10 Ways to Help an Arthritic Dog
- Bring your dog in for regular checkups so that your veterinarian can monitor your dog’s arthritis and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
- Getting or keeping your dog slim can help by decreasing the load on his or her joints. Feeding your dog the right amount of high-quality food should help with weight control.
- Carefully monitored exercise on soft surfaces can help affected dogs. Ask your veterinarian for more details.
- Because arthritis is aggravated by the cold and damp, keep your dog warm and dry. Padded dog beds can help. Warm compresses can soothe affected joints.
- Massage therapy can increase your dog’s flexibility, circulation, and sense of well-being. Professional animal massage therapists are available.
- Pain medication, including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (commonly called NSAIDs), may help relieve signs of your dog’s arthritis. Disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) can also be an important part of managing osteoarthritis. Never give your dog a drug without your veterinarian’s recommendation.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are considered DMOADs and can be used to help manage arthritis in dogs and other animals.
- Acupuncture isn’t just for people. It’s painless and has shown some success in animals with arthritis.
- Surgery may be a good choice in advanced cases of canine arthritis.Your veterinarian can tell you more.
- A low-stress environment, plenty of affection, and supportive care can help improve your dog’s quality of life.
Many pain relievers that help dogs and people are poisonous to cats.
At-Home Aids for Arthritic Dogs
- Slip-free flooring
- Soft bedding
- Ramps (instead of steps)
- A warm, dry environment
- Help with grooming