December 13, 2021

How to Help a Dog with Arthritis at Home

Arthritis is a prevalent issue in dogs (and us humans!). If you start to notice your senior dog start to slow down, struggle walking up and downstairs, have a more challenging time sitting or standing up - then your dog may have arthritis. Arthritis primarily affects your dog's hips, legs, and back but can affect other areas as well. If you notice these symptoms or pain in these areas, the first thing to do is consult your vet and get a diagnosis.

 If you come back with the answer being arthritis, there are ways to help your dog live with arthritis and be healthy, happy, and in the least amount of pain possible. While it might seem scary at first, there are many methods and changes you can take to make this new stage of life very manageable for you and your dog! 

What Can I Give My Dog For Arthritis?

A dog's diet is essential and can affect all aspects of its life. This is especially important now that your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis. The first thing you will want to combat is their weight. 

Maintaining a healthy weight can be done with diet and should be the first adjustment after a diagnosis. Carrying extra pounds will affect their joints, adding extra pressure and bringing them more pain and struggle when doing everyday tasks. Find the right dog food to either maintain your dog's weight or help them lose weight. 

There are also dog arthritis supplements and natural remedies to relieve pain. You can buy specific joint supplements at your pet store to help reduce inflammation and pain. Look for the ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin. They have scientific proof of relieving joint pain for dogs. More recently, CBD oil has also become a popular method. There is no scientific data on this yet, and we suggest consulting your vet first. Still, it is a natural remedy to help relieve pain. 

Dog Exercises for Arthritis

While your dog may be less active than before, you shouldn't completely stop exercising your dog because they have arthritis. It is recommended they still have 30 - 60 minutes of daily movement, but they will look a little different than long walks and playing fetch. 

The best method is short and often. You will want to have them move multiple times a day, but keep it short and sweet. It is better to take them on numerous short walks every day and be consistent with this routine. Avoid longer walls on the weekend; continue to keep them short and often. Try taking them out for 10 minutes every couple of hours for a short walk. 

In addition to daily movement like walking outside, you can do home remedies and home exercises to keep your dog in shape. You can start to do assisted movement to strengthen joints. With your dog laying on its back, slowly move its back leg out - don't push past the point of resistance. Hold that position for 10 seconds and slowly push their leg back towards their body. You can repeat this push and pull movement 2 to 3 times, each leg, very slow to help strengthen joints and muscle. If this appears painful for your dog, don't continue! 

If you have a pool (or know someone with a pool!) or a lake nearby where dogs can swim safely, swimming is an excellent form of exercise for arthritic pups. It is easy on the joints because they aren’t putting their full weight on them. This is especially good for those dogs that are overweight. Be sure to introduce swimming very slowly if they never swam before or are afraid of the water. 

How Long Can a Dog Live with Arthritis?

Arthritis is a long-term condition - meaning your dog can live a long life with this illness. If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, it doesn't need to scare you. It is a common diagnosis in dogs, and many older dogs live with it every day and continue on for a long and healthy life! 

It just requires some management, extra care, and attention on your side. Your daily routine will have to change, and you will need to adjust to your dog's needs, but it is all manageable and worth it. By following everything above and listening to your vet, you will be on a very positive path forward. Dogs can live for many years, happily and healthy, with arthritis. Continue to be patient and move slower with your dog to help manage the pain. Dog arthritis is a very liveable illness and is common in senior dogs. 

While this diagnosis might seem scary at first, we promise you there are many ways to help your dog relieve pain and continue to live a happy life. Not only will we help you with this article and many more, but your vet will be able to help you create an action plan and answer any questions you may have. Your dog can and will continue to live a healthy and happy life with arthritis! 

Get Your Free Consultation For Your Dog Today

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