Great Tips on improving your dogs osteoarthritis and overall health.
Let's talk about the most important and easiest to implement tip first.
Many dog owners don't realize how important a healthy weight is for their dog. Overweight dogs can have a multitude of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, increased inflammation and osteoarthritis. The arthritis in their back legs may force them to struggle to jump up, or even stand up. These issues can lead to a poor quality of life and studies have shown a shorter life expectancy.
A study of Labrador Retrievers studied the development of hip dysplasia during the first two years of their lives. The dogs were put in two groups.
Group one was provided as much food as they wanted.
Group two was provided 25% less food as group one.
The study found that the dogs provided with unlimited amounts of food were 2 to 3 times more likely to develop hip dysplasia by two years of age. Providing your dog, particularly during the first two years of growth, with the proper amount of food is critical to the joint health of your pet.
So, watching your pet's weight leads us to our first tip:
1) First Tip: Buy a feeding dish that holds the exact amount of food recommended by your veterinarian. Buying a feeding dish with the proper size will help maintain your dog's weight. In regards to osteoarthritis, additional weight puts more stress on joints. The more stress placed on the joint, the more likely that it will wear down and become damaged. In fact, every pound of excess weight puts about four pounds of extra pressure on a dog's knees.1
You might think, "Oh, no, my dog's not overweight." According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 54% of pets in America are overweight. That's roughly one out of every two dogs being overweight. Most likely, your dog could be on the wrong side of the scale.
Trust us, this is the simplest and easiest way to improve your dog's overall health and osteoarthritis. At feeding time, your dog will always receive the proper amount of food so you won't accidentally overfill the bowl; you'll know just when to stop.
2) Second Tip: Make sure to exercise your dog regularly. Again, this is done to help maintain your dog's weight, but it also improves your dog's mental status, anxiety levels and overall calm. Exercise will improve cardiovascular health and muscular health. It will also help with digestive issues, constipation, improved agility and will help maintain a healthy weight.
You can take your dog for a run or walk, or play Frisbee or fetch. These activities will be good for the both of you. Set up a routine; make it a habit. Regular exercise for you and your dogs is always a good thing.
Remember: Don't engage in extreme activities with your dog. If you take your dog for two twenty minutes walks per day, and then go on a six-hour rigorous mountain hike with your dog, your dog's joint health will suffer. This is no different from an athlete who must slowly ramp up physical activity to avoid injuries. With long distance runners, running a marathon is often not the challenge. It's ramping up the mileage during training without getting injured that is the biggest hurdle to overcome. Your dog isn't any different. Manage your dog's exercise so that it is consistent, and your dog will be healthier and happier.
3) Third Tip: Buy a good, comfortable, supportive bed for your dog. I'm sure most of you have thought of this, but sometimes it can be overlooked, especially with larger dogs.
Dogs lying on the floor are lying on their arms and legs. This can damage their joints after long periods.
Also, a bed will help keep your dog warm and dry, which protects against cold and damp conditions that can aggravate arthritis. Consider orthopedic beds for dogs with arthritis and even therapeutic baby mattresses for giant breeds.
4) Fourth Tip: Help your dog maintain traction walking. Earlier in life, your dog might have jumped up into a car or a bed, but now a ramp may help dogs with osteoarthritis in these situations.
Carpets and area rugs that are slip-proof prevent dogs from slipping and injuring themselves by falling.
5) Fifth Tip: Supplement with Glucosamine Chondroitin for dogs. Natural supplements can provide the core ingredients that joints use to rebuild cartilage.
Natural supplements also offer anti-inflammatories that can help reduce swelling. Ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, green-lipped mussels, hyaluronic acid and msm help rebuild joints.
Other ingredients like Essential Fatty Acids, Boswellia Serata Extract and Antioxidants help reduce inflammation.
Use a veterinarian recommended brand like Osteo-Pet® Glucosamine Chondroiitn Supplments for Dogs that has an established reputation and a proven track record.
1 Kane, |. By Andrea. "How Fat Affects Arthritis." Obesity and Arthritis. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016. Obesity and Arthritis
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Learn how to improve your dog's osteoarthritis naturally! (And save thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills). Just follow these simple tips to help improve the joint health of your dog.
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