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Your Pet’s Joints: What You Need to Look For and How to Take Care of Them

Your Pet’s Joints: What You Need to Look For and How to Take Care of Them

The health of your pet’s joints is essential for their daily activity. While pets who have joint issues – either those which do or don’t result in them being differently-abled – are still capable of having a good quality of life, it does create complications.

Everything from sitting down and getting up to bounding around the park and the home, if there are any shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, or ankle issues then these actions become more difficult and place more strain on your pet.

It is possible to make a comparison between an owner’s joint health and their pet’s, but it seems redundant: irrespective of the owner’s concern about their own self, a pet’s health will be noticed and prioritized, in many cases. It is hard not to. They are part of the family, like a child.

This article will help you look out for symptoms and offer a guiding hand through how to help treat them and prevent any issues.

Your Pet’s Joints: What You Need to Look For and How to Take Care of Them

The Signs

There will be signs that something isn’t quite right. A lot of these indicators are similar to a human’s. There could be a behavioral difference, for instance: they might not want to play or they’re sleeping more.

Or there could be physical differences. They can be stiff which, as mentioned, can make getting up from lying more difficult.

Limping is another sign, be it while getting up or walking. The pet might be giving more attention to a joint by licking or biting it. They yelp when they’re touched.

The difference in your pet should be recognizable between these behavioral or physical differences as you know your own pet.

Two beautiful German Shepherd dogs

The Issues

These signs can indicate a few different issues. They might be disorders or they might be injuries.

Let’s begin with the disorders. Some breeds of dog, for instance, have genetic disorders and diseases which affect them.

Hip dysplasia is one example that breeds like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers suffer with. This is where there is an ill-fit for the hip and its socket because the socket itself is deformed, resulting in joint damage or arthritis.

Genetic disorders are something owners are aware of when they adopt their pet. Specialists are getting to grips with genetic disorders to provide better treatment.

Injuries such as muscle and ligament tears or bone fractures can happen if there has been an accident where the pet has tripped or landed awkwardly. These can be concerning, but, provided they heal well, they shouldn’t present long-term issues.

Cat curled up in woman's lap


Once diagnosed, treatment will be recommended. Having pet insurance will enable much greater flexibility while deciding the appropriate course of action.

Your pet insurance will be tailored to your pet. Genetic and congenital issues will have been declared and factored in.

Genetic issues are issues common to certain breeds, as explained above. Congenital issues are also known as a pre-existing condition.  The definition of a pre-existing condition is as follows:

…’A pre-existing condition is any condition your pet showed signs of, was diagnosed with, or was treated for before the waiting period of your pet health insurance policy ended’…

This means the insurers are aware of this problem and that they will happily cover what’s agreed.

Senior Labrador Retriever


Thankfully, there is treatment available for joint disorders and pain. These can be simple or more complicated.

In some cases, a veterinarian may suggest your pet lose weight. Obesity can make joint pain worse or even contribute to it, as it increases the strain on the joints.

Food can be prescribed which will help with weight loss, but the diet can be managed by the owner with such measures. Exercise is key too. However, too much can create obvious problems. It’s a fine balance.

Supplements are another great option. Their usage has become increasingly mainstream for humans, and they are as useful for pets.

Omega-3, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin are the ingredients you want to look for in the supplements. These can help relieve pain, improve mobility, and slow the deterioration of cartilage and bone. Anti-inflammatory tablets and CBD oil are available too.

These ‘simpler’ options are by no means simple, per se. They are long-term, routine-altering treatments that require discipline to stick to.

Ill golden retriever on operating table in veterinarian's clinic

Surgery is one of the more complicated options. However, it can have profound effects on the health of your pet.

Hip sockets can be reconstructed. Elbows and knees can be aligned. Advanced techniques and technologies allow for more developed solutions.

Post-surgery physio is essential. If your pet doesn’t have the right care afterward, the effort of the surgery will be for nothing, as joints could become stiff and strength could be lost.

Your pet’s joint health can be maintained from a young age with the right balance of diet, exercise, and management of genetic disorders and diseases. Everything is geared towards giving your pet the best quality of life possible.

Mia Rose

Friday 31st of December 2021

Supplements do seem to improve our labs hip problems in making it less severe and giving them some relief. It is difficult to go through this with senior dogs.


Friday 1st of January 2021

useful post

Debbie P

Sunday 27th of December 2020

This is such an important post. No one wants their best friend in pain and to be suffering.

Monica McConnell

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

I worry about my dogs joints all the time bc he is just a little guy with long legs and he hops around constantly

Sarah L

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Pet insurance is a good thing to have.

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