Dogs get older and during these times, they experience a lot of different health conditions as humans do. Arthritis is one of the health conditions that your dogs may experience during their lifetime.
Although arthritis is usually seen in older pets, there are instances where young dogs and cats deal with this condition.
You don’t have to worry because this health condition can be treated. As a matter of fact, there are dog foods made specifically for dog arthritis.
Let’s check some of the basic information about dog arthritis, its symptoms, ways to deal with this condition and the best dog foods for arthritis.
What is Dog Arthritis?
Dog arthritis is pretty much the same with the type of arthritis that humans deal with. For dogs, the most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is commonly known as degenerative joint disease.
Older dogs commonly suffer from this condition because the cartilage in their joints will start thinning as they age. The cartilage is the part that protects the bones in the joint and it is like a cushion to prevent friction in the joints.
Older dogs have thinner cartilage, which means that the cushion in their joints is almost non-existent. When this happens, the friction from the two bones connected in the joints will cause pain and your dogs will lose their mobility.
If your old dogs are experiencing from pain, you can easily see it on their movement. Osteoarthritis can affect almost any joint in their body, but the most common areas affected are the following:
- Lower Back
The Causes of Arthritis
We are emphasizing on old dogs, but there is a chance that even younger dogs can deal with arthritis. Old dogs are prone to arthritis, but there are some circumstances that can lead to the development of this condition.
Here are the main causes of arthritis.
- Cartilage Problems
- Infection in the Joints
- Autoimmune diseases
- Previous injury in the joints
- Poor Nutrition
- Blood Clot Abnormalities
- Joint Trauma
These are only some of the main causes of arthritis and like what is said earlier, young dogs can also suffer from this kind of joint condition.
There are other factors that can contribute to the development of arthritis.
- Age – The age of the dog is the biggest factor. As the dog gets older, the chances of getting arthritis also increase.
- Weight – Weight is one of the primary causes of OCD, which means that dogs that are too big or those with excessive weight have higher chances of getting arthritis early on.
- Diabetes – This condition can affect the joints, bones, and muscles of your dogs. Arthritis is like a complication of this disease.
Dog Arthritis – Signs and Symptoms
Now that you already have an idea on the main causes of dog arthritis, let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of this condition.
If you know the signs and symptoms of arthritis, it will be easier for you to deal with the condition and prevent it from worsening.
Here are the signs that your dog might be suffering from arthritis.
Dogs are very active so you can easily see if there is something wrong in their body. Dogs are naturally playful so if you’ve seen that your dog is starting to become inactive or stays in bed for longer periods, there is a chance that your dog is suffering from arthritis.
You can easily attribute inactivity to old age, but it is better to check than feel sorry in the future.
Your dogs might be reluctant to walk outside or they might leave their toys untouched for weeks. If there are no visible signs of injury in your dogs, you should bring them to a vet right away.
Dogs tend to get irritated when they are not feeling well. There are cases where they will bite or nip at you when you try to pet them.
They can also speak with you through groans and a low growl. It means that they are trying to convey something to you.
If you noticed that your dogs are always groaning and they refuse to walk or move, it might be a sign of arthritis.
Unusual Behavior of your Dogs
Did you notice anything unusual with your dogs? As the owner, you know what they always do including their mannerisms.
It is easy for you to know if something is wrong with them. If you noticed that they have been licking a specific part of their body, especially the part where their joints are located, it may be a sign of arthritis.
Dogs tend to lick a part of their body multiple times if it is hurt because they usually find it soothing.
Obviously, when your dogs are limping, it means that there is a problem with their feet. It is easy to see if there are wounds on their feet or bruises.
If you can’t find anything wrong after examining their feet, the problem might be in the joints. It might be the onset of arthritis.
If you see them limping, make sure that you check the affected part right away.
They Get Tired Easily
Getting tired is part of growing older. However, there are instances when younger dogs get tired easily after a short walk.
This is because they are spending most of their energy to make sure that their affected feet or part of the body will not hurt while they are walking or while they are doing their daily activities.
There are so many conditions related to this so you have to bring your dog to the vet if you noticed that the dogs get tired easily.
These are only some of the signs and symptoms of arthritis. However, all of these symptoms may not necessarily be a sign that they have arthritis. There are other conditions that may show the same signs.
The best thing to do is to bring your dogs to the veterinarian if you noticed any of these signs.
Simple Ways to Help Dogs with Arthritis
Dog arthritis can be treated, but most medications right now are only made to provide relief for your dogs. It means that the medications present can only help relieve the pain of arthritis, but not the condition itself.
