My dog is limping: Helping your arthritic big dog is something that many pet parents will face at some point. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to notice if our big dog is limping and if so finding ways to help your arthritic dog. There are many methods that veterinarians provide for helping an arthritic dog and they range from supplements to holistic treatments to weight loss and exercise.
Here are other ways you can help your dog if he starts limping. Keep in mind that our big dogs are masters of disguise when it comes to keeping their ailments or aches and pains from us. It’s not that they want to hide anything from us, it’s instinctual behavior because in the wild, the sick or injured dog would be left behind or pounced upon.
Help your arthritic dog have a better quality of life
If you want to help your dog feel better and relieve some of the common, everyday aches and pains associated with arthritis, here are our top tips:
- Keep your dog at his or her ideal weight. Ask your veterinarian what that is and how to attain it if your dog is currently overweight.
- Regular check-ups at the veterinarian’s are crucial to assuring your dog has the best quality of life possible and these check-ups begin in puppyhood and continue on through their entire lives.
- Even if your pet is suffering from arthritis or other joint issues, it’s still best to make certain he keeps moving. Limited, controlled exercise will help him not only stay at an ideal weight, but keep his joints from atrophying from lack of use. Consider, too, that movement will also help keep his joints and muscles more limber than will lying down all day.
- Make certain your dog has a warm, dry place to sleep. Just as arthritis in humans is made worse in the cold or wet weather, so too, does it impact our pets. Providing them with a warm, indoor place to sleep that is dry and protected is a pet parent’s responsibility.
- Ask your veterinarian whether alternative healing methods might make sense. Ask her about canine massage, supplements, acupuncture, hydro therapy or others he or she may recommend to help your pet and her quality of life.
- Your vet may recommend supplements or even anti inflammatory medications to help alleviate your dog’s arthritis and muscle pain. Supplements include glucosamine and chondroitin; these supplements help with joint and mobility issues.
- Big dogs with advanced arthritis or joint issues, may need surgery. This, for many large dog breeds, is an option that pet parents may consider if they have tried all other methods of helping their pet with quality of life issues. Before you opt for surgery you will want to thoroughly understand the advantages and disadvantages, recovery times and success rates.
- Adapt your home to your arthritic pet. Ways to do this include, adding a ramp rather than making her take the stairs in the home. If your dog sleeps on the bed with you, add stairs or a ramp to make it easier for him or her to get on and off the bed. Make certain the floors that your dog walks on are not slippery and that he has secure footing.
- Our dogs sleep so many hours a day that it is important for them to have a bed that is supportive and that doesn’t add to their joint pain. A supportive orthopedic dog bed makes it possible for your pet to get a restful sleep. Look for a bed that relieves any pain or pressure points on your pet and look for a quality bed that will last.
If your dog just isn’t acting like his or her “usual” self, make note and pay attention to any warning signs that he or she is in pain — it could be an arthritis problem and might mean a trip to the veterinarian.
Watch this video to see the pressure points, which can range from uncomfortable to downright painful for our pets. Other beds don’t address those pressure points, a Big Barker does.