As our dogs grow old, the chances of arthritis and other joint related issues increase and pose higher problems.  It can be worse for some breeds that are bred for specific traits but end up facing trouble with their bone health. Joint pain occurs due to the wear & tear and overstraining of joints. Many injuries that occur early in life tend to display consequences as your dog ages. Hip dysplasia and other problems indicate noticeable effects afterward, even though they may have been present for some time.

How do I know if My Dog Has Joint Pain?

While most dogs are at the risk of joint pain, there are some that are more susceptible. These include obese dogs, working breeds, athletic dogs, diabetic dogs, and those that have suffered trauma or injury. Since dogs are excellent at hiding pain, your pooch will only display symptoms when it gets unbearable. Common signs include reluctance to climb stairs or walk a lot; your dog may even have trouble standing after waking up or playing in the park.

How to Improve Dog’s Joint Health?

Add Glucosamine to Your Dog’s Diet

Two compounds can be beneficial for your dog’s joints and arthritis. These are glucosamine and chondroitin. The former is a compound made up of glucose and glutamine which helps in the creation of molecules that form the joint cartilages. It helps in reducing inflammation and stiffness. Chondroitin, on the other hand, is a substance that naturally keeps your dog’s joints cushioned and decreases deterioration.

You can either give your pup the synthetic supplements prescribed by your vet or there are also natural food sources that contain the two compounds. Your pooch will enjoy trachea as a chewy meal, or you can cook him delicious bone broth, both are healthy sources of glucosamine; animal bones with gristle are a useful source of chondroitin.

Maintain Ideal Weight for Your Pup

If your pup is overweight, his bones and joints would have to bear more strain and thus would be prone to damage. It is essential to maintain your dog at the ideal weight to promote joint health and mobility. The best way to do this is to measure your pup’s food intake and feed him a balanced diet.

Exercise Your Dog

If your pup has been diagnosed with arthritis, you can still make him exercise but be sure to be very gentle. Overexertion can cause further wear & tear and increase the pain. You can try activities such as swimming since it doesn’t put pressure on the joints.

Massage the Joints

You can ask your vet if massaging the joints would be a good idea or not. If the veterinarian does approve, you can try different techniques and stick to the one that your pup finds relaxing. Be sure to warm up his body with long strokes before you begin. Don’t put pressure on any area that your pooch finds painful and keep an eye on inflammation. If the joints get inflamed, wrap that part of the body in a cold towel and make sure the swelling goes away otherwise contact the vet.

Use Pet-friendly Ramps

Dogs can easily injure themselves by continually having to jump from sofas or heights. You can install pet-friendly ramps to reduce the continuous jumping and damage to the joints.

These little tips and tricks can help you significantly control and prevent the damage to your dog’s joints. In case things do get severe and you need to resort to surgery, it is always better to be prepared. You can opt for reliable pet insurance that can cover the finances and enable your pup to get the best treatment.

About the Author: Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.