Did you know that just like humans, your fur baby can get arthritis too? Well, if you didn't, that's why Canine Arthritis Awareness Month exists. The month of May is dedicated to spreading awareness about canine arthritis, prevention, and treatment. Dogs can be really great at hiding their pain since they can't verbally tell us what's wrong. That's why it's extremely important for you to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups to ensure their health is in tip-top shape.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can cause pain and damage to joints if left untreated. If you've got questions about canine arthritis, we've got answers. Let's look at what you need to know about canine arthritis to keep your dog out of pain and living life to the fullest.

Dogs Can Get Arthritis?

According to the CDC, about 58 million Americans are living with arthritis. While it's very common in humans, your grandma isn't the only one who can get it. Not only is it painful, but it can affect your dog's quality of life. Dogs become most at risk of developing arthritis at around 8 years old.

The Canine Health Foundation states that the most common type of arthritis found in canines is osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this type of arthritis. They also report that osteoarthritis can affect one out of five dogs in the US. This type of arthritis happens when the cartilage that protects the joint is destroyed. It can result in friction between the bones which is very painful. On top of that, your dog can experience decreased mobility as the bones try to create scar tissue and heal.

Another type of arthritis to look out for in dogs is inflammatory joint disease. This is typically caused by an infection or a problem with the immune system. If you notice any symptoms of arthritis in your canine, it's important to take them to the vet as soon as you can.

Spotting Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs

Being aware of the telltale signs of arthritis in dogs can help with early detection and prevention. The earlier the arthritis is diagnosed the better chance there is of slowing the progression. Signs to look for include:

  • Lethargy and excessive sleepiness
  • Lack of motivation to play and exercise
  • Reluctancy to roll around or shake their body
  • Acting sad and lonely

Whenever you start to notice anything like this in your dog, you should take them to the vet. Even if it's not arthritis, it could be another underlying condition making your dog act this way.

Canine Arthritis Prevention

Since there is no cure for arthritis in canines, it's important to do what you can for prevention. Here are some tips to help you keep your furry family member healthy, happy, and arthritis-free:

Proper Diet

Make sure you are feeding your dog a well-balanced diet. Every dog is different, so consult with your vet to find the right diet plan. Their diet should consist of natural foods that keep them at a healthy weight. Depending on your dog's health status and age, your vet may suggest supplements and vitamins, which increase arthritis prevention.

Create a Low-Impact Environment

If you've ever dealt with joint pain yourself, you know how unpleasant it is. As your dog ages, you may consider making alterations to decrease strain on their joints. For example, you can use ramps, like the Gen7Pets Indoor Ramp around the house for higher areas so they don't have to jump. For large dogs, consider investing in an elevated feeder, like the Vittles Vault Elevated Storage Feeder. Using an elevated feeder makes it much more comfortable for your dog to eat and prevents them from having to bend down and strain their neck to eat breakfast or dinner. Plus, elevated feeders also help with digestion!

Create an Exercise Routine

Exercise is essential for your dog and will keep his joints healthy. Make sure your dog is running, walking, swimming, playing fetch, or whatever they like to do regularly.

Canine Arthritis Treatment

Always, always, always consult with your vet before starting an arthritis treatment plan for your dog. Vets will typically suggest diet and exercise first to see if there are any improvements. You can also get products for your house to help with your dog's joint pain.

Arthritis Management Products

  • Ramps
  • Orthopedic beds
  • Elevated feeders
  • Strollers

If you're interested in purchasing products to support your canine with arthritis or increase prevention, check out Petmate's solutions. We've got everything from stylish strollers to efficient ramps to keep your dog happy and comfortable.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, canine arthritis is a health issue that all dog owners should be aware of. Early prevention techniques can keep your dog from experiencing joint pain so they can live a long and happy life. Make sure you are aware of the signs and symptoms, and consult with your vet anytime your dog is displaying them.

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