Looking after your dog’s bones and joints is crucial for helping him lead a better quality of life. As dogs age, their bones and joints begin to wear out, which can lead to arthritis and pain. Unfortunately, larger breeds are generally more prone to joint and bone problems. Injuries sustained during a dog’s early life can have consequences later on as your dog ages, meaning it is never too early to begin looking after their bone and joint health. Here are 5 simple tips to help you care for your dog’s bones and joints.
Provide A Healthy Diet
It’s important that your dog eats a healthy and balanced diet in order to ensure they get all the vitamins and proteins they need to keep their bones and joints healthy and strong. Ensure that your dog’s diet includes plenty of calcium as well as vitamins D and C.
Vitamin D is important because it helps the absorption of Calcium and helps to maintain normal bones. Vitamin C helps the formation of collagen, which is important for developing normal bone function. It also helps your dog’s overall wellness and supports their immune system. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin K are important for helping to maintain normal, healthy bones. Ensure that you also include plenty of protein in their meals.
Give Your Dog Supplements
In addition to a balanced diet, supplements can help to ensure your dog’s joints and bone stay strong. Two important supplements to consider are glucosamine and chondroitin.
“Glucosamine helps to reduce stiffness and is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can help to relieve pain and reduce swelling. It’s also important because it can help to repair damage to cartilage. It’s well complemented by chondroitin, which helps to decrease the deterioration of joints. You can get supplements in many forms, as capsules, powder or even as soft chews,” says Rebecca Mahlum, a lifestyle writer at DraftBeyond and LastMinuteWriting.
Monitor Your Dog’s Weight
Ensuring that your dog’s weight is maintained and kept within healthy levels for their breed is very important. If your dog becomes overweight, it can impact negatively on his bones and joints, as well as his overall health and lead to arthritis.
The added weight can cause additional strain to his joints and bones, which can lead to damage, as well as affecting your dog’s mobility. Ensure your dog’s diet is healthy, monitor his food intake and ensure he gets plenty of exercise.
Provide Plenty Of Exercise
Exercise is important for your dog’s overall health, not just to help him maintain a healthy weight.
“The first thing to consider is the age and breed of your dog. Make sure that you provide a type of exercise that is suitable for your dog,” says Joseph Berndt, a pet blogger at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. “Even if your dog already suffers from arthritis, it’s still important to take them out for a walk. You can also try some water-based activities, like swimming, which provide the benefits of exercise, whilst taking some of the pressure off the joints. Remember to keep their exercise consistent and regular to get the most benefit from it.”
Visit The Vet
It’s important to take your dog to vet regularly for check-ups. If your dog is healthy and young, annual check-ups should suffice, whilst older dogs or those suffering from pre-existing conditions may need to be checked more regularly.
Regular vet visits will enable any joint or bone problems to be detected and treated early on. It’s also important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect that he may have a fracture, following a fall or other injury, to ensure he receives any treatment he may require promptly.
Making small adjustments to your dog’s diet and ensuring that you are providing plenty of exercise are essential for caring for your dog’s joints and bones. Looking out for early signs of pain or discomfort, such as your dog being reluctant to walk or climb stairs or having difficulty standing, can enable you to detect problems early on and seek treatment. Whatever your dog’s age, remember that it’s never too late to make adjustments to improve his lifestyle and help him stay active for longer.
Michele J. Copley is a successful e-learning consultant at Lucky Assignments and GumEssays, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She has significant experience creating engaging training and developing learning objectives, as well as conducting gap analyses. A proud dog owner herself, Michele enjoys going for daily runs with her Labrador in her local park.