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How to Help a Dog with Arthritis at Home

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Treating canine arthritis involves pain medication for dogs, dogs' supplements, and plenty of care and attention.

This progressive joint disease, unfortunately, isn't going to go away. This canine health condition is fairly common in both young and senior dogs, and canine arthritis, in particular, affects one in five dogs. 

If your pup has this painful condition, there are ways that you can help your best friend. For senior dogs, canine arthritis can impact their overall quality of life and will start restricting their range of motion.

When this happens, many dogs are tempted to turn into a bit of a couch potato. And although they might seem to need more sleep than usual, this isn't going to be a good move for your dog.

Weight management, exercise, and diet are all part of helping your pup manage their condition. 

In this article, we're going to discuss the most popular pain medication for dogs with arthritis and how you can help care for your arthritic dog at home.

(Note - One really effective way of helping a dog with joint problems is to try one of our orthopedic dog beds).

Effective Ways of Helping Your Dog

If you've taken your pup to the vet and have unfortunately been given the bad news that they have canine arthritis, it's time to consider an effective treatment plan for your dog.

Since this progressive joint condition is not going to improve on its own, you'll need to consult your vet.

Ask about the pain medication for dogs, the necessary lifestyle changes you'll need to make, and other ways to comfort your pup while at home.

Your vet will be more than happy to offer you advice and support concerning your pet's quality of life and daily routine.

Pain Medication For Dogs With Arthritis

A primary concern for dog owners when they hear this diagnosis is muscle atrophy.

Associated with senior dogs, this wasting away from your pup's muscles is due to a lack of activity.

An arthritic dog will often try to avoid exercise and walk due to their stiff joints and pain when moving.

But failing to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle will eventually lead to muscle weakness, especially in the hips, stomach, and hind legs.

This is why pain medication for dogs is so necessary. Once the pain has gone away, your dog will feel more energized and excited when you mention walkies.

So, to keep your fluffy friend excited about chasing a ball, exploring the park, and patrolling the neighborhood, let's take a look at your pup's options for pain relief and doggie medication.

Veterinary Medicine For Arthritic Dogs

Seeing your pup in discomfort and pain can be hard to handle as an owner, but your vet will be able to prescribe and recommend some effective medication to treat canine arthritis. Here are just a handful of anti-inflammatory drugs your vet might suggest for your pup.

 

Metacan: Vets often prescribe this to treat canine arthritis. As a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it will act as a painkiller and effectively reduce pain and inflammation in the sore joints and hips.

Rimadyl: Another NSAID recommended by vets in the US, and used to treat sore, aching doggie joints. This is often given to dogs in the form of a chewable tablet, making it easy to give to your dog.

Etogesic: This NSAID is often given to dogs with osteoarthritis, but it can also be used for general pain relief for dogs. 

Adequan injections: Your vet may also recommend giving your dog a series of injections.

An Adequan injection will target their muscles and stop bad enzymes from breaking down the cartilage in your dog's joints.

FDA approved, your vet will need to prescribe this course of treatment for your pup, and if they haven't already, ask them about it.

Some people think of this procedure like Botox, as the injections go into the muscles and are required regularly. 

Supplements for dogs

Supplements For Dogs With Painful Joints

There are also plenty of ways to care for an arthritic dog at home and without medical intervention.

Is Fish Oil Good For Dogs?

Many dog owners ask; Is fish oil good for dogs?. Well, the answer is a resounding, yes! Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is a fantastic supplement to give your dog if they have canine arthritis.

Dogs need EPA and DHA to reduce the painful symptoms associated with canine arthritis, and the best and most convenient source of EPA and DHA is fish oil.

So, whether you invest in fish oil supplements for dogs or upgrade their food to anchovies, sardines, and oily fish treats, as long as you’re increasing their intake of Omega-3, you’ll be helping your pup while at home.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

This is a fantastic supplement for arthritic dogs and has been proven to stimulate cartilage growth.

Cartilage is key to reducing the impact and pain associated with canine arthritis. Giving your dog a supplement rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, you will be helping to build up and strengthen the padding between your dog’s sore joints.

A naturally occurring anti-inflammatory keeps an eye out for this key ingredient when buying supplements for dogs.

Lifestyle Changes For An Arthritic Dog

Small and simple changes to your dog’s daily routine are going to make a big difference in their overall quality of life.

It’s essential to pay close attention to your dog’s lifestyle and not rely only on pain killers to treat this condition.

Let’s explore some easy arthritic dog lifestyle changes you can help your pup make. 

Bodyweight & Treats

Bodyweight depends on your dog’s age and breed. Being overweight and suffering from canine arthritis is a big no-no!

Even a few pounds overweight is going to cause additional discomfort and pain for an arthritic dog.

The more weight and pressure on your pup’s painful joints, the worse it’s going to be for your dog.

However, it’s not going to be easy to convince your dog to jump off the couch and go for a walk if they’re in pain.

But with the right pain medication from your vet, you should be able to help them become more active.

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle will help your dog drop any excess pounds and improve their overall range of motion. Opt for short and frequent walks over long-distance adventures.

Orthopedic Dog Bed

To give your dog a comfortable place to sleep at night, benefit from the technology of orthopedic dog beds.

Similar to memory foam mattresses for humans, a specially designed orthopedic dog bed will give your pup a nice, relaxing, and cushioned place to nap.

At Bobby Bed, we spend time carefully designing and developing each of our orthopedic dog beds to give your pup maximum support, comfort, and warmth at night.

Take a look at our online collection of orthopedic dog beds here and treat your fluffy friend to a new dog bed.

Canine Massage Therapy

To soothe stiff joints, consider canine massage therapy. This pretty unique approach to treating arthritis in dogs involves warm hands, gentle massage, and spending some much-needed quality time with your pup.

Promoting healthy joints, canine massage therapy benefits include relaxation, pain relief, improved joint flexibility, increased oxygenation, and a boost to their immune system. Plus, it’s a lot of fun too!

Carpets & Runners

To stop slips, trips, and falls, invest in carpets and runners throughout your home. Although wooden floors, marble, and tiled rooms look stylish, they’re going to be a nightmare for an arthritic dog.

To prevent further damage to their painful hips and joints, pop some carpets and runners down in the rooms that aren’t carpeted and used by your pup.

Before you leave you might also want to read about arthritis in dogs or this post asking what can I give my dog for arthritis?

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