How to Prevent Dog Arthritis
While it is next to impossible to prevent old age, arthritis can very well be avoided. There are several things that dog owners can do to keep their pets from suffering the pain brought about by this disease. Arthritis can be crippling in humans, and it definitely is the same with dogs. The worst arthritis cases can practically take the life out of your pets.
So to keep that from happening, the following preventive measures have to be followed:
1. Keep your pet active.
Being active can greatly help dogs with arthritis. Regular exercise can actually prevent future arthritis flareups. However, you have to keep your dog’s activity to minimum. A stroll in the park is good enough. Don’t make your dog run excessively every day, because activities like that will only worsen the condition. Regular light exercises will allow the dog’s natural body fluids to lubricate the joints, therefore allowing it to move smoothly.
2. Always watch your dog’s weight.
Obese dogs have a high chance of developing arthritis. This is because their legs are suffering too much from the extra weight. Being overweight puts lot of strain on your dog’s limbs, which will eventually cause the cartilage to deteriorate. Dogs that are within their ideal weight are not as likely to develop arthritis even as they enter their senior years. Overweight dogs, on the other hand, may develop the disease as early as 5 years old.
3. Make sure your dog is always comfortable.
Dogs with arthritis should be given a nice place to sleep. This isn’t simply because it is a luxury they deserve, but because of the fact that arthritis can get worse if the dog sleeps in an awkward position.
If you can afford it, give your pet an orthopedic bed. Otherwise, a bed or a crate with good support will do.
4. Raise your dog’s food bowl.
You might not notice it, but your dog can be eating less because it can no longer eat with its head down. This is one tell-tale sign of arthritis. Help your dog by placing its food bowl on an elevated spot. This way, it doesn’t have to strain its neck when eating. A low chair will do. Just make sure that the platform where the bowl is placed is just a few inches below its neck. This step can alleviate the pain associated with this condition and further reduce the risks of arthritis attacks.
5. Help your dog get around.
Arthritis may strike at any time. When it does, you might not be around to help your dog deal with the pain. Try to put ramps for your dog so it doesn’t have to go up the stairs. Or, you can lift your dog as it tries to get up during the morning or after naps. This is most helpful for dogs with advanced cases of arthritis.
Arthritis is a very common dog disease. However, with these prevention tips, your pet need not suffer from the condition at all. These tips are applicable both for dogs that are suffering from arthritis and for dogs that are still healthy. By following these suggestions, you can make arthritis a very manageable disease for your pet.