As arthritis pain causes your dog’s quality of life to deteriorate, there are a number of strategies you can implement within the home to keep him or her comfortable for as long as possible.
One of the first steps in improving your stiff dog’s life is to provide a bed with extra padding. Under no circumstance should your dog have to rest on a hard floor, which will only further make his or her bones ache. Specialty dog beds for arthritis sufferers can be purchased from pet stores.
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Elevated Water Dishes
As your dog’s pain increases, his or her ability to eat and drink water comfortably may diminish. Elevating food and water dishes can improve comfort during meal time. As a word of caution, some veterinarians believe that elevated dishes can promote bloat, so only use this method if your pet is not prone to inhaling food or water.
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Extra Water Dishes
While we’re on the topic of water dishes, also be sure to provide multiple bowls around the house so that your dog does not have to travel far to hydrate him or herself.
If steps are a necessary part of your dog’s day, consider building a ramp to help him go to and from the house for potty breaks.
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Help your dog maintain a sense of normalcy and purchase a specially designed step stool that will help him or her still be able to climb onto the couch, bed, or car.
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Towel or Strap under Hips
If a ramp or step stool is not an option invest in a specialized harness that will help you lift your dog so that he or she can more easily climb steps. Alternatively you can place a thick towel underneath your dog’s hindquarters while holding each end of the towel which will also help take pressure off his or her joints while climbing steps and reduce pain.
Ask your veterinarian about dosages for over the counter pain medication that will relieve your dog’s aches. While some pet owners worry about potential side effects, the benefit of pain relievers far outweighs the potential negative reaction.
Pain meds can help, but Glucosamine can also help treat arthritis and various joint issues: https://amzn.to/2jOMGPv
Swimming is a great exercise that improves your dog’s mobility and strength while decreasing pain. If your dog is not a fan of swimming or there is no body of water nearby, look into a local canine hydrotherapy provider.
Canine massage therapists can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve mobility in your pet’s joints. As an added benefit, your pet’s stress levels will be reduced, which will improve his or her happiness.
A canine physical therapist can work with your dog to gain functional strength in his or her joints to mitigate the effects of arthritis.
Canine chiropractors can work wonders in arthritic dogs by providing pain relief, adjustments, and physical therapy-type exercises. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation to a trusted practitioner.
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