The following is a guest post from Bryce Bertola. Bryce breeds and shows Shetland Sheepdogs with his wife and mother-in-law of Autumn Shelties, and he also writes for RoverPet.com, a leading supplier of high quality dog beds and PVC vinyl pet products.
As dogs age they can develop a number of physical problems, making even the most basic of tasks next to impossible. Canine arthritis is a common problem that dog owners need to watch for, and there are a handful of basic steps you can take to help reduce arthritis pain.
The Visible Symptoms of Canine Arthritis
In general, dogs who are experiencing arthritis pain will sleep longer than usual, with commonly restless sleeping habits. An uncomfortable dog won’t sleep as well, leading to longer sleep cycles and common shifting. You may also notice your dog is slower to get back on their feet when lying down, or they may struggle when climbing up stairs or onto furniture. More serious cases of arthritis can even slow your dogs normal walking speed and keep them from running altogether.
Common Indicators of Pet Arthritis
- Longer Sleep Patterns
- Restless Sleep
- Slow to Stand
- Difficulty Climbing Stairs or Furniture
- Slow Walking, No Running
It’s important to keep your pet in good health, so you should talk to your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these signs.
Simple Tips to Reducing Pet Arthritis Pain
Regular Exercise - Both dog and owner can benefit from a regular walk through the park. Consistent exercise promotes mobility and flexibility. Flexible joints can limit the affects of your dogs arthritis but make sure to choose an exercise that won’t put excess strain on your pet as that could cause additional joint damage.
Raise Their Food Bowl - Joint pain can strike anywhere, especially in the neck and spine. You could be causing your dog unneeded pain if they have to lean too far down to eat their food. Try lifting their food bowls onto a step or an elevated platform to limit the difference in height.
Watch Their Weight - Overweight dogs are already adding stress to their joints, and it only gets worse with arthritis. Keeping your dog at an acceptable weight is critical to reducing pain. Discuss your pets weight and diet with your veterinarian to reach an optimum weight.
Lift Them On and Off Obstacles - If you dog is already struggling to get on and off your furniture, or just up the stairs, try lifting them up and down. Struggling to get up and around obstacles will online worsen your pets condition.
Provide A Comfortable Bed - A bad nights’ sleep can ruin just about anyones day, and an uncomfortable bed is a sure way to have a bad nights’ sleep. Dogs with arthritis should sleep on a raised dog bed that’s sized appropriately, or another large comfortable sleeping mat.
Paired with the advice you receive from your veterinarian, these tips can help you effectively reduce the amount of pain your pet experiences because of their arthritis.