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5 Fixes for Your Dog’s Bad Joints

DOG OWNER HACKS

5 Fixes for Your Dog’s Bad Joints

August 19, 2021

As your best friend ages, you may begin to notice your pooch’s creaking joints go hand-in-hand with the white hairs on his or her snout. Just like people, dogs sometimes suffer from joint pain, whether it’s due to age, injury or weight. Here are five things you can do to help make sure they start feeling their best and have a good quality of life for as long as possible:

 

Check in with Your Vet



Before you start making changes to your dog’s lifestyle, it’s a good idea to take a trip to the vet’s office to find out more about what’s causing your dog’s pain, such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Your trusted vet can help you make decisions about treatment. They may recommend things like anti-inflammatories, glucocorticoids, massage, acupuncture, acupressure or even surgery if necessary, but it’s also possible that your vet will give you suggestions for how you can manage your dog’s pain at home without medical intervention, especially if you caught the pain early before it became chronic.

 

Dietary Changes

 


Fixing your dog’s joint issues can be as simple as introducing new items to their diet! One of the best things you can introduce to your dog’s diet for joint and overall health is more Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. These help reduce inflammation and increase mobility and have the added bonus of keeping your dog’s skin healthy and coat shiny. Ready Pet Go! Omega Health Chews can help decrease joint pain and offer all three of these important Omega fatty acids in an easy-to-give chew that dogs crave.

You can also look for supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin to assist with your dog’s joint health. These ingredients are often used to help people who are suffering from joint pain and can also help ease your pet’s pain. Green-lipped mussel is another ingredient to look for in supplements that can help your pet by reducing inflammation to increase their mobility, as it contains the important Omega 3 component and can help them start feeling better fast.


Eggs -- and even calcium-rich eggshells -- can be incorporated into your dog’s diet for joint health. Eggs are packed with nutrients like protein and folate that can help your dog feel healthier overall, but eggshells were specifically shown to help with joint pain. Before you start tossing eggshells to your dog, talk to your vet to make sure it’s safe for your pup’s age and health conditions. Raw eggs may also cause health problems, so it’s typically best to cook your eggs before you feed them to your dog, but again, talk to your vet for the best advice.


Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is another option to consider adding to your dog’s diet. CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation and pain. Some pet owners swear it helps their older dogs start feeling like puppies again. However, it is important to note that there is no scientific evidence confirming that this is beneficial for canine arthritis or any other medical treatment.


Weight Management  



If your dog is overweight, each extra pound puts added pressure on their joints, making it harder to avoid being in pain. If you suspect your dog is suffering from joint pain, talk to your vet to determine if your dog is at a healthy weight. Just like humans, your dog’s activity and metabolism will start to slow with age. Depending on the breed, this tends to start around seven to eight years old. If you’ve noticed you pup’s pep has mellowed, it may be time to consider switching to food for senior dogs.


If you vet advises that your pup could spare to drop a few pounds, you may need to adjust food portions, switching to a food designed for weight control, cutting back on treats and if possible, increasing daily exercise. Reducing your dog’s weight will also reduce joint inflammation and can help your pet lead a longer, happier, healthier life.

 

Gentle Exercise



It might sound counterintuitive -- your pooch is in pain, do they really want to go for a walk right now? The answer is: Yes, and it might be the best thing you can do for them! The truth is that exercising your dog is a great way to help them with their joint pain. Taking your dog for a leash walk every day is one simple way you can increase their activity level and help reduce their pain. Taking a new path with different terrain and scents will prove to be an exciting outing for you both. Pay attention to your pup’s movement and behavior to gauge when it’s time for a break. It’s important not to push beyond your pup’s limit.


If your dog is a water-lover, swimming is another great exercise to gently improve joint range of motion and flexibility. Since swimming is a low-impact activity, it is less likely that your dog’s pain will be aggravated by swimming, than it could be by other forms of exercises. Your dog -- and their achy joints -- will be eternally grateful for the exercise and playtime with you.

 

Heat, Ice and Massage Therapy



If you’re having joint pain, one of the places you might turn is heat and ice, and for good reason. Heat and ice can help improve circulation and reduce your pain. It works this way for dogs too! In order to make the choice between heat and ice, you need to determine what kind of pain you’re treating. If your dog’s aching joints are hot to the touch, it’s best to use ice, but otherwise, heat is a great fix for their pain. Just make sure to put a barrier between your pup’s skin and any pet-safe hot or cold packs. Do not leave your dog unsupervised with heat or cold and follow all manufacturer’s instructions for heating pads.

 

It’s a great idea to follow up these therapies with a quick massage. Just like people, massage can be a great way to help your pet get some relief from pain. Find a calm environment to help keep your dog relaxed. Begin at the base of the skull and gently work your way down the spine and legs -- be careful not to press straight down on bone or joints, as this may increase pain for your dog. If your dog seems in pain at any point, end the massage and return to gentle, reassuring petting. 

  

Most dogs crave human touch, so giving your pup a gentle massage will not only feel good for your pup but will also be great bonding time for you both. Massaging your pup will also help you identify tender spots you should bring to your vet’s attention.


Seeing your dog in pain is definitely difficult. Senior dogs may encounter this in the latter stage of life and you may go through the brutally frank and sadly realistic conversations that inevitably come up between you and your vet. So many of us have been there. Thankfully, there are natural ways you can help alleviate joint pain in your pup and keep them on a healthy course and maybe even extend their lives.


Work with your vet and listen to your dog, and stay ahead of any pain your dog is experiencing. By incorporating some of these lifestyle changes, your pup may be in less pain and more active before you know it.



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Our Oatmeal Shampoo for dogs is perfect whether you have an allergic pup with dry and itchy skin or just want an extra-gentle bath option. Formulated with natural ingredients that boost skin & coat health and smell amazing!

Oatmeal Shampoo

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