Caring for an Arthritic Dog

Have you noticed Fido limping or having trouble climbing the stairs? Is your dog taking longer to stand up or lay down than he used to? If so, your canine buddy could be developing arthritis. A McHenry, IL vet discusses caring for an arthritic dog below.

Bedding

One of the best things you can do for Fido is to make sure that he has a comfy bed to doze off in. Orthopedic beds are great, because of the additional support they offer.

Supplements

Certain supplements can also be beneficial to pets with arthritis. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate Fido’s bones and joints. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Veterinary Care

First things first: if you know or suspect that Fido is developing arthritis, have your vet examine him right away. While arthritis cannot be cured, there are several treatment options available, such as acupuncture, that can reduce your dog’s pain and increase his mobility.

Temperature

Arthritis can make Fido particularly sensitive to temperature extremes. Make sure your pet’s bed isn’t in a drafty area. Also, try to avoid bringing him from hot to cold areas too rapidly.

Food

Proper nutrition is very important to your pup’s health. Offer your dog a nourishing brand of pet food, one that contains lots of fatty acids and Omega 3 and 6 oils. Be careful not to overfeed your canine friend, however. If Fido becomes obese, that extra weight will put additional strain on his musculoskeletal system. Follow your vet’s recommendations.

Comfort

Moist heat can sometimes be soothing to pooches with arthritis and/or hip dysplasia. Fido may enjoy a heated bed, or even a doggy heating pad. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Nail Trims

Be sure to keep Fido’s nails clipped! Overgrown nails can be very uncomfortable for dogs. Your pup may adjust his gait in response, which will put even more stress on his bones and joints.

Exercise

You don’t want to overexert Fido, but don’t let him become a furry couch potato. Most dogs need at least a daily walk to keep their bones and muscles strong and prevent atrophy. Ask your vet for more information.

Massages

A good massage can feel just as soothing for us as it does for dogs. Schedule a soothing massage for Fido.

Please contact us, your McHenry, IL vet clinic, anytime. We’re here for you!

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