Canine arthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease, occurs when the smooth cartilage that protects bones begins to deteriorate. This breakdown can cause pain and inflammation in a dog's joints. Arthritis in dogs can be caused by obesity, an injury or an inherited condition. About one in five adult dogs in the United States will suffer some degree of arthritis. Properly caring for a dog that is suffering from this pain will help it live a more healthy and comfortable life.
Things You'll Need
- Warm bedding
- Dog food
Provide the dog with daily, low-impact forms of exercise. Take the dog for a walk or play fetch with the dog in the water. This exercise will help strengthen the dog's muscles.
Place soft, warm bedding in the dog's kennel or sleeping area. Many times a dog will become chilled at night, which could aggravate pain. The bedding will keep the dog's joints warm and pain free.
Provide the dog with a step to help climb onto the couch or enter a vehicle.
Take the dog for regular checkups at the veterinarian. The vet will be able to prescribe medications to help soothe the pain and discomfort associated with canine arthritis. Give the dog its prescriptions, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements, as directed by the veterinarian.
Feed the dog low-fat, high-protein dog food. This food should be fed in moderation to ensure that the dog does not become overweight, which could exacerbate the symptoms of arthritis.
Give the dog massages on a daily or weekly basis. Rub the dog's legs and joints to help soothe the pain and discomfort associated with canine arthritis.