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Humans and Dogs both get arthritis. But while less than one quarter (about 23%) of adult humans get arthritis, for dogs that number can be as high as 80% by age 8!
In this article we will take a look at how arthritis affects dogs, and how we as their caregivers can help.
Arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA) in dogs involves inflammation and the breaking down of one or more joints in the body. Commonly affected joints include hips, back or neck, but any joint can develop OA.
While the exact cause of arthritis is unknown, there are a number of risk factors for dog OA to consider, including:
Sometimes pet owners think of arthritis as “an old age thing,” but it really impacts all age dogs. As many as 20% of dogs have OA by age 1!
You cannot see joint deterioration or tissue inflammation with your eyes. Medical equipment like x-rays or MRI’s confirm joint damage or ligament deterioration/inflammation.
However, you can observe certain symptoms in your pet which might indicate arthritis, including:
Some of these symptoms are easier to identify than others. A veterinarian can determine the cause of these symptoms and diagnose arthritis or rule out other conditions.
If your pet is uncomfortable or does not want to walk, you may be tempted not to walk your dog. However, fresh air and motion are still vital to a dog with arthritis. So, don’t skip the walks! But do follow the advice in this article to make a dog with arthritis more comfortable.
If you’re wondering how to help a dog with arthritis, consider these 6 ideas:
Walk at as slow of a pace as your dog would like. Take frequent breaks. You can even start with very short walks, such as down the driveway and back, then build up stamina.
Arthritic joints may be stiffer at first, but then with a little bit of motion become less uncomfortable and more able to move. Even if your dog loves walks and would like a long walk, start with an easy pace and warm up.
Rain and cold can aggravate arthritis. So, if possible, walk your dog in the warmest, driest part of the day. If your pet will allow it, you can use outerwear such as a rain jacket or sweater to help make your pet more comfortable for the walk.
Extra weight means extra pressure on damaged joints. If your dog has arthritis, maintain the right kind of diet and quantity of food to keep off those extra pounds. The walks help with weight too!
While walks are great exercise for you and your pet, there may be other, more comfortable forms of exercise and activity. Some dogs like the water, and it’s easier on joints. Some areas even have dog yoga! Whatever dog exercise you choose, keep it fun for your dog to encourage motion.
Certain supplements may help dogs prevent or treat arthritis. These supplements can be used in conjunction with arthritis medicine, or sometimes work so well as to be a substitute for pain medicine (and are safer than pain medicine).
At Bad Dog CBD we have the supplements your dog needs for healthy joints. Our CBD-infused Natural Hip & Joint Bites have glucosamine, chondroitin, and other healthy-joint ingredients. Plus, they taste great!
For many dogs, CBD naturally reduces inflammation. When combined with the other ingredients and tips listed above, you can get your dog with arthritis moving again!