Arthritis hurts, no matter your age . . . and even if you are not of the human race. That’s right – even animals can suffer from arthritis, and this debilitating condition does not discriminate from pet to pet. If your fluffy friend develops a case of this degenerative joint disease, then you (and Fido) may get some relief from knowing what, exactly, you can do to ease the symptoms and make life a little more comfortable. Here are some tips for how to care for a dog with arthritis:
Create a Cushiony Bed
Make sure your dog’s joints get some much-needed relief during rest time by making sure the doggy bed has ample padding. For this purpose, you may choose towels, blankets, or any other kind of soft padding material. It is also advisable that you lay a heated blanket underneath your dog during nap times; just be careful to monitor for over-heating and burns.
It may be hard for your arthritic dog to navigate from one level to the other, such as is required with staircases, and from floor to couch. You can help ease these transitions by installing ramps between one level and the next. You don’t have to get fancy, here. Even just a board of plywood can greatly reduce the strain on your pet’s joints. And don’t forget to take the ramp with you when you travel, to help with loading and unloading from the car.
Elevate Water and Food Dishes
This is especially important if your dog suffers from arthritis in the neck or foreleg joints. Simply set the food and water dishes on stands so that your beloved pet doesn’t have to bend at all to reach them.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Think of it this way: the more your dog weighs, the more weight those achy joints have to bear . . . and the more pain your dog will be in. You don’t have to put your furry friend on a super-restrictive diet; just be sure to pay close attention to maintaining a weight that is well within the parameters of a normal, healthy dog of its breed. Check sites like Vet Depot for tools you can use to help manage your dogs weight, too.
It is never easy to watch a loved one suffer. However, it can be even more difficult to accept a pet’s suffering, as your pet can’t tell you what is wrong or how to go about making it better. If your dog has arthritis, then you can help ease its pain (and your conscience) by following these tips for how to best care for a dog with arthritis.