Ways to Help a Dog with Stiff Joints
Unfortunately, stiff joints are a problem that can affect a lot of dogs. In particular, this can happen when they get older. But, it is not uncommon to witness the start of arthritis and stiffness in younger adult dogs.
The good news is that there are ways to help your dog if you suspect they have stiff joints. Here are six effective ways to do this for your furry friend.
Choose Short and Regular Walks
A lot of people assume that if their canine is suffering discomfort from stiff joints, they should stop walking them. However, this is not true. Some exercise is good for your furry friend and it can encourage blood circulation and avoid muscle wastage. Just because your canine is stiff does not mean that they should stay in the house all day. Lying down too much can also cause discomfort.
But, you should look to change how you exercise your dog. Instead of long walks every day, change that to short and regular walks. Thus, instead of taking them on a hike for a couple of hours, switch to two or three shorts walks. This is going to keep your pet moving but avoid them suffering from painful joints when they come home.
Buying a Joint Supplement
There is a range of supplements that you can purchase for your pet. This includes special joint supplements. They can provide your canine with ingredients that can help to relieve inflammation and discomfort.
For example, PeakPets offer hips and joints supplement for dogs that can help to manage their symptoms and protect the joints. They contain high-strength quantities of glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, MSM and green lipped mussel. Together, these ingredients can help with joint pain, as well as helping to maintain cartilage structure.
Switching to a Joint Support Diet
There are certain foods and ingredients that are really going to help your pooch if they are suffering from stiff joints. In particular, their diet can help to reduce inflammation and the pain they might be experiencing.
If you are unsure what meals your pup should be eating, you can always switch to a joint support diet. This is specially formulated food promoted to protect joints and cartilage, as well as ease discomfort and stiffness.
Have you heard about hydrotherapy for dogs? For those pooches out there with stiff joints, this is a type of physiotherapy that can help to relieve pain, improve blood circulation and strength the muscles. It is important to keep your canine moving when they have stiffness, as this can with rehabilitation and managing their symptoms.
But, it should be in a way that causes minimal impact to the joints. This is what makes hydrotherapy great. Your dog can go into the water and work on their fitness. For some, swimming is going to be good exercise and for other dogs, they are going to benefit more from structured exercise, such as walking on an underwater treadmill.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
For so many reasons, it is important for your canine to have a healthy diet. But, this is particularly true when it comes to their joints. Any excess weight that they are carrying is going to put pressure on the joints and cartilage. This can increase the risk of wear and tear developing, as well as causing more discomfort for your pooch.
In particular, it can be easier for senior dogs to put on weight. They will not be as mobile or exercising as often as they were when they were younger pups. Therefore, it will be necessary to adjust your dog’s daily food intake to ensure they are not consuming excess calories. Choose a premium dog food and limit snacks to healthier treats. Avoid giving your furry friend human food unless it is small pieces of fruit and vegetables.
Avoid High Impact Activities
Unfortunately, there are going to have to be some adjustments when it comes to exercising your pooch. If they are stiff and uncomfortable, you will need to limit high impact activities. This includes jumping for a tennis ball and out of the car, as well as running on concrete. These are activities are going to create more pressure on the joints and over time, they can lead to wear and tear.
Low-impact activities like swimming are good and there are dog ramps you can purchase for your vehicle. Again, you do not have to stop exercising your pup and prevent them from doing the thing they love. Instead, you just have to make some adjustments for their health.