Exercising With Your Arthritic Dog

Exercising With Your Arthritic DogSeeing your older dog limping in pain because of arthritis can be heartbreaking, however, there are ways to help your pal have a good quality of life even in the presence of this illness.

After your older dog is diagnosed with arthritis, the vet will tell you how to treat it so as to provide comfort and relief. One of the basic activities your friend will require to find relief is regular exercise.

Yes, even if its joints hurt, your older dog needs to move in order to find relief. Arthritic dogs have to exercise because of several reasons:

– To maintain optimal weight. Obesity worsens the pain because of the excess stress the extra pounds put on the joints.

– To stay flexible, to increase endurance, and to strengthen the muscles around the joints. The more sedentary a dog is, the stiffer it will get.

– To use energy and help them sleep well.

– To avoid the development of other health problems like heart disease.

– To relieve physical pain by staying busy. When your dog is exercising, its mind is not constantly focused on the pain.

– To have fun. Dogs are playful animals, and having fun always makes them feel better.

How to exercise with your arthritic older dog

Prefer shorter periods of exercise more often to longer periods occasionally. For example, take 10-minute daily walks instead of a weekly one-hour one.

The most important thing is that you “listen” to your older dog. If he wants to run, let it run; if he feels like resting, give it the chance to lie down for a while. As a general rule, always practice moderation.

Among the best exercises you can do with your arthritic older dog are:

– Walking. Choose easy paths and avoid hills, rough surfaces, or uphill marches.

– Hiking. This is very enjoyable as long as you take a smooth trail and make it short.

– Swimming. In warm water, it is great to relieve the joints; in cold water, your pal will suffer later.

– Running games. Your dog may be up to running a little, in this case, play 10 minutes of hide and seek or fetch with it. These games allow for your pal to stop at any time, or it can walk or trot at its convenience.

– Agility games. These are lots of fun when not done for competition purposes. Try the low impact games like balance beam, chutes and tunnels, and running around obstacles.

Leave your friend inside if the weather is cold, as the joints tend to ache more when it is cold. Arthritis does not have to end your older dog’s life. Talk to a vet for guidance, but with care and some lifestyle adjustments, your pal can find comfort, relief, and a happy life.

The 10 Great Favors You Can Do an Arthritic Senior Dog

An arthritic senior dog presents inflammation or swelling in its joints caused by abnormal bone or joint development, instability of the surrounding ligaments and tendons, injury to the joint, infection, or injury produced by the immune system. Even though it is very common to treat arthritis with inflammatory medication, it can also be taken care of by protecting the cartilage in the joint and by nurturing it. Following is a list of the top 10 great favors you can do your arthritic senior dog to make its life more comfortable and to treat its illness in the best way possible:

#1 A soft bed

A soft bed will support your pal’s bones and joints, making it feel more comfortable.  This is very important, especially for thin dogs, whose bones tend to rub on hard surfaces. There are beds especially made for arthritic dogs: waterbeds, hammock beds, and extra cushion beds.


#2 Ramps and cubes

It is difficult for senior dogs to deal with stairs and furniture.  There are ramps and cubes designed to help your pal climb stairs, climb up or down sofas, get in or out of bed, or in or out of your car.

#3 Slip-free flooring

It is hard for senior dogs with arthritis to walk on hardwood and tile floors because these are very slippery.  You can solve this by placing rugs or carpets over these materials to help your dog stand firm.

#4 Peace and quiet

A senior dog is not as tolerant and patient as a young pal, and if its joints are sore, it will find it difficult to enjoy having playful children around.  Be attentive and keep your senior dog away from small children. An arthritic dog may find parties and holidays upsetting, even if it wants to join the fun; thus, restrict the time your pal spends with groups of people.

#5 Medication

There are several medicines that can help your dog feel better.  Deramaxx®, Rimadyl®, and Etogesic® are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that restrain inflammation and pain by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. The drug called Cosequin® is also good because it gives the body the necessary nutrients to repair cartilage and stimulate its function. Your vet has the last word as to what drugs are best for your senior dog.

#6 Massage

This therapy can increase flexibility, mobility, circulation, relaxation, and will provide a general sense of wellbeing.  There are professional dog massage therapists that will give your friend a royal treatment.

#7 Exercise

Even if gently, your senior dog should exercise every day.  You must talk to your vet to learn what kind of exercise will benefit your pal and which kind can harm it. Exercising will strengthen its muscles and ligaments, reducing the risk of injury.

#8 Weight control and diet

Arthritis gets worse in dogs that are fat.  Loosing weight can really help your dog ease the workload of its bones and joints, and trying a special diet can really help relieve arthritic symptoms.  This diet will include Omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, which have proven very effective in maintaining an arthritic dog’s ideal weight, reducing pain, and improving motion.

#9 Grooming

A senior dog must be groomed even more than a young one.  Arthritic dogs are not able to clean themselves very well, especially in those areas that are hard to reach; thus, help it by trimming its hair regularly around the rear end. Brush its hair regularly to get rid of mats and tangles that could injure delicate older skin.

#10 Patience

Give your pal time to walk or climb at its own pace.  Do not rush it, but instead, be there to support it and help it if necessary, or just wait patiently until your friend is able to get around.