Old age can be terrible any way you slice it. And just like humans, it’s no picnic for senior dogs. When a dog ages, every task that used to be easy — from running to jumping on a couch — will feel like an uphill battle.
The cartilage surfaces of canine joints begins to thin, causing cartilage cells to die. When this happens, enzymes are released, causing discomfort of the joint capsule and the release of too much joint fluid. The end result could be slowing down or limping — but for aging dogs, it’s all discomfort. Here are some ways you can help your best friend.
Diet and Supplements
Joint discomfort relief can begin with the food a dog eats. Remove specific types of food that aggravate your dog’s joints. According to a dog journal, these foods include eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and all kinds of peppers. You should also consult your veterinarian about the right food to feed your aging dog.
Canine Joint Relief
Try an all-natural formulation like DGP®, which is used to ease your dog’s discomfort. DGP is specialy formulated to improve mobility and flexibility in canine joints.
Make Key Changes Around the House
It would help your dog a lot if you could provide a well-padded bed and place it away from damp drafts or cold areas. This prevents the development of pressure-point calluses. You may also consider installing sloped ramps, which your dog could use instead of steps. If installing a sloping ramp is out of the question, try to add padding to steps to cushion your pet’s joints as they go up and down.
Get More Exercise
Exercise can maintain mobility as well as flexibility. Exercising can also provide well-developed muscles, which can stabilize the joints. Try swimming, short walks, or any other non-weight bearing or low-impact exercises for your dog.
Overweight dogs tend to show more health problems than pets of normal weight. If your aging dog is packing extra pounds, it aggravates their joints. A low-caloric diet is recommended. Reducing portions might also help but do so gradually.
Consider Alternative and Natural Therapies
Finally, some senior dogs might find hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment rather soothing. These natural therapies may help your dog find relief from the everyday discomfort he may be feeling because of aging canine joints.
Don’t feel helpless for your aging best friend. As you can see, there are many things you can do–starting today–to help.