A dog with joint problems is sadly a common sight, especially in those that are getting on in years. Even Bob himself has recently been diagnosed with arthritis in his right shoulder!
It can be easy to become pessimistic and sad when they receive such a diagnosis, but while some stiff and painful joints can limit your dog’s movement, the condition can still be managed.
Most importantly, they can still have a high-quality of life!
There is plenty of good stuff you can do to help them continue to lead a comfy and fun-filled existence. In this post, I want to cover a few of the most significant.
So, let’s get to it!
Make Your Home Easy to Navigate and Live In
After your dog has been diagnosed with a joint problem, it’s a great idea to have another look at your living space from the perspective of your dog.
They aren’t going to be as mobile anymore, so you may need to change some things around so that it is easy for your pooch to get about.
Stairs are the biggest no-no; they can be really tough and daunting. You may need to carry your dog upstairs and downstairs if they like to follow you about. But it’s not only those stairs that you should be thinking about; just small steps about the house could be a bit difficult.
Therefore, it can be really good to create some comfy ramps over small steps to ease their movement. It can also be really nice for them to have ramps helping them to reach their favourite spots in the home, like the sofa or your bed!
Dog Supplements for Joints
Some joint supplements have been shown to have an effect in reducing inflammation or pain for dogs. However, it can be quite a minefield; some can have no effect whatsoever, despite what the marketing material might say.
If your vet hasn’t recommended any joint supplements and you are interested in trying them out for your dog, we’d recommend talking with a qualified canine nutritionist. They will know best after all!
There’s also the topic of dietary changes; many pet food companies release special formulas for dogs with creaky joints. However, like the supplements, these can vary in quality. I’d again recommend speaking with your canine nutritionist to see your dog’s diet needs a rework.
Keep a Dog with Joint Problems Exercised!
While painful joints will naturally limit your poor pooch’s movement, proper daily exercise is still incredibly important. It’s no excuse for becoming a couch potato!
Keep in mind though, they shouldn’t be sprinting all over the place like they used to be. A dog with joint problems should be on a heavily reduced exercise regime. Exercise that is too strenuous may worsen their joints further, so we definitely want to avoid that!
Short walks on flat land prove to be easiest for them. Hydrotherapy can be amazing for dogs in this situation too!
If you’re looking for tips on managing your pooch’s exercise correctly, we’d recommend checking out CAM on Facebook. It stands for Canine Arthritis Management and they offer plenty of resources on proper exercise for a dog with bad joints, along with plenty of other great tips for their care.
Exercise, albeit at a low amount, remains so key because of two reasons; avoiding weight gain and keeping your pooch mentally and physically stimulated.
Weight gain is something you want to avoid in this situation. More weight on those joints means more pain.
Likewise, letting your dog mope about all day will also not do them any favours for their quality of life. They need to be out there, seeing and sniffing the world!
Enrichment can be even more amazing than usual here. If you have absolutely no inkling as to what I mean by this, check out Rach’s guide to enrichment here!
Joint Problems Are No Reason to Mope!
I’ve only scratched the surface on the various things you can do to ensure your lovely doggo continues to lead their best life.
If you’re anything like me, you’re easy to panic about your pets if they are in any distress. But it’s important to keep in mind that they are still more than capable of having a fun and love-filled life.
They might just need a little bit more care and pampering; which I’m sure you’re not averse to giving!
I’d love to hear more tips from you all. How would you help a dog with joint problems? Dog owners are crafty and resourceful folks; I’m always coming across new novel ideas from the community!
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the comments!
Ryan is a freelance content writer who specialises in pets and animals. He works closely with various pet sites to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally, he is usually watching cat videos and trying not to adopt every Pomeranian he sees! His portfolio can be found here.