Just as in humans, arthritis can be a source of chronic pain even in dogs. One in every five adult dogs is found to have arthritis. The sad part is, your canine friend cannot express their misery to you like any normal person can. This is why it is important that you stay observant about your dog’s behavior in day-to-day life to understand if your aging dog is showing any symptoms of arthritis.
Frequent napping, reduced interest in physical activity or play, difficulty in standing or sitting, preference for a particular limb, noticed hesitance in climbing stairs or jumping, are the various symptoms that suggest that your pooch may be having stiff muscles and joints.
Arthritis causes the break down in protective cartilage of joints of your dog. Wear and tear of the everyday life of a dog can lead to arthritis. Elbows, wrists, hips, neck, shoulders, and knees are the commonly affected areas.
If you’ve noticed these symptoms and your pooch is diagnosed with arthritis by your vet, given below are a few home remedies that can ease the stress on the joints of your dog:
1. Apply Hot Compress – Heat penetrates deep inside the muscles and reaches the joint, providing relief to your furry friend. Applying warm compress on the affected joints of your dog will thereby ease the pain of your pooch to a great extent.
You may want to be a little careful if you’re utilizing heat pads for this purpose. You do not want your dog to burn because of excessive heat. So, be sure that you’re applying the right temperature.
2. Keep Them Warm – Cold or moist weather often aggravates the swelling and stiffness in joints. Be kind and let your dog stay inside the house on those wet or cold days. Provide him with an extra blanket and another pillow also, if possible, to make him feel comfortable and warm.
3. Put Dishes on an Elevated Level – Keeping the water container and food dishes of your dog on a slightly elevated level, rather than the floor, is especially helpful for dogs who have arthritis in their shoulders or neck. Bending can increase the pain and tension in the afflicted parts of your dog and worsen his condition. It is also a commonly observed scenario to see dogs with arthritis lose weight drastically as it gets too painful for them to bend to eat their food.
4. Massage Therapy – Massages offer the much-needed relief to inflamed and sore joints, and loosen these areas. You may massage your pooch at home, or take him to a therapist.
5. Exercise – As the joints of your dog may not be very flexible, make sure you do not make them indulge in any strenuous exercises forcibly. If your pooch prefers to return home after a short stroll, let them be and don’t force them. Regular and light exercises here are more important than doing arduous exercises. Swimming is a great exercising method for dogs with arthritis.
6. Keep a Check on His Weight – Excessive weight exerts more pressure on your pooch’s joints. Give your dog a balanced and nutritious diet, helping him get rid of his unwanted calories.
Apart from the above mentioned home remedies, balanced diet, and a proper arthritis treatment from a veterinarian, it is essential that you understand the behavior of your dog to make him feel most comfortable. Don’t be forceful and be empathetic of his situation, for he cannot come and tell you what’s wrong with him. Be sure not to be ignorant about timely visits to the vet, for optimum well being of your dog. You may even explore dog supplies store to find out special equipments available for arthritic dogs.