Spotting joint pain in our own pets can be hard; as a dog minder spotting dog’s in pain because of their joints is even harder. Here are some top tips about what to look for and how with the owner’s permission and a vet’s advice you can help them to deal with that pain.
What Causes Joint Pain in Dogs?
Just because your dog isn’t yelping out in pain doesn’t mean he isn’t experiencing it. Joint problems are characteristically less subtle in nature, they can be missed by even the most experienced animal lovers. For a dog sitter new to the pet it can be more of a challenge.
Slowing down isn’t a natural consequence of aging in dogs, so if your beloved pet seems hobbled, slower than usual or appears to be experiencing discomfort, it’s probably time you addressed the issue at hand.
Consulting with your Veterinarian is a great way to discover issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
So, how exactly should you go about detecting joint pains in your dog?
Spotting signs of Joint Problems in Dogs – Tips for Dog Minders
It’s difficult knowing when your dog is in discomfort. If they exhibit one or more of the following symptoms, there’s a good chance they’re experiencing joint pain:
– Lagging behind on walks
– They’re more irritable than usual
– Excessive licking
– Swollen joints
– Muscle loss
What Causes Joint Pain in Dogs?
Typically, joint pains are either degenerative or developmental. Degenerative joint pain occurs when ligaments around the joints regress over time, which is usually a result of malnutrition, lack of exercise/stretching. When your dog’s health isn’t attended to as it should be, joints can breakdown and cause greater discomfort.
Developmental joint pain is a consequence of your dog’s joints not developing correctly. This will cause an inevitable failure of joint functioning. Joint pain is also common if there are fractures at the joint, or if there are tendons, ligament or muscle diseases present.
How Can You Relieve the Dog’s Joint Pain?
Though it can be disconcerting to watch your dog experiencing joint pain, fortunately, they won’t have to suffer. There are a host of options available to reduce joint pain which you can employ as a dog owner or a dog sitter.
If your dog is overweight, you can take some pressure off of their joints by reducing their food intake. Ensuring your dog maintains a healthy weight is a great way to reduce the incidence of joint pain. This can be achieved with simple dietary changes, which will also improve the overall health of your pet.
Obesity can exacerbate signs of arthritis too. Simply put, an overweight dog will experience more aches and pains than a slimmer one. You can work with your vet to devise a weight loss plan, which should be implemented steadily as a lifestyle change.
If the diet you introduce doesn’t seem to be working, you can always consider switching to prescription food instead.
Joint pain can be controlled with anti-inflammatory medication too. Though this won’t address the root cause of the issue, it will alleviate the symptoms and allow your dog to lead a more fulfilling life. Most medications are available via prescription, offered with the supervision of your veterinarian for addressing various conditions.
Never give your dog human medication. The chances are they’ll react badly to it, with potential for further complications.
A Dog Sitter Giving Supplements to Dogs
Supplements are gaining traction as an alternative to medication. What’s great about supplements is they function to improve the health of your dog, rather than simply masking the symptoms.
Some useful supplements to take include Chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, Glucosamine hydrochloride and more. These have been clinically tested to reduce joint pain in dogs.
It’s important to note that not all joint supplements are as advertised. In fact, some might even make false claims which are difficult to quantify. Always select supplements that are recommended for safety and efficacy.
For an even more natural solution, choose foods formulated with health-boosted ingredients. These make administering supplements easy since you can serve up food and you’re away.
It’s difficult to know where the future of dog pain relief lies, where canine rehabilitation seems destined for great things. As both a dog minder or a dog owner we need to keep alert and in the know. There are many emerging alternatives that are set to transcend the world of joint pain relief as we know it, so keep an eye out for new developments!