Like humans, dogs can and do suffer from arthritis. This causes stiff, painful joints and impacts their mobility and quality of life. There are things you can do to help your dog with arthritis discomfort.
1. Exercise – Keeping joints moving is key to helping with arthritis pain. You’ll want to take your dog on shorter, slower and more frequent walks instead of one long brisk walk each day. This will help keep the muscles supporting your dog’s joints healthy.
2. Floor Coverings – Bath mats, carpet, runners, foam mats or even yoga mats where your dog walks and spends time can help him get traction and keep his footing. This makes it easier for your dog to get around compared to smooth floors. Make sure stairs are carpeted or have rubber treads to help your dog with going up and down.
3. The Right Dog Bed – There are lots of dog bed options out there. The right option for a dog with arthritis is an orthopedic dog bed with foam at least 4 inches thick. The bed should be firm and supportive and easy for your dog to get in and out of. It should also be large enough for your dog to stretch out and relax his muscles and joints. These beds are pricey but they are much better for your dog’s overall comfort.
4. Nail Trims – Long nails make it hard for your dog to get traction when standing or walking. Keep nails trimmed shorter to help your dog use the pads of his feet for mobility around the house.
5. Ramps – If your dog is larger and difficult to lift, consider getting a ramp for him to get into and out of the house. Make sure the surface of the ramp has some kind of grit or rubber treads for traction to make it easier for him to walk up and down it. Depending on the configuration of your home, you might find ways to use ramps indoors as well.
6. Supplements – Like humans, there are many supplements for dogs to help with arthritis that you can discuss with your vet. These include glucosamine/chondroitin, MSM, omega 3 fatty acids and CBD. Yes, CBD can help with arthritis pain and inflammation. Check out Bark Appeal’s PET CBD options for a high-quality CBD product for your dog. Supplements can help dogs just like they can help humans.
7. Physical Therapy – You can visit a physical therapist for dogs who can teach you exercises, stretches and massages for your dog’s arthritis. Performing these exercises and other therapies with your dog regularly can greatly increase their comfort.
8. Acupuncture – Acupuncture is another therapy that could help your dog with arthritis pain. Regular acupuncture sessions with a certified pet acupuncture provider can help ease swelling, inflammation and discomfort in arthritic joints.
You can help your dog with arthritis discomfort. It might take some effort and action on your part but there are many things you can do to help your pupper doggo live a more comfortable and healthy life in spite of arthritis.