Due to the advances of modern medicine, we can now enjoy more time with our favorite dogs. However, this joy comes with a downside.
As they age, dogs also have to deal with health issues like joint inflammation (arthritis) or loss of bone density (among others).
Therefore, your precious pooch, who couldn’t wait to jump their way through the door for a walk will slowly become less impatient and their stride will slow down and get stiff.
In time, your energetic ball of fur will evolve into a couch potato who would rather lay in the sun than get up and take a walk.
Sadly, this is the way of life, for both dogs and humans.
On the bright side, we can stand beside our furry friends and make their journey through old age a little easier by helping reduce the pain and making their life a bit more comfortable.
For this, you will have to go to a veterinarian doctor, who can assess the degree of the degenerative disease and can tell you if Pluto is in pain (not all dogs vocalize their pain).
They can also prescribe treatment and exercises to improve your baby’s quality of life until the time to cross the rainbow comes.
So, if you’ve noticed your furry friend isn’t as active as it used to be, here are some vet recommendations to reduce the pain caused by arthritis (one of the most common degenerative diseases in dogs).
Organic Pain Relievers
For dogs who are in a lot of pain, your vet may recommend pills or an organic alternative like CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, CBD does not impact the digestive system and, studies show, it helps our furry friends to deal with pain (dogs tend to move better after treatment with a CBD product).
Massage & Exercise
Massage is known to help increase blood flow and relax muscles, which is why it is recommended for both dogs and humans.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a licensed kinetotherapist to help your dog feel better when it comes to stiff joints.
Just apply some gentle pressure on the stiff muscles and knead with your fingers to get the blood flowing.
If your dog seems to be in pain, stop and find a professional pet massage therapist who can give you a few pointers.
On the other hand, exercise is important regardless of the dog’s age.
Daily walks, hikes (if he/she can take it), agility exercises, and playing with other dogs are extremely useful for an aging dog.
Additionally, you may try swimming since this is a non-weight-bearing exercise and allows bigger dogs to move in a different environment.
Still, make sure to discuss this with your vet, to make sure Pluto is safe in a pool.
Improve His/Her Environment
Have you ever try walking up the stairs with an aching ankle, knee, or hip? It’s difficult, painful, and takes a lot of time.
So why would you ask your aging dog to use surfaces that don’t sit well with his needs?
Start by providing Pluto with a padded bed (big enough to fit him) away from drafts or cold spots.
You can even find special beds, designed for dogs with arthritis, that properly support their bones and protect their joints.
Next, install ramps to the areas he/she prefers in the house and outside, and make sure your flooring is nonskid.
Slippery surfaces are bad news for the joints, especially at an advanced age.
Overall, it’s important to create a friendly home environment that takes your furry friend’s needs into consideration.
With proper care and accommodations, our furry friends can live a happy and long life by our sides.
So, before you decide to enter such a serious engagement, make sure you know how to properly take care of a furry friend and that you are open to investing in their health and wellbeing.