5 tips to ease your dog's arthritis pain

Whether you've got a young pup with injuries, or an older dog starting to feel the effects of age, you'd probably like to make him or her feel better. Arthritis is one of the most common ailments in dogs, and one that many dog owners struggle to relieve. If your dog has arthritis, there are steps you can take to make it more comfortable.

5 tips to ease your dog's arthritis pain

1. Supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil

Many veterinarians recommend the dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin when treating arthritis pain in dogs. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring sugar and amino acid that helps keep joints lubricated and healthy, while chondroitin helps repair joint injuries and damaged cartilage. Fish oils are full of omega-3 fatty acids, a natural anti-inflammatory that can ease the pain associated with arthritis.

2. Keep your dog warm and dry

Because arthritis is amplified by the cold, keeping your dog indoors during cold weather will improve his joint laxity and relieve pain. Using dog coats and jackets for outside adventures is also beneficial, as is providing soft, warm beds and blankets for your pup to relax on when he's at home.

Soft surfaces are gentle on bones and joints, and will help keep your dog warm as well.

3. Maintain an exercise program

Although exercising your arthritic dog might seem counter-productive, it will actually help improve its condition. With the careful planning of your veterinarian, you'll be able to come up with the proper exercise plan to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Exercise is important because it maintains joint health and keeps your dog from becoming too stiff and weak. It will also help keep it at a healthy weight; obesity will create a more painful condition.

4. Give your dog a massage

Massaging and petting our dogs has been shown to be as beneficial for us as it is for our canine companions. Massage will actually increase blood flow and oxygen supply to areas with muscle atrophy; because exercise is kept to a minimum, many arthritic dogs experience weak muscles and bones. Massage will make your pup feel loved, improve his physical condition, and lead to pain reduction.

5. Increase carpet and rug use

If your home isn't carpeted, lay down as many rugs as possible. Carpet and rugs decrease the risk of injuries from slips and falls. Also, since your dog won't have to work as hard to keep his balance, his muscles and joints will be more relaxed and less painful.

With these tips, you're well on your way to improving your dog's quality of life and ensuring that he's happy and healthy for years to come.

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