How to Care for a Dog with Arthritis

February 17th, 2016

12798839_1082918688397394_5035188421164223652_n-1About 65% of dogs between 7 and 11 have some degree of arthritis, and while it’s more common in older dogs, it can appear in dogs of almost any age, especially if the dog has suffered a joint injury.

If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the following symptoms, you want to make sure you can care for your dog with arthritis.

Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Walking stiffly
  • Limping or favoring certain limbs
  • Showing stiffness or discomfort when getting up from a lying-down position
  • Seeming to experience pain when touched in certain areas
  • Seeming to find certain positions uncomfortable or painful
  • Being hesitant to jump, run or climb stairs

Here are some ways care for your dog with arthritis.

  • Have short, gentle play sessions. Dogs with arthritis should engage daily in low-impact activities such as walking or swimming.
  • Provide your dog with gentle massages and physical therapy.
  • Place food and water bowls on a low table or crate, or in a raised feeder, to avoid neck and spine strain.
  • Get a portable dog ramp to allow your dog access to the car or other areas where she’ll have to jump or climb.
  • Re-evaluate your dog’s bedding. Providing soft bedding or a firm orthopedic foam bed could be more comfortable.

Taking steps to catch and treat arthritis and other problems early and aggressively is an excellent way to stay ahead of disease.