If your dog is suffering with arthritis, you may be tempted to skip the walks.
After all dogs with arthritis usually have stiff and swollen joints. However, skipping out on exercise is the worst thing you can do for your pet.
It’s counterintuitive, but if your dog is moving slowly or having trouble walking due to stiff joints, increasing exercise will actually benefit your pooch. We’re not suggesting agility trials or marathon hikes of course, but moderate and gentle exercise can reduce pain and stiffness.
Here’s why dogs with arthritis benefit from exercise:
1—Going for a walk reduces stiff joints
When the joints move, they release lubricating synovial fluid in and around your pet’s joints. This reduces friction between and around the bones by coating the joints so they don’t hurt as much. The pain of arthritis comes from bone rubbing against bone and this fluid reduces the friction.
Your dog with arthritis can benefit the most from frequent (2-3 times a day) walks to keep the joints in optimal order. Keep them short at first. If your pet hasn’t been on a walk in awhile, a block or two at a time may be enough for the first few days.
When your pet’s joints are “cushioned” by strong muscles, it makes it easier for your pet to get around and is less painful. Moderate exercise will help your pet maintain muscle strength.
In order to help your pet build strength and take the pressure off the joints, you can use the Snuggy Boots Suspender System. The elastic leg straps connect to dog booties and by adjusting the tension on the straps, lends support to dogs with arthritis making it easier for them walk further faster and for longer periods of time.
Exercise increases oxygen flow in the body and brain. The oxygen and movement stimulates the cells that produce energy in the body. A 10-15 minute walk can boost energy levels in both of you.
Aside from walking, what can you do if your dog has arthritis? If your pet enjoys swimming, this low-impact activity offers incredible benefits. Swimming takes all the stress off the joints so your furry pal can enjoy gliding through the water and diving for balls while you have no concern they’re going to overdo it like they might on land.
If your dog is suffering with arthritis or other problems that affect mobility, your veterinarian can also make supplement suggestions. It may take a combined program but dogs with arthritis can find relief through support and moderate exercise.
Learn more about the Snuggy Boots System here.