My Dog Has Arthritis — Should I Walk Him?
If your dog seems stiff and has trouble getting up after resting, you may be tempted to let him rest. However, if he has arthritis, you’ll help him feel better if you encourage him to get up and walk.
The ASPCA recommends daily walks for dogs with arthritis. Not only does it keep your pet’s joints moving which eases arthritis pain but it also helps keep weight down. If your dog is overweight, the extra weight adds more pressure to the joints making it more painful to walk.
How often should you walk? Two to three 15-20 minute walks a day will benefit both of you. If your pet likes to swim, this is another good low-impact activity that will help increase mobility in your pet’s joints.
Massage and Supplements May Help You Dog with Arthritis
You can also give your pet a gentle massage around the joints to alleviate soreness. To be most beneficial, sit in a quiet place with your dog when he’s in a quiet mood and apply long, gentle strokes to his body. Move into the area around the joints and gently massage these areas.
Not only will it relieve your dog’s muscles, it’s also a great opportunity to discover any potential health problems before they become serious. Look for unusual lumps or areas where your pet seems sensitive. You can point them out at the vet’s office.
You can check with your vet on possible medications and supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3’s are sometimes called the “good fats” and are important anti-inflammatories. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in salmon, avocado and other healthy foods. Sometimes called “good fats”, they help reduce swelling associated with arthritis. You can speak with your vet about omega 3 supplements or feed a pet food that includes them. Many of the senior formula pet foods include these important fats.
Your vet may prescribe are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID’s for your pet’s arthritis. While some dogs do fine on these, others won’t tolerate them. You should be aware they can cause stomach upset and severe diarrhea.
Why Not a Orthotic Suspender System?
We invented an orthotic suspender system that supports arthritic joints and helps your dog walk easier. They attach to dog boots and when properly adjusted provide a “lift” for your pet’s joints so your dog can walk farther faster. Check them out here.