Did you know that as many as 80 percent of dogs over the age of eight have arthritis? This painful condition can’t be treated, but there are things you can do to manage it and keep your canine pal comfortable as he ages. Here, a Seminole, FL veterinarian discusses caring for an arthritic pup.
Make sure that your furry friend sees his doctor regularly. While arthritis can’t be cured, it can be managed. Modern medicine offers many wonderful treatments that can help your pooch feel better. It’s also important to monitor Fido’s condition as it progresses. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.
A thick, comfy bed is an absolute must for older dogs. Fido won’t sleep very comfortably on a thin pad! Orthopedic beds are great options for arthritic pets, though some pooches may prefer raised beds.
Slips and falls are very dangerous for arthritic pups. If you have floors, set out some runners or area rugs, and use stair mats on steps. Nail trims are also important, as overgrown nails make it hard for Fido to get good traction.
Man’s Best Friend has a very healthy appetite. He’s also very, very good at getting us to offer snacks. However, you aren’t doing your canine buddy any favors by letting him get overweight. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is extremely important! If Fido becomes obese, there will be extra stress on his bones and joints. Plus, it will be harder for him to exercise, so he may become less active. That could then lead to muscle atrophy. Brace yourself against that soulful stare!
Supplements can also be quite helpful. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate stiff bones and joints, while glucosamine can help with joint pain and wear. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Fido probably won’t be up to vigorous activity, but you don’t want him to become a couch potato, either. Don’t encourage your furry bff to jump or stand on his back legs, though. Swimming can be a great activity for arthritic pups, as the water will carry your dog’s weight. Supervised, warm-water swims are the way to go. Never leave your pooch unattended near water!
Do you know or suspect that your pet has arthritis? Contact us, your Seminole, FL animal clinic, today!