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Caring for a Dog with Arthritis

April 1 2016

Does your dog have arthritis? Many of our canine friends develop bone/joint disorders, such as arthritis, as they age. Large breed dogs are also often prone to arthritis. Unfortunately, arthritis can’t be cured, but there are some things you can do to help keep your canine pal more comfortable. Read on as a McHenry, IL vet offers tips on caring for dogs with arthritis.

Pain Management

There are now many options for helping pets with chronic pain feel better. Ask your vet about the benefits of therapeutic treatments, such as massage, laser therapy, and acupuncture. Many people report seeing dramatic improvements in their furry friends after treatment!

Diet and Supplements

Be sure to feed your dog a good, high-quality diet. Certain supplements may be beneficial. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate your pet’s joints. Be careful not to go overboard with treats! If Fido becomes obese, that extra weight will put even more strain on his bones. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.


One of the best things you can do for your canine pal is to get him a good orthopedic doggy bed. Fido will sleep much more comfortably with that extra support.

Pet Stairs

If Fido has arthritis, he may have a hard time standing up or lying down. Climbing stairs, and getting in and out of the car, could also become difficult. Pet stairs or ramps may help keep your furry friend mobile.

Heating Pad

Fido may find the warmth of a heating pad very soothing. Check with your vet first, to make sure you get the green light. If your vet approves, use the heating pad on the low setting only. Always supervise your pet when he has a heating pad on, and don’t leave it on for more than a few minutes.


While you’ll want to be careful not to overexert your canine buddy, Fido will still need some exercise, even if it’s just a short daily walk. Choose low-impact exercise, like walking or swimming, and don’t tempt your pooch to jump or stand on his hind legs.

Veterinary Care

Fido should see the vet at least once a year, though he may need more frequent visits as his condition progresses. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.

Does your pet have arthritis? Call us, your McHenry, IL animal hospital! We’re here to help!