Caring For a Dog With Arthritis

Does your dog have arthritis? If so, he’s certainly in good company! This painful condition is very common among our canine pals, particularly in senior dogs and large breeds. Read on as a local Tampa, FL vet offers tips on caring for a dog with arthritis.

Good Bed

One of the best things you can do for your furry friend is to make sure he has a comfortable bed to snuggle up in. Get Fido a good orthopedic doggy bed.

Nutrition

Making sure Fido is getting the right type and amount of food is very important! Offer your pet high-quality, nourishing food. Certain supplements may also be beneficial to your furry pal. Fish oil, for instance, will help lubricate your dog’s bones and joints. Follow your vet’s recommendations.

Veterinary Care

Proper veterinary care is important for any pet, but it’s particularly crucial for dogs with medical conditions. Fido should see the vet at least once a year, though your vet may recommend more frequent appointments as his condition progresses. While arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed. For instance, laser therapy can be very helpful in treating dogs with arthritis. Ask your vet for more information.

Pain Management

Many of the things that help soothe pain in people will also work for pets. For instance, doggy massage is gaining popularity. A heating pad may also help, as long as your vet doesn’t object. Keep it set to low, and put a damp towel beneath it. Don’t leave it on too long: about 10-15 minutes is plenty.

Proper Exercise

While you definitely don’t want to overexert Fido, don’t let him become a complete couch potato, either. Proper exercise will help keep your canine friend’s muscles strong, and prevent atrophy. It can also help keep him from gaining weight. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Doggy Comforts

Small touches can help keep Fido comfortable, and improve his quality of life. Pet ramps or stairs will help him get in and out of the car, and climb on and off beds. Keeping your pooch properly groomed is also important. Don’t forget to keep your furry buddy’s claws trimmed! Overgrown claws are very painful for dogs. Your pup may adjust his gait to compensate, which can aggravate his condition.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Call us, your Tampa, FL animal clinic, today!