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Caring for a Dog With Arthritis

Just like people, dogs often develop medical issues as they age. Arthritis is one that is very common in our canine buddies. This painful condition happens when a dog’s tendons and ligaments wear thin and lose elasticity, which causes their joints to swell and their bones to rub together. While arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed. Read on as a Forest Hill, MD vet discusses caring for a dog with arthritis.

Food

Offer your canine friend a premium dog food that contains beneficial fatty acids, as well as Omega 3 and 6 oils. Take care not to overfeed your cute pet! Fido won’t burn as many calories running and playing as he used to, and can quickly start packing on pounds. Obesity can really aggravate musculoskeletal issues, such as arthritis. Follow your vet’s nutritional advice.

Exercise

Fido won’t be as active or playful as he once was, and may not be very interested in playing Fetch anymore. However, it’s still important to keep him active. Most dogs need at least a daily walk, even if it is just a slow stroll around the block. Regular exercise will keep your pet’s bones and muscles strong, and will help prevent atrophy. Of course, your dog’s exact activity requirements will depend on his age, weight, and health. Ask your vet for more information.

Veterinary Care

There are now many treatment options available for pets with arthritis, such as laser therapy and hydrotherapy. These treatments can reduce Fido’s pain, increase his mobility, and generally improve his quality of life. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Beds

Make sure Fido has a good doggy bed. Orthopedic beds are great for dogs with arthritis!

Supplements

Certain supplements may also be beneficial to your four-legged friend. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate your pet’s joints. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Heat

Heat can be very soothing to a pup with sore joints. Consider offering Fido a heated bed. Your vet may also advise putting a heating pad on your furry pal. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Pet Ramps

Arthritis can make it difficult for dogs to jump on and off beds and couches, climb stairs, and get in and out of cars. Pet ramps or stairs can help your canine companion get around more easily.

Please contact us, your Forest Hill, MD vet clinic, if ever we can be of assistance. We’re here to help!

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