Is your pet slowing down? Does the colder weather slow them down even more?

older dogArthritis and joint pain is common in dogs as they age – and typically we start to see the signs from 7 years of age and onwards. An unwillingness to go upstairs, jump into the car, or chase the ball with the vigour and energy that they used to are typical signs of aging and joint discomfort.

As with all humans age does eventually take its toll on our pets. And like humans, they may need a little help with controlling pain and improving their quality of life.

So how can you help once you’ve seen the signs?

Supplements & Natural Remedies

Current research provides eveidence products which contain glucosamine, chondroitin and anti-oxidants mixed with food can help to alleviate chronic arthritis in cats and dogs. There a range of supplements and natural remedies that can help your pet to live more comfortably.  Many of these products use natural sources of Glucosamine and Chondrotin (such as from Green Lipped Mussels). We have listed below a number of supplements which contain these products that you can add to your dog or cat's food.

OsteoSupport Joint CareSupplements and remedies include: 

  • Rose-Hip Vital has gained popularity as a 100% natural anti-inflammatory for improving joint health and general well-being of active and aging dogs.  
  • Joint Guard - available in powder form or liver flavoured treats.  Helps maintain cartilage and reduce ongoing cartilage damage.
  • Sashas Blend - useful for reducing inflammation in the joints, maintaining joint fluid (for cushioning) and slowing down joint breakdown.
  • Pernaese Powder - helps manage joint pain and inflammation, contains green lipped mussel powder, shark cartilage and abalone powder.
  • OsteoSupport Joint Care - highly concentrated green lipped muscle powder in a handy capsule format.
  • Green-Lipped Mussels - whole mussels, used as a once-a-day treat are a concentrated way to administer green-lipped mussel supplements.

Exercise

Exercise is still important – even for dogs who experience some pain from arthiritis. Daily gentle walks will help to increase circulation and blood flow, keep joints limber and mobile and the increased mucle mass will help to stabilise and protect them. Use common sense though – if your dog has been inactive for a long time you should start slowly and build up to longer walks over time. Don’t overdo it – and don’t allow your dog to run or jump. Lift your dog in an out of vehicles – and if necessary invest in a pet ramp to help them in and out of the car.

Hills Senior Dog Food

Diet and nutrition

Be vigilant with your pet’s diet. Joint pain and arthritis problems tend to be worse in overweight pets. Consider swapping to a lower calorie diet or a ‘senior’ food that’s typically less calories, higher fibre & contains added glucosamine, omega-3 and calcium.  Some also contain L-carnitene which may help burn fat faster.  Reducing the weight of an overweight pet to a healthy level is one of the things you can easily do to help reduce its discomfort.

Pain relief medications

Your vet may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Metacam is a common one) or even a course of Cartrophen injections to help treat arthiritis.

Do not give human pain-killers to dogs. It can be very dangerous because dogs and humans react differently to many medications. Serious side effects can occur with some of the most common and 'safest' human pain-relievers. Speak with your vet about what medications they recommend for your circumstances.

Unfortunately age and colder weather can’t be avoided but hopefully these tips will help to keepy our older and less mobile pets a little happier.

 

 

** DISCLAIMER: This article is the personal opinion of the Pets Unleashed team. We always recommend seeking specialist or veterinarian advice when it comes to making decisions about the health or well-being of your pet, particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.