Surprising as it may seem, joint problems do not afflict elderly pets only. They are pretty common in young animals as well. Inflammation and arthritis are really common, so catching them earlier might save your furry best friend a lot of pain. If you are having any suspicions in that respect, contact a vet as early as possible and take steps to prevent or treat the conditions. Now, let’s take a look at what you can do to support your pet’s overall health and well-being.
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Provide Proper Exercise
The importance of exercise in contributing to your dog’s longevity can’t really be stressed enough. This is probably the single, most crucial factor which affects physical fitness, performance, bodily functions and in the end, happiness. Yet, there comes a point in the animal’s life when his muscles and joints will start to decline, so there are a couple of measures you can and should take. Jerky movements and jumping, for example, should be avoided after a certain age, so you might want to reconsider playing catch if your furry child is not a little puppy anymore. Check out this link to learn more about exercises for older dogs.
Build habits for prevention, starting as early as possible, even when the dog is still young and issues are nowhere to be seen on the horizon… yet. Also, learn to recognize the signs of joint stiffness, so that you can act upon noticing their presence. Walks and water-based activities for example are a great choice to practice fitness without putting undesired stress on the weak areas that would otherwise result from jumping or running, for example. The latter especially reduces joint impact, while at the same time exercising all crucial body parts. An aquatic play date with other dogs would be great. If you do not have access to a pool, you might want to consider hydrotherapy.
Dog supplements targeting joint problems are varied and can contain a number of agents that heal inflammation and promote bone regeneration. Some extend joint care for dogs review can give you some idea as to what these are. But you will mostly see the use of fish oil as an anti-inflammatory supplement, paired with glucosamine and chondroitin for bone density and support. They are really effective at targeting the most common conditions we people experience as well.
Be aware that the dosage will be strictly individual in each case, and depends on the age and weight of the animal, as well as the stage and severity of joint problems. You should be careful not to overdose your pet, as it might lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Consult with your vet prior to administering any supplements, so that you are well informed of the type and dose required.
Watch His Diet
You are hardly surprised to read this, but the diet you feed your cat or dog is just as vital in terms of preventive measures as anything else you might be doing. If the animal is overweight, do your best to change that, since his reduced mobility will be even more aggravated if he has to carry around a few extra pounds. Be mindful that the physical characteristics and build of certain breeds make the excess weight more difficult to spot. If you are unsure, consult with your vet so that they can confirm whether your suspicions are groundless or reasonable.
Prepare a healthy meal plan for your pet by checking which foods help and which ones are better to avoid. Make sure to provide a good variety that will cover all his health requirements. Check if there are particular ones that are good to avoid for the specific breed and vice versa, any recommendations on foods to give more often than others for the same reasons. Track the animal’s health status and performance and supplement where necessary to make sure they are not deficient in vital nutrients. You can find out more about that at https://www.wikihow.com/Keep-a-Dog-in-Good-Health. But once you get into a habit, it will be very easy to follow a particular regimen.
Adapt Your Home Environment
Much like we do for the elderly family members in our lives, we strive to make life easier for our pets when they reach a certain point in their life where habitual activities become more and more difficult.
If the animal has inhabited the same premises all his life, it might be a bit difficult for you to even notice he is struggling in his daily endeavors. By all means, if you notice any changes, pay attention and make sure you figure out what difficulties your furry friend is experiencing. There are a few basic things you can adapt in order to make the surroundings more comfortable for him.
Start with the bedding. Choose a high quality foam mattress that’s easy to access and will be both durable and easy on the joints. The characteristics required might mean a bigger investment. However, it is really important and totally worth it not to go cheap when it comes to the spot your pet will be sleeping and resting. Next, make sure the floor is covered with carpets along the places your dog roams the house, in order to avoid him having to walk on a slippery or hard floor, which would additionally stress the joints. That being said, it is also a good idea to provide steps or ramps where the dog goes in and out of the car, especially if you take him along often.