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Tips that May Help Your Arthritic Dog

Arthritis refers to inflammation or swelling in a joint. The cause can be abnormal bone or joint development, instability of the surrounding ligaments and tendons, damage or injury to the joint, an infection, or injury caused by the immune system. While anti-inflammatory medicines are popular treatments for arthritis, another approach involves protecting the cartilage in the joint and "nourishing" the joint.

Here are tips that may help your arthritic dog.

Slip-free Flooring. Hardwood and tile are slippery and can be very difficult for dogs with arthritis to navigate. Placing carpet or area rugs will help secure your dog's footing. This can help prevent him from slipping and injuring himself. Glucosamine for dogs

Swimming is a good aerobic exercise and is especially good for arthritis symptom dogs because there is no jarring impact. As swimming is a non-weight bearing activity.

It exercises every muscle of the body without any stress. When swimming, muscles and joints are able to move through a complete range of motion without bearing any weight.

Swimming in warm water has the added benefit of relaxing muscles (specially important for arthritis symptom dogs) and increasing overall blood circulation. Warm water relaxes muscles so the dog will not feel pain when exercising, thus improving joint lubrication. Older dogs have the added benefit of cardiovascular strengthening and weight loss, improving general fitness.

Your dog should use all four legs to doggie paddle. If he paddles with just his front paws, lift his rear legs to help him float. He'll quickly understand that he needs all four of his legs to swim.

Daily, low-impact exercise helps to improve strength and stamina, joint mobility, and stimulates joint cartilage metabolism.

While helping maintain your dog's weight, it also decreases the need for pain-relieving medications.

A Soft Bed. Soft bedding and heated beds can help support the bones and joints, making your pet more comfortable. This can be especially important in thin dogs in which bony prominences are likely to rub on hard surfaces. Some beds are made especially for dogs with arthritis, such as waterbeds, hammock beds, and beds with plenty of extra cushion. Our new Durabed may be right for your older do.

Grooming should not be neglected, especially in the older dog. Arthritic dogs have a difficult time keeping themselves clean, especially in those hard to reach areas. Help your dog stay clean by trimming the hair around the rear end. Brushing will help remove mats and tangles, which can injure delicate older skin. Keep eyes & ears clean, also.

Peace & Quiet. As your dog ages, he may not be as tolerant or patient as he used to be. Sore joints make it difficult for your pet to enjoy rambunctious playful children. Supervise playtime and consider keeping your dog away from very young children. Even parties and holiday time can be distressing for an arthritic dog. He may want to join in the festivities regardless of the discomfort. To reduce joint pain and inflammation, you may want to limit his time as the center of attention.

Massage. Massage can increase flexibility, circulation, calmness and a general sense of wellness. Professional animal massage therapists are available to provide your pet a more thorough treatment.

Weight Loss. Arthritis is more of a problem in obese pets. Weight loss can be beneficial by helping to reduce the workload on the bones and joints.

Exercise. Modest daily exercise can help some dogs. Special care is needed, so it is important to first see your veterinarian, who can recommend an appropriate exercise program. Exercise can strengthen the muscles and ligaments thus reducing the potential and risk of injury.

Supplements. There are many products on the market that can be used in addition to a good diet.

Extra Time. Don't rush a dog with arthritis. It often takes them extra time to walk, climb stairs or get in and out of the car. Support and help them if needed or just give them extra time to get around.

Mary E. Joyce http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com

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