As our dogs get older, the degeneration of movement and the onset of joint pain is inevitable – a bit like us pet parents! But before you turn to expensive vet treatments, there are some easier ways to slow down, and even prevent, the beginning of joint issues and arthritis in your favourite pet pooch!
Joint issues are a common problem in most ageing dogs, caused by the wear and tear of cartilage after years of jumping, running and playing. As the cartilage deteriorates, it can develop into arthritis, leading to extremely painful joints which leaves your dog reluctant to move.
Joint issues are more common in larger dogs, as they bear more weight on their legs throughout their lifetime. But all dogs are at risk. Joint issues mainly occur in the hips and knees of your pet, but damage can be done to elbows and other joints, too, making it uncomfortable for your beloved pet to sit, lay, climb or walk.
You can help slow down the degeneration of your dog’s joints in a number of ways, some of which can even prevent more damage occurring. Here are 5 ways to keep your pet’s joints healthy:
What your pet eats can have a huge impact on their overall health, weight and development, especially the condition of their joints. If a large breed puppy overeats, they can become too heavy for their growing bones, and cause future joint conditions, too. Choosing the right diet for you pet will ensure they stay at a healthy weight, and prevent putting too much stress on their joints. It’s not only the amount they eat, but what nutrients they are getting, too. Supplementing your dog’s diet is a great way to ensure they are taking in enough essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to keep their joints healthy. Our best-selling Joint Care Chews are perfect for dogs of all sizes to keep their joints in tip-top condition. Plus, they’re super tasty!
Arthritis and other joint conditions can worsen if they're not used enough. It’s a vicious circle for your poor pup - when it hurts to move, dogs will stop exercising, but this will lead to their joints stiffening and them gaining weight, which leads to more pressure on the joints. Exercise also “feeds” the joints by boosting blood circulation and pumping natural lubrication to the area – so gentle movement can keep joints limber and flexible.
Severe joint issues usually occur as a result of injury in earlier life (jumping too high, running too fast, taking a fall while their joints are still growing). Make sure that, if your dog is still young, you prevent them from over-exercising their joints and always supervise their play time. Make sure there aren’t any high platforms for them to jump off, and encourage calmer play with other dogs.
If you begin to notice your pup limping or putting less weight on a particular joint, go and see your vet immediately. This will prevent any future, permanent damage, and hopefully rectify the issue before it gets too bad. By allowing your dog to properly heal and get the right treatment, you can alleviate bigger potential problems as your dogs age.
Dogs can often injure their joints by jumping off the sofa, sprinting into the yard too quickly, or even running down stairs. Make it safer and easier for them to get around the house by providing ramps, steps and gates wherever necessary. Less risk of injury means less issues for their joints in later life!