Arthritis is a health problem that not only humans deal with, but
so do their animals. In fact, one-fifth of dogs in the US, over the
age of seven, suffer with painful DJD (degenerative joint disease)
as veterinarians like to say. It is also one of the top recurring
pains in dogs that they treat. Arthritis in dogs can affect their
back, elbows, shoulders, hip and neck.
If you’re not sure if your dog has arthritis, here are a few
Does he tend to favor once side over another (His joints could be
too painful on one side, so he will tend to put more pressure on
the other to avoid pain. He may even show discomfort while standing
or even sitting on a particular side)
Unusual weight gain (Because of the painful joints, he may tend to
be more lethargic or even sleep more not getting the exercise a
healthy dog would generally get)
Not as active (If you’ve noticed he isn’t as playful or unusually
hesitant in his movements. This is due to stiff joints)
If you’ve noticed your dog with any one of the above symptoms for
more than a week, don’t hesitate to take him to a veterinarian.
This way he can be properly diagnosed and treated.
There are home remedies that you might even want to try to ease his
Your dog’s diet is one area that you might want to look into. Dry
dog food is made up mostly of grains which cause inflammation of
the joints. A better choice would be to try preparing his meals
with raw or cooked meat as well as cooked vegetables. They are not
only healthier for him but should help alleviate some of the
swelling in his joints. (Stay away from anything spicy such as
peppers and even onions). Omega 3 fatty acids can be used as a
supplement in order to decrease the amount of inflammation in the
joints. Try giving him fish capsules. Flax seed is also a great
Even thought your dog may be in pain, it’s still important that he
gets a short amount of exercise. If he’s not skittish to water, try
having him swim. For smaller dogs, a kiddy pool would work great.
This way, there is no pressure on the joints, yet he is still being
mobile. Also take him for short 15 minute walks. Don’t expect too
much from him such as running after a ball or jumping.
Warm and Comfortable rest area
Provide a soft, comfortable area for your dog to rest. In the
winter time, when the cool air can stiffen joints, try placing an
old sleeping bag or pillow on the floor to help keep his joints
warm. If your dog is an outside dog, you may want to bring him into
the garage at night, to avoid the temperature drops.
These are just a few ways that we can help make our pets lives more
comfortable. Although, visiting a veterinarian should also be
considered. Your veterinarian will probably take an x-ray to see
the damage to the joints. With the rising amount of animals that
are developing arthritis, there are medications that have been
developed to alleviate and even help repair the joints.
A popular medication for dogs in alleviating pain is glucosamine.
It is a sugar that is generated from shell fish that motivates
joint repair and lessens joint pain. Glucosamine is a natural
ingredient that is found in animals, but with age, the body has a
decrease in production of this essential element. Glucosamine works
by stimulating your body to produce Synovial fluid. Synovial fluid
is needed for healthy joints. It lubricates the cartilage to aid in
Never take matters into your own hands by giving your dog human
medications. They can be toxic to his body, especially if given in
the wrong dosage form.
Animal care has come a long way in meeting the needs of our
canines. Taking your dog to regular check ups at a veterinarian is
one way to keep up with your dog’s health needs. If we want our
animals to have happy and healthy lives, taking care of their
body’s is important.