It is no secret that people in the United States love their pets. It has been estimated that nearly every household is home to at least one pet. For about 44% of those households, the pet is a dog. Over the past few years, Labrador retrievers have gained in popularity. From 2013 through 2018, they were listed as the most popular pet dog in the country. Arthritis is a common problem for pet dogs. It has been estimated that more than one-quarter of all dogs suffer from some kind of arthritis. Labrador retrievers have more problems with this condition. The good news is that nearly 76% of canine sufferers from arthritis can be helped to lead comfortable lives with the right help. There are a number of home treatments such as support brace
s for dogs that can help a lot. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Make sure your dog has regular appointments with your vet. Your vet can help determine if your dog has arthritis and then can monitor the efficacy of the treatments and the progress of the condition. They can also work with you to develop a treatment plan that can include therapeutic blanket therapy blankets, support braces, and other therapy dog products.
- Keep your dog's weight at a healthy level. If your dog is overweight, you should work to help your canine friend lose some weight. Losing weight helps people and dogs with arthritis. If you keep your dog's weight at a healthy level, the stress on their joints will be reduced and help their pain.
- Your dog needs to get enough exercise. Pay attention to how your dog plays and make sure they get enough time to run and walk. If you need suggestions on what exercise is good or bad for your dog, you should talk to your vet. You can use support braces to make it easier for them to get the exercise they need.
- Keep your dog dry and warm. Conditions that are damp and cold can make arthritis pain worse in people and dogs. Warm compresses and a therapeutic dog bed can make a big difference in how your dog feels.
- Get some pain medication. There are some of the same kinds of drugs people take for their arthritis pain that are safe for dogs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications are popular for use by people who suffer from arthritis and these can also be used for dogs with arthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also used by people for this kind of pain and are safe for use by dogs. Anytime you are thinking about giving your dog a medicine, your vet should be consulted.
- Try acupuncture, acupressure or massage. People who suffer from joint pain due to arthritis often go for acupuncture, acupressure or to a massage therapist for help. These are also options for dogs. These techniques are good at relieving pain, increasing circulation, improving flexibility, and destressing dogs and people.
- Get the right support items for the home. Support braces, warming therapeutic beds, ramps to make it easier for dogs to go upstairs or up onto a bed, and rugs to make walking easier are all good options to help an arthritic dog.
- Consider surgery. As with people, surgery should not be the first option you go for but it is an option for arthritis that does not respond to other treatments and therapies. Your vet can talk to you about your options vis-a-vis surgery for your dog.
- Create a stress-free environment for your dog. The less stress your dog experiences, the more affection and attention they get, and the more support you give them, the less they will be bothered by pain from arthritis.
No one likes it when their pets suffer from any kind of pain. When your dog is hurting, it is hard to know what to do and how you can help. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to help your dog feel better. Just about any medical procedure people can get, you can get for your dog. These ideas can really help your dog feel better and live with less pain.