If your canine best friend has been diagnosed with arthritis you might be wondering if you could make changes to your home and daily routine to make their lives easier. The good news is that you can take some simple steps to provide them with the support they need.
Home Adaptations That Can Help Dogs With Arthritis
Ensuring that your arthritic dog has a stable and comfortable environment can go a long way to helping them manage their condition. Consider making changes to the following:
Climbing stairs can be a difficult task when your joints are inflamed and painful. Access should be limited through the use of gates or closed doors. If the stairs are hardwood or another material that can be slippery, consider adding something like stick on carpeting to help provide a less slippery surface.
If possible, provide your dog with support as they come and go on the staircase.
Like the stairs, if your flooring is hard and slippery, consider putting down non-slip carpeting to help provide your dog with something to grip while trying to walk.
There have been many advances made in the field of bedding and not just for humans! Many companies make supportive bedding, often constructed from memory foam, for dogs with osteoarthritis.
Not all memory foam or supportive beds are the same so be sure to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase. Consider a bed that is large enough for your dog but that isn’t too high and difficult to get in and out of.
Ramps can be installed over short stairways to help your dog come and go. Additionally, if your dog frequently rides in the car or sleeps in your bed, consider lightweight ramps that can help them climb in and out.
Food And Water Dishes
When your dog’s food and water dishes sit on the floor, eating and drinking can cause lower back or neck pain if they have arthritis in these locations. It can also be difficult for your dog to bend the limbs to reach out for the bowls.
By raising the bowls up you can reduce the strain on their body and thus prevent painful conditions.
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Should My Dog Still Exercise If They Have Arthritis?
Yes, it’s important for dogs with arthritis to keep moving. This will help them to retain their muscle mass and it will help to prevent stiff joints. It’s important for the exercise to be low-impact. Consider the following:
If there is a safe and clean place to take your pet swimming nearby and they enjoy this activity, do it! The water helps to support your pet’s weight and also prevents them from making any extreme, quick movements.
Walking is gentle enough to be a good form of exercise for arthritic pets. Be sure to start out slow and let your pet warm up. Don’t let them run or leap and try to avoid stairs or sharp inclines.
Exercise should be done for 15-30 minutes every day.
Understanding your dog’s pain tolerance level is key. Many dogs will power through the pain and do further damage to their joints simply because they are excited. Even if they are thrilled about participating in high-impact sports like frisbee or agility, they will likely feel serious discomfort later on.
When combined with supportive treatment options such as acupuncture and pain medication if needed, these adjustments to your home and exercise routine could help ease your dog’s pain.
I hope this short article helps you manage your dog’s arthritis a bit better. If you have further questions you can reach out here.
Recommended for You:
- Arthritis in Dogs. Signs, Diagnosis, and Therapy.
- Home & Exercise Adaptions for Dogs with Arthritis
- Pressure Points for you Dog with Osteoarthritis
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