Since these medications only provide pain relief, let’s take a look at some of the natural ways to help your dogs with arthritis.
#1: Make Some Modifications in your House
This is a lot of work, but if you love your dogs and you don’t want them to suffer the pain of arthritis, you need to do a few things to make sure that they can go around the house easily.
- Their beddings should be well padded and they have to be far from wet or damp areas.
- Place a ramp on elevated areas
- Change the slippery floors to a non-skid flooring
#2: Muscle Massage
This is a good way to soothe the pain from arthritis. However, there is a proper way to do it. You cannot simply massage the area.
There are canine massage therapists that can teach you how to properly massage your dogs, especially if they have arthritis.
You can make the extra effort and learn about it. Actually, it is not too hard, but you have to know the proper way of massaging the affected part or you might end up aggravating it.
#3: Proper and Regular Exercise
This is a very important thing to do if your dog is suffering from arthritis. A few hundred meters of walking would suffice daily.
Your dog cannot simply lie down the whole day so your dog needs to stretch its limbs and exercise its muscles.
Take note that dogs with severe arthritis are not recommended to do some exercises. It may do more harm than good.
If your dog has severe arthritis, your veterinarian can provide a way to exercise your dog’s muscles and joints.
#4: Dog Food for Arthritis
Don’t be shocked. There are dog foods right now that can help dogs with arthritis.
These foods are usually given to your dogs as a supplement as they contain ingredients that promote joint health.
If you want to know the top dog foods that you can give to your dogs with arthritis, we will list down the best products on the market right now.
Read more: Best Dog Food for Pancreatitis
Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Arthritis
1. Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin for Dogs
This particular dog food is one of the best in the market simply because it provides joint and digestive support through its Turmeric and Curcumin ingredients.
Tumeric and Curcumin can help with joint aches and pains and they can also provide protection for the immune and digestive system of your dogs.
This particular product is also enhanced with BioPerine. It came from Organic Black Pepper with the purpose of helping the pets absorb the nutrients better.
Every bite also contains Coconut Oil that would further provide support for the joint of your pets.
2. Waggedy Dog Supplements for Joints and Hips
Most dogs hate supplements. Well, most of them don’t like the taste, but Waggedy Dog Supplement is different.
Dogs love the taste of this dog food so you won’t have a hard time feeding them. It contains Turmeric, Glucosamine, MSM, Omega 3 and Vitamin E and Curcumin that can provide a healthy hip and joint for dogs.
These ingredients can also help alleviate the aches and discomfort caused by arthritis.
It is also known to reduce pain and you can use this as an alternative for prescription drugs.
3. Buddy & Lola Turmeric for Dogs
Buddy & Lola is one of the best brands when it comes to dog food and they are known to provide healthy supplements for dogs.
This Turmeric soft chews for dogs contains anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve pain and discomfort from arthritis and it can help restore the mobility of your pets.
Aside from its health benefits for the joint, it can also improve heart health and boost the immune system of your dogs.
This is an all-natural dog food supplement so it is perfectly safe for consumption. You don’t have to worry about negative side effects.
4. Vet-Virtue Turmeric for Dogs
It is a type of dog food, but it is widely considered as a natural arthritis medicine for your dogs. This dog food can help improve your dog’s health and provide pain relief.
This product claims that it can help your dog walk better and they can get up with less effort as it deals with pain.
If you are worried about its taste, it has been tried and tested and dogs love it. The ingredients include organic turmeric, collagen, BioPerine, and Curcumin.
5. Vita Pet Life Turmeric for Dogs
It is known as the best anti-inflammatory dog food for dogs. It is a tasty treat that can provide a wide range of benefits. It can improve your dog’s joint, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
It is better to go for all-natural ingredients and this dog food supplement can provide the right ingredients. It contains natural turmeric and Bioperine that can relieve the suffering of your dogs from arthritis.
It is proven safe and effective so if you have dogs with arthritis, this dog food supplement will be able to help them move with ease and without pain.
Arthritis is very painful and most of you know about this. If you are suffering from arthritis as well, you understand the pain associated with this particular health condition.
The dogs experience the same thing so the best way for you to help them is to find a way to relieve the pain.
Prescription medications might be a good choice, but it is not meant for long-term use as it can cause more problems for prolonged intake.
There are natural ways to do it and you can look for dog foods that would help improve the joint health of your dogs.
Before you buy any dog food supplement, you should ask your veterinarian first.