Arthritis in dogs is one of the most common medical conditions that affects our beloved pets.
About one in every five pet dogs will develop some form of arthritis during its lifetime. And like arthritis in humans, arthritis in dogs cannot be cured. The good news is that arthritis in dogs is not inevitably hopeless. There are a number of effective treatments on the market today that can help ease your dog’s symptoms, allowing your pet to live a longer, active life.
There are several causes for arthritis in dogs. The condition can be genetic, as is the case with hip dysplasia, and it can also develop as the result of an infection or an immune disorder that affects the dog’s joints.
Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include: weight gain not caused by excessive overeating, sleeping much more than usual, a decreased interest in playing or going on walks, favoring one leg more than the others, hesitancy climbing or going down stairs, acting less alert, having a lot of difficulty standing, and appearing to suffer from pain in the joints.
If the arthritis is not extremely severe and advanced to the point that your dog cannot walk at all without the aid of braces or a dog cart or wheelchair, the most common treatment for arthritis in dogs are supplements like Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own dog. For over 20 years this proven formula has been bringing relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs. Owners report that their pets have new vitality and alertness now that they are free of pain.
In addition to feeding your dog Winston’s Joint System you should massage its arthritic joints for about 10 minutes at least twice a day, and when you put your dog to bed for the night, apply heat using a heat pad or hot water bottle. Heat pads can be purchased specifically for dogs with conditions like arthritis, but a regular heat pad kept around the house for human use works just as well. The heat works to relax the muscles and promotes increased mobility and activity. Just be sure that the heat level is low to medium, never set it on high, as too much heat could be very uncomfortable or even dangerous for your dog. We humans know when a heat pad is set too high and we simply turn the level down; but remember, not only does your dog have no fingers to work the switch, it also is unable to let you know if the heat is too high.
You can also use a hot water bottle in place of a heat pad. There are newer hot water bottles available that have fleece covers which feel softer on your dog’s body.
Heated pet beds are also available online or from most pet stores. You can also purchase an orthopedic bed with a heat element. This helps distribute your dog’s body weight and eliminates pressure points while soothing the joints and muscles. You may also want to consider the Canine Cooler Bed which uses revolutionary SoothSoft Technology to give your dog the very best in comfort. The fluid-enhanced design offers a dry, cooling effect with superior cushioning and support which is perfect for dogs that are always kept indoors year-round in 78-80 degree temperatures. The bed is especially good for dogs with arthritis, excess weight, or Cushings Disease, and work great for dogs who are old, very large, who usually sleep on hard floors, or are recovering from surgery or illness.
The Canine Cooler Bed gives your dog a constant cool spot in summer, relief from furnace and fireplace heat in winter, and cushiony support for vulnerable joints all year.
If you live in a part of the country that gets very cold in the winter, keep your dog warm inside and outside the house with clothing made especially for dogs. Many of these products are constructed of breathable material that insulates your dog’s body and keeps the chill out.
Arthritis in dogs can cause a lot of pain so try to make your arthritic dog as comfortable as you would like to be if you suffered from – or do suffer from – arthritic pain. It will make your dog’s life much easier and happier, and your dog will love you even more for the help you provide it.