4 Ways to Help Senior Dogs With Arthritis
As dogs get older, they inevitably become weak and develop different kinds of problems, one of the most common ones being arthritis. Though this usually can’t be completely cured in dogs, there are some ways in which you can reduce their pain and make the disease more bearable.
This doesn’t involve any expensive procedure or equipment – but is more about how careful and empathetic you are towards their needs and pain. In this article, we’re going to highlight 4 of the most effective ways in which you can help your senior dog deal with arthritis and joint pain – let’s get started.
Make their surroundings more comfortable
Young pups and adult dogs will be able to move around easily in any household, but the same doesn’t apply to senior dogs. If you make them jump onto the sofa to take a nap, or hop into a tiny kennel at night, it will not only be uncomfortable but will also increase their pain greatly.
This is because most arthritic dogs find it difficult to move around too much, let alone jump on and off things. That’s one of the reasons why they prefer lying down or sitting for long periods of time, and only moving around to stretch themselves when necessary.
In such a case, it’s important to make life as easy and comfortable for them around the house.
You could do this by placing ramps to prevent him from having to jump (especially on your car), placing his food and water near his bed so he doesn’t have to walk to far, not forcing him to come on a walk everyday, but making sure that he gets some fresh air every now and then, and so on.
Small changes such as these will have an effect on his overall well-being and happiness.
Pain relievers for bad days
During the initial stages of arthritis, your dog may not suffer as much. But later on, the pain can become unbearable, especially if your dog is very old. In such cases, the best way to reduce the stress and pain they feel is by using pain relievers that have been prescribed by your vet.
This is usually applied as a topical oil on the affected areas, so it’s best to consult with your vet to find out where exactly you should be applying the oil, and in what quantity.
Massages and exercise
Due to moving less and lying down for the most part of the day, dogs may develop soreness in their body. If left as is, it could only increase the discomfort they already feel due to the arthritis.
To help reduce the soreness in the body, it’s good to try gentle massages and easy exercises which are meant to relieve their muscles and help them relax more.
However, this has to be done with extreme care, because applying pressure on their joints or bones directly could hurt them – the focus should only be on the sore muscles.
If you’re not sure about how to go about this, you can always schedule an appointment with a professional who’ll be more experienced when it comes to handling senior dogs.
Take care of his weight gain
Lastly, since the movement of senior dogs is greatly reduced, you should also consult a vet to find out how much food intake you should give your dog everyday, because you don’t want more complications by overfeeding him.