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Caring for a Dog with Arthritis

As dogs grow older, they can develop many of the same age-related health issues as people can. One health problem that is very common in our canine friends is arthritis. While larger dogs are somewhat more at risk, any pooch can develop this painful condition. An Ashburn, VA veterinarian offers some great advice on caring for a dog with arthritis in this article.

Comfort

A good orthopedic bed will help Fido rest comfortably. Elevated doggy dishes can also help, as they minimize strain on your canine buddy’s neck, back, and legs when he eats. Consider getting a pet ramp or stairs to help your pooch get in and out of the car or on and off beds. There are also many options for pain management, including heating pads and massages, as well as laser therapy and other techniques. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Diet

Proper nutrition is very important to Fido’s health and well-being. Give your canine pal the best dog food you can afford. Supplements may also help. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate bones and joints, increasing mobility and reducing pain. You’ll also want to be sure to keep your pooch at healthy weight. Extra weight will put even more strain on your furry friend’s bones and joints, and can really exacerbate arthritis and other health problems.

General Care

Be sure to keep Fido’s nails trimmed! Overgrown claws can make it hard for your pet to gain traction, and can add to his discomfort. Also, make sure your dog is getting the right type and amount of exercise. Don’t encourage your pup to jump or stand on his hind legs. Keep your pooch indoors as much as possible when it’s cold or rainy, as chilly weather can add to your furry friend’s discomfort.

Veterinary Care

Fido may need to see the vet a bit more often than he used to, so his condition can be carefully monitored. Your vet will be able to provide you with specific care instructions based on your canine buddy’s health, age, weight, breed, and lifestyle. This may include advice on your furry pal’s care, diet, and exercise regime, as well as options for pain management, such as laser therapy and medication.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? We are here to help! Please contact us, your Ashburn, VA veterinary clinic, today.

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