Have you found out that your dog has arthritis? This can be scary and distressing news to hear and a lot of pet owners panic when the vet tells them their furry friend has arthritis in their joints. In particular, it is assumed that canines with this condition can no longer enjoy a lot of exercise. But, this is not true. In fact, it is the opposite.
Dogs with arthritis should still get regular exercise every day. This can keep them moving and avoid the joints from becoming stiff from lying around all day. Do not forget that your pup’s walks are the best part of their day. So, this is something they can still enjoy with a few changes.
But, there is no doubt that you might have to make changes to their exercise regime in order to keep your canine happy. This will avoid putting too much unnecessary stress on the joints and mean that the arthritis does not progress quickly. Here are some tips on how you can modify exercise for arthritic dogs so that your pooch can still have fun.
Avoid High Impact Activities
There are some common signs to look out for when your canine has arthritis. Namely, they can have lameness in the legs, as well as limping after exercise. To avoid this from happening, it is best to avoid high impact activities with your canine. This includes a lot of running and jumping. This can make arthritis symptoms worse for your pooch, which is the last thing you want. You can also give your dog joint supplements after exercise to support them. For instance, Peak Pets offer joint supplements that are packed with glucosamine, turmeric, green lipped mussel an MSM. This can support a pup with arthritis.
There are lots of low impact sports that are going to be good for your canine. For example, leash walking is good, while gentle play sessions should be promoted. As we discuss later, swimming is fantastic for dogs with arthritis too, as well as playing indoor games.
Choose Little and Often
Is your dog struggling when they come back from a really long hike? Perhaps it is time to modify the duration of walks for your furry friend. Instead of choosing to take them on one really long and challenging walk, they could go on several short walks a day. This keeps them active but without overdoing it and causing discomfort for them. What’s more, this can make your dog’s day more interesting if they are getting out of the house on several occasions.
Watch the Terrain
Not only is the type of exercise your dog has important for their joints, but it also makes a difference what they are exercising on. For example, pavement can be damaging to run on for dogs with arthritis. Softer terrains like dirt and grass can be kinder on the joints. So, when you are walking your pooch, try to stick to softer terrain. This can help to keep your canines comfortable when they are out and about.
Buy a Coat
There are studies that suggest people with arthritis suffer from more pain and stiffness during the winter. The cold temperatures seem to worsen symptoms. It also appears that the same thing can happen with dogs. If you live somewhere that experiences cold temperatures during the winter, it is time to purchase a coat or a jumper for your canine. This is going to help them stay warm when they leave the house. It will help to retain the heat and it may stop flare ups of arthritis pain and discomfort for your furry friend.
A lot of the time, people will talk about how arthritis dogs have to cut back on certain types of activities and the duration of their walks. But, one thing you do not have to limit is swimming. This is a fantastic type of exercise for your pooch that allows them to expend their energy and have fun in a way that is kind to the joints. It is known as a low impact exercise, which is going to help strengthen your dog’s muscles at the same time. What’s more, they can chase after their toys and still play fetch in the water. They are not missing out on any playtime. It will just take place in water instead.
When your dog comes back from a walk, they are likely to lay down. But, what can be beneficial for the muscles and joints after exercise is massage therapy. This is something you can learn to do for your pooch or a professional can visit your home. The movement can help to relieve any discomfort your canine is feeling and helps them relax.