Have you noticed that your dog seems a little stiff lately? Their hind legs don't quite work right and they have a hard time getting up the stairs as fast as they used to. These could be serious problems, but ones that many dogs face as they get older. When they start to have trouble doing normal, everyday movements and can't quite get around anymore, it is time to start looking at dog arthritis as a very real possibility.
Arthritis in dogs, what is it?
Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is normally found in larger dogs, such as golden retrievers. In the most often found form, degenerative osteoarthritis, it features the wearing down of the smooth cartilage that usually makes up joints. In their place are newer, rougher surfaces that can cause pain and inflammation.
It can come from a variety of factors, other than age, like a poor diet, bad genes, or even something as serious as Lyme disease. The problem is that many other health problems, like heart disease and anemia, produce similar side effects. Your doctor will have to take a look to know for sure that it isn't something more serious. On the bright side, however, there are plenty of ways of preventing arthritis or even just alleviating the symptoms
Preventing arthritis in dogs
One of the most important things that you can do for your dog is making sure that they are getting a high-quality diet. This is even more important if you are concerned about preventing arthritis. The majority of dry and even canned commercial food is that it doesn't have the minerals that dogs require for optimum health. You can make up for this by adding a supplement that will give them the proper digestive enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. The digestive enzymes are going to help break down the food that they eat and make sure that they absorb as much of the nutrient content as possible. Antioxidants are there to wipe out any free radicals that might be floating around their body causing inflammation. Finally, omega-3 fatty acids are something that is essential for both dogs and humans when it comes to stopping arthritis in its tracks.
If your pet already is showing symptoms, and you have already talked to your doctor, there are a few options for you. Dr John Heinerman, who wrote ”Natural Pet Cures: Dog and Care Care The Natural Way,'" offers this advice on how to use these Arthritis Treatments. A mineral-rich supplement like Sashas Blend, combined with alfalfa and yucca can be added to their food once a day. He also recommends flaxseed oil, which contains loads of essential fatty acids which will fight inflammation. Check out for more Joint Supplements for your dog
There are also plenty of physical options to help. Acupuncture, Shiatsu, and even chiropractic work can all relieve the pain. In cases of larger animals, chiropractic work every six months can dramatically bring dog arthritis to a halt. Even something as simple as a gentle daily massage with your fingers can greatly reduce the pain and swelling in their joints.
One thing to never forget, however, is exercise. This is one of the most important aspects of your prevention treatment. By exercising you will make sure that your dog maintains muscle strength, keeps their joints strong, and keeps off the extra weight that only puts more pressure on the joints.
The final thing that you should keep in mind is to give your pet a warm, dry bed to sleep in. One that is very far away from any drafts that will only stiffen their joints.