Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? This painful condition is very common in older dogs. In fact, as many as 65% of pooches over age seven are afflicted. Although there’s no cure for arthritis, there are treatments available. There are also some things you can do at home to make your pet more comfortable, and keep that cute tail wagging. Read on for some tips from a Coles County, IL vet on caring for an arthritic pooch.

Veterinary Care

First and foremost, make sure that Fido is seeing his vet regularly. Modern veterinary medicine now offers quite a few treatments that can help your furry pal better. Laser therapy, for example, is often very effective in improving arthritic pets’ range of motion and decreasing their pain.

Proper Diet

Good nutrition is absolutely crucial. Offer your furry buddy a high-quality, life-stage pet food. Supplements can also help. For example, fish oil can help lubricate stiff joints, while glucosamine can help rebuild cartilage. Be careful not to overfeed Fido, however. Any extra weight your pooch puts on will put additional stress on his already-weakened bones and joints. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Activity

Fido won’t be as active or playful as he once was, but he’ll still need some activity, even if it’s just a walk around the block. This will help keep his muscles strong, and prevent them from atrophying. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with your four-legged friend!

Comfy Beds

As far as dogs are concerned, comfy beds are one of life’s greatest luxuries. (Actually, we have to agree with Fido on that one.) Orthopedic beds are great choices for arthritic dogs. Your pup may also enjoy a heated bed or thermal blanket for those chilly nights.

Pet Ramps

Fido may have trouble climbing stairs and getting in and out of cars. Pet ramps or stairs will help your furry friend get around more easily.

Elevated Dishes

Consider getting Fido some elevated doggy dishes. These are easier for dogs to eat from than bowls on the floor.

Pawdicures

Keep your canine friend’s claws clipped! Overgrown nails are very uncomfortable for dogs. Fido may change his gait to compensate, which will put extra strain on his bones and joints.

As your Coles County, IL pet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Please contact us anytime!