20% of dogs suffer from arthritis. The odds are even worse with your older dog, as arthritis is most common among dogs in advanced age. Nobody wants to see their precious dogs stumble and limp about—so before it comes to that, you might want to err on the side of caution and take note of senior dog arthritis treatment methods that prevent this debilitating condition from getting worse.
The first step you have to take is to regulate your dog’s diet and nutrition. If your dog loves food, you don’t have to reduce their food intake or impose a strict diet altogether. What you can do instead to help regulate your dog’s weight is by replacing their calorie-high foods with a low calorie-diet regimen. There are even dog foods exclusively made for senior dogs, which are rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. If you don’t find the nutrients you’re looking for, you might also want to whip up your own low caloric recipe for your furry friend.
It will also be necessary to purchase certain things, all for the good of your older dog, such as a warm cozy bed and ramps.
All elderly pets appreciate a warm bed. Safe heating pads are available to ease the aches and pains that come with arthritis. I prefer electric mats that are encased in water proof plastic and have a chew-proof cord. Purchase one that can not rise above 102F. Make entry and exit from your pet’s bed as easy as possible with at least one low side. Be cautious if your pet can not move away from the pad, should it get too hot. Puppies and elderly dogs are more susceptible to heavy flea infestations because their immobility assures that they are always conveniently available to the fleas. Fleas can get out of hand rapidly in both the very old and the very young. If there is a possibility of a flea problem, be sure bed liners can be easily run through a dryer cycle and use one of the modern topical products to control fleas on your pet.
Wood ramps, covered with carpet are a real help for pets that can no longer climb stairs. Just be sure they are stable. Make the slope as gentle as possible. Keep one that hooks securely, in your car to help your pet get in and out. Canvas slings work well for this too.
If your pet is no longer able to get about, there are, slings, carts and other apparatus that you can purchase to return some of its mobility. There are online stores that specialize in meeting the needs of disabled pets. (Read more Here)
You might want to join your senior dog for a daily moderate exercise, as this has been proven to help slow down the effects of arthritis. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken your dog for a 30-minute walk or haven’t played with them for some time now, this is your wake-up call.
Also, you may not have heard of this before, but good nail care will also help in arthritis prevention. By clipping your dog’s toenails regularly, they can work normally and won’t have to adjust their gait and put pressure on their joints and ligament.
The steps I just mentioned may sound like a lot of work, but in the long run, making these changes will help your senior dog live a fuller life. Isn’t that what every pet owner would want for their cherished senior dog?