a healthy weight but don’t overdo it! Too much exercise increases the wear and tear on your dog’s joints, and heightens the risk for injury. Injuries, even seemingly minor injuries, can weaken and harm joints in the longterm.
Talk to your vet about the appropriate amount of exercise recommended for your dog’s breed to make sure you don’t over do it.
#3 – Get your pup swimming
Turns out having your dog swim around can be therapeutic for their joints! Doggy patients suffering from advanced arthritis can use aquatic therapy to exercise without putting pressure on painful joints.
Your pup can benefit from swimming in the same way. Swimming is a form of exercise that improves cardiovascular health and burns fat, with a reduced risk of injury due to the gentle nature of the activity. So get your pup in a pool and watch him have a blast!
#4 – Feed quality, nutrient-rich food
One of the most effective ways to positively impact your dog’s health is to feed him nutritious, wholesome food. You should feed your pup as much all-natural food as possible. There are many different schools of thought on the proper canine diet. However, we’d recommend considering a raw food diet for its many benefits, or at least incorporating raw foods into your dog’s diet.
Dogs’ digestive systems can tolerate raw meats, unlike ours, and may cope better with, if not extract more nutrition from that food source, compared with cooked meats. That nutrition boost provides a dog’s body with more resources for maintaining healthy joints and the right type of energy to ward off obesity and injury.
#5 – Give your dog joint supplements
The easiest thing you can do to help your dog’s body bolster itself against arthritis is to provide your pup with a joint supplement. A supplement provides your pooch’s body with the specific nutrition it needs to build up and maintain the ligaments and cartilage that get worn away causing arthritis. Reinforcing the joints in this way can prevent injury, as well. Early injuries in a pet’s life can trigger arthritis later down the road. That’s why you need to make sure your pup’s body has all the resources necessary to grow and maintain its joint function.