Statistics show that 1 in 5 dogs in America are suffering from joint problems. One of the most effective ways of having an immediate improvement to your dog’s health and pain management is weight loss, yet it can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish.
It is often a vicious cycle; your dog is overweight which affects the joints, so he’ll want to move less or you might walk him less for fear of more pain, which then creates more weight gain and more joint pain.
Weight loss for your dog helps by reducing the stress placed on joints and the muscles that support those joints. It will also reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Studies have claimed that fat could be considered a pro-inflammatory. By reducing the weight of your dog, the stress on the joints and muscles will be lessened and will give them the chance to heal and strengthen.
Although weight loss won’t cure dog arthritis, it will make the condition easier for your dog to cope with. For less pain and more mobility for your dog, you need to consider diet and exercise:
What do you feed your dog?
It is crucial to feed highly nutritious food without adding a lot of fat-based fillers. The food needs to be high in protein and fiber and low in fat levels. The protein will preserve muscle mass and encourage muscle health whilstthe fiber will help your dog feel fuller for longer. Check the information on your dog food and change it if necessary.
How often is he fed?
Dogs are so often overfed due to owners being unaware of what the correct amount of food for their type/weight is. Read the information on the food and if in doubt, contact your veterinarian. To aid digestion and weight loss, feed small amounts several times a day, rather than one or two large meals a day.
How often are you walking your dog?
You should walk your dog at least twice a day. Stairs, hill walks and treadmills can be incredibly effective as inclines strengthen muscles and joints. If your dog is not being exercised often at the moment, remember to slowly increase the workload to avoid joint inflammation.
Other forms of exercise for your dog:
- Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for dogs with joint issues as they are able to exercise without putting weight on their joints
- Play catch and other games he enjoys
- Non-competitive agility activities could potentially be beneficial. Agility involves dogs to jump, run, climb and weave so if your dog is able to do this safely give it a go, it’s great fun!
Jointcare prescription products for dogs can cause internal damage if used long-term. Prolonged use of prescription medication can cause gastro-intestinal problems and your dog can build up a tolerance to the dosage. This then means to still have visible results, the dosage is increased which poses more of a risk to his digestive system.
To help manage your dog’s pain and increase his mobility, BudgetPetCare has a great range of pets joint supplements. We stock Seraquin, Flexivet and Cosequin which all contain glucosamine hydrochloride and chrondriotin sulphate, ingredients proven to help maintain healthy joints.
This is the first of our many joint care articles we will be posting to help you help your pets. If you enjoyed this article
and want to see the spotlight on anything other topic, please contact BudgetPetCare.