Like your dog’s pet parents, one of the inevitable issues of old age is arthritis and achy joints. Dogs feel the same type of pain associated with old age as we humans do. Our dogs cannot tell us when they hurt so the task of discovery falls on the pet parent.
Conscientious pet owners are aware of every nuance of behavior their dog demonstrates. The trick is to spot the signs of canine arthritis early so your dog continues a great quality of life throughout their golden years. Here is what to look for:
Lack of enthusiasm when the leash comes out
Difficulty getting up
Climbing stairs one at a time
Excessive licking of paws or joints
Less energy and lethargic
For medium to large dogs, signs like these begin to show up around ages 8 to 10 years old, earlier for extra large breeds. Toy breeds as well may show signs of canine arthritis at an earlier age due to their delicate joints.
If you begin to notice your dog exhibiting two or more of these signs the first course of action is to consult your veterinarian immediately. They can tell you the severity of the arthritis and begin a regimen to provide relief from the pain.
As pet parents, we can help relieve joint pain and stress by providing pet stairs or dog ramps to reduce jumping up or more importantly down from their favorite chair or the family bed. Changing their regular dog bed to an orthopedic dog bed is one the best things pet parents can do.
Orthopedic dog beds come in all sizes and styles from memory foam to heated orthopedic dog beds. While these dog beds can be used regardless of the severity of canine arthritis, the additives should not be mixed with other medications your vet has proscribed without their consultation.
With the new medications available to veterinarians and the dog supplies available to pet parents there is no reason your dog cannot enjoy a healthy pain free quality of life well into old age. The key is to recognize the signs of canine arthritis and get out in front of the pain.
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