What Can I Give My Old Dog for Stiff Joints?
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People who see their pets struggling to stand up will wonder: what can I give my old dog for stiff joints?
It’s not enjoyable to see your pet having difficulty doing the things they’ve always loved doing.
Thankfully for concerned pet owners, there are a number of things you can do to help your pet feel as comfortable as possible.
Joint problems are common in dogs as they age, and some animals are more susceptible than others.
Regardless of what type of issue your dog is facing, take the time to learn how to help them through this tough time.
What Can I Give My Old Dog for Stiff Joints?
Unfortunately, there aren’t any instant solutions to joint pain for dogs.
Still, that doesn’t mean you need to be discouraged, as there are things you can do to help your dog live a more comfortable life.
Here are some things you can do for your old dog to help them feel more energetic, lively, and young as they get relief from joint pain.
Talk To Their Vet
One of the best things you can do for your old dog is to consult with your vet about what type of treatment is the most helpful.
While joint pain is often caused by arthritis and similar degenerative issues, there is a chance that the problems have another treatable cause.
Your vet can recommend anti-inflammatory medications, joint supplements, and potentially even other types of medicine.
With a combination treatment, you can:
- Reduce your pet’s inflammation and pain with NSAIDs
- Protect and repair cartilage with specialty mediations
- Stimulate stronger joints with joint supplements
Joint supplements, in particular, are often available over the counter.
However, a multi-faceted approach with the help of your vet can be a great choice.
Every dog is different, so formulating a unique plan with your vet is a great move.
Manage Their Diet
Another way you can help your dog overcome their joint pain is to take control of their diet in a more active way.
There are two main steps you can follow to help your dog through their diet.
#1. Control Their Weight
Dogs that suffer from joint issues are going to suffer even more if they are overweight.
No one wants to think that their dog is overweight, nor do they want to restrict their food, but you can actually help your dog a lot.
They rely on you to manage their food intake, and you need to do just that.
Losing weight will help your dog’s joints to take on less stress and strain.
Think about how much your dog eats, how many treats you are feeding them, and what type of exercise they get each day.
By changing up the current routine, you can help your dog be healthier and more comfortable.
#2. Supplement Their Diet
It has been shown that some compounds, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, can help joints.
These supplements work together to support joint health.
Specifically, they help your dog’s body to better repair and protect the joints so that the joint problems will not get worse.
Making sure your dog’s diet includes the following through their food or additional supplements is a great way to improve their health:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Chondroitin sulfate
All of these can help relieve joint-based pain symptoms while also working towards long-term prevention.
In essence, you can help improve your dog’s health.
Common Dog Arthritis Treatment Plan
How to help a dog with arthritis depends on the exact type of pain your dog is going through.
Additionally, the stage of their arthritis will have an effect on your management plan.
Here is a general treatment plan you can follow to ensure your dog gets all the help and support they need.
Consult your vet.
As mentioned, it is always a good idea to talk to your vet about treatment and what you can do for your dog.
Your vet will prescribe things like NSAIDs and prescription medications that may help your pet.
They will also be able to recommend other at-home treatments you can supplement with.
Fix their diet.
Ensure your dog is not overweight or overeating, and then check if their diet includes everything they need for healthy joints.
Adding a joint health supplement is a great way to improve their quality of life.
Change their bed.
Make sure your dog has a bed that will properly support their joints and bones while resting.
Many vets recommend memory foam since it can mold to your dog's body in a very supportive way.
Make sure your house is safe.
Can your dog climb onto things like your bed and couch safely?
If not, adding ramps for them is an excellent way to reduce the amount of pressure put on their joints over time.
You can also make certain other parts of your house are safe.
Slippery floors, like tile and hardwoods, can be dangerous for dogs with weak joints.
Consider putting down rugs or mats that will help your dog not slip and cause any additional injury to themselves.
How To Help a Dog With Arthritis: Top Supplements
Supplements have been mentioned a few times as a significant part of dog arthritis treatment.
But what supplements specifically are a good choice?
Most will agree that joint health supplements that include glucosamine and chondroitin are the best options.
These supplements can have a positive effect on dogs that suffer from arthritis and similar joint conditions.
Additionally, they can prevent these conditions from developing as quickly as they might without any supplements.
Preventative care is a huge part of ensuring your dog’s long-term health; adding supplements from a young age is a good idea.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are very powerful at protecting joints, but they cannot reverse already existing arthritis.
If your dog’s cartilage and other ligaments have already severely degenerated, the supplements will not regrow that cartilage.
However, they will repair joints that are not so severely damaged and prevent other joints from getting to that stage.
Why Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin Help?
Glucosamine and chondroitin both help the body’s cartilage and ligaments around the joint area.
These two compounds essentially ensure that the joints are lined so that the bones cannot rub together, which causes inflammation and pain.
Additionally, chondroitin has been shown to help block the enzymes that degrade joint fluid from taking hold.
Together, you can expect these two compounds will help keep your dog’s joints as protected as possible.
What Home Remedy Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis?
Besides giving your dog supplements, there are a number of ways you can help your dog at home.
Try some of these home remedies to improve your dog’s comfort and lifestyle at home:
- Make sure the surfaces they sleep on are thick and supportive, such as a memory foam bed.
- Ensure your dog is not at risk for falling or slipping in the house, as this can be very dangerous for their joints.
- Give your dog a massage to help with joint pain and inflammation.
- Help your dog get some type of low-impact exercise to strengthen their body and joints.
By doing these simple things at home, you can help your dog be more comfortable and happier.
What Can I Give My Older Dog for Joints From the Vet?
When you go to your dog’s vet to get help for their arthritis pain, what will they typically prescribe?
In most cases, the vet is going to suggest that your dog be given some type of NSAIDs, also known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
These medications help to:
- Reduce swelling
- Reduce joint pain
- Reduce stiffness
- Improve range of movement
Though NSAIDs are also used by humans, you should never give your dog your medications.
Only give your dog NSAIDs made for dogs or specifically recommended by your vet.
How Can I Help My Old Dog With Joint Pain Without Supplements?
The best way to help your dog without giving them any supplements is to change their food to a more supportive, healthy diet.
Even if you don’t want to add supplements, you can add many of the same compounds through their food.
This includes foods that have added omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Beyond changing their diet, you can also ensure your dog is getting gentle daily exercise.
Even though their joints are not great, daily exercise can help relieve pain and stiffness.
Joint Care for Old Dogs
Owners often have the same question: what can I give my old dog for stiff joints?
Old dogs suffering from arthritis and other causes of stiff joints need to be helped with a multi-faceted approach.
On the other side, making changes to their sleeping and exercise routines can allow your pet’s body the comfort needed to recover.
Remember, however, that there is nothing you can do to turn your old dog into a puppy again.
Your goal should be to help your dog feel as comfortable as possible.
Keep that in mind as you make your plan, and you’ll be happy with the results.