How to Keep Your Senior Dog Comfortable with Arthritis
Arthritis is a common condition in senior dogs that can cause pain and discomfort. The good news is there are things you can do to help your furry friend feel more comfortable. With the proper care, your senior dog can still enjoy a good quality of life despite having arthritis. Here are 7 tips for supporting your furry friend.
Exercise is important for all dogs, but it can be especially helpful for those with arthritis. Regular exercise can help increase muscle strength and flexibility, which can help reduce pain and improve joint function. Start with short, low-impact walks and gradually increase the time and distance as your dog is able.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is one of the best ways to mitigate the pain arthritis can bring on. Excess weight can put additional stress on joints and make arthritis symptoms worse. Maintaining an active lifestyle with a balanced diet can curb extra weight.
Diet & Supplements
You can support their condition by adding more joint-centric nutritious foods and supplements. A healthy diet is important for all dogs, but senior dogs may benefit from food that contains joint-supportive ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin. There are many different joint supplements available, so talk to your vet to see which one would be best for your dog.
Increase Comfort & Accessibility
Use orthopedic beds and other comfortable products. A good bed for a senior dog with arthritis should be soft and supportive. You can find special arthritis beds at pet stores, or you may just want to get a thick, padded dog bed. Elevated dog bowls reduce neck and shoulder strain for better posture while eating.
Heating & Cooling
Apply heat or cold to your dog’s joints. Applying heat or cold to your dog’s joints can also help to relieve pain and stiffness. You can use a heating pad, a warm water bottle, or a cold pack.
Contact Your Veterinarian
Your dog’s veterinarian will likely be able to give further guidance on your pet’s condition and how to keep them comfortable. They can help you create a care plan that includes pain relief medication and other treatments as needed.
There are a lot of things you can do to help your senior dog with arthritis stay comfortable. Just remember to talk to your vet first to figure out the best plan for your pup. With the right treatment, your dog can still enjoy a good quality of life well into their old age.