Friday, February 11, 2011

What Will Help Dogs With Joint Pain?

What Will Help Senior Dogs With Joint Pain?

As dogs age, many develop a limp or a hitch in their gait. Sometimes they slow down and lose interest in activities. Often, these observations are symptoms of joint pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1 in 5 dogs in the US is affected by arthritis. But joint pain doesn't mean the end of the line for your dog. Learn how to relieve your dog's joint pain, and give him many more comfortable years.


  • Many dogs become overweight as they age. The extra weight on the joints can often cause pain and instability. One of the most effective ways to reduce joint pain in senior dogs is to switch to lower carbohydrate foods, including raw diets, which will reduce fat mass and increase muscle tissue.

  • Exercise

  • As pets age, they often lose muscle tone and flexibility, which can increase symptoms of arthritis and other causes of joint pain. While your senior dog may have less interest in playing, it is important to maintain a healthy level of exercise. Slow, consistent walks (use a Gentle Leader collar to have least pain on dog - dogs will not pull with these no pain no choke collars) are great ways to maintain your dog's muscle tone and relieve pressure on joints.

  • Supplements

  • As dogs age, the cushioning in their joints deteriorates. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are the two most popular supplements for dogs with arthritis or other joint pain. According to veterinarian Holly Nash, these supplements actually help the body repair cartilage damaged as a result of arthritis. Glucosamine and Chondroitin have very few side effects, and can be safely used for years. 


  • Medications

  • Some joint pain can become unbearable for dogs without pain medication and anti-inflammatory medications. Fortunately, a wide variety of medications are available to help manage the pain and inflammation. The most commonly used brand names are Rimadyl and Deramaxx. Aspirin and prednisone can also be used effectively to manage pain and discomfort. Unlike Glucosamine and Chondroitin, many of the pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications do have long-term side effects, and should only be used under veterinarian supervision.