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Considerations for Optimal Joint Care in Senior Dogs

Updated: Apr 23

As your dog begins to age, it’s important to take into consideration factors that may be harmful to their joints and prevent deterioration the best that we can. Below, you’ll find a list of things to consider:


Is your older dog limping or stiff when getting up from laying down?

Most people will think its normal for older dogs to limp or be stiff because of their age but this isn’t the case at all and there’s still things we can do to help! Certain medications can help reduce the inflammation and pain, if you have answered yes to this question then my first recommendation would be to have a check-up with your vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose and prescribe treatment to help the aging process. If stiffness and limping persist after this step, then read on…


How much exercise should my older dog do?

Exercise for your older dog should be shorter and more frequent than it would be in their younger years. This is to ensure that you are not doing too much at once that may cause a ‘flare up’ also known as inflammation. If your dog is limping after a certain amount of exercise, then they’re telling you it’s too much! Reducing exercise also prevents fatigue and therefore prevents further injuries such as muscle tears and strains. This is because they can control their muscles and joints to a good degree rather than being over tired and then they are more likely to trip and fall. You should minimise impact play with other dogs, running for toys with sharp twists and turns, jumping in and out of the car and excessive amount of off lead exercise if your dog likes to run at high speeds.


Home Environment

It’s important to consider your home environment for your older dog. Wooden and slippery flooring should be covered with rugs or mats to make them non-slip which prevents slip injuries and makes your dog feel more confident at home. Ramps or stairs should be implemented onto your sofa if your dog likes to lay here and this eliminates jumping up and off further preventing concussion through their joints.


Joint supplements

Joint supplements can play a significant role in improving the quality of life for dogs suffering from joint issues or older dogs prone to mobility problems. These supplements often contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and other natural ingredients that promote joint health. The combination of these nutrients helps to rebuild and repair damaged cartilage, reduce inflammation, and provide lubrication to the joints. By incorporating joint supplements into your older dog's daily routine, you can effectively alleviate discomfort, stiffness, and pain associated with joint issues. We recommend Bettalife Pharmaquin(This link opens in a new window or tab) but any kind of joint supplement will help your dog to a certain degree if they are not currently receiving one.


Coats

Coats can be beneficial for dogs, especially those with joint issues, as they help provide insulation and warmth to the joints. Just like humans, dogs can experience discomfort and stiffness during colder weather conditions. The warmth provided by a well-fitting coat can help to alleviate some of the pain and tension in the joints. By keeping the joints warm, the coat helps to improve blood circulation, promoting flexibility and mobility. Additionally, coats can act as a protective layer against external elements like wind, rain, or snow, which can worsen joint pain. We recommend getting a coat with legs as this can protect the joints to a greater extent and keep them the most warm.


Physiotherapy for your older dog

Finally, physiotherapy. Physiotherapy for your older dog has the same principles as it does to humans. We identify the problem areas and treat with massage, stretching and electrotherapies such as Infrared Laser Therapy , which is considered particularly beneficial for joint health. Once we’ve identified and treated, we provide additional techniques to help relieve stiffness at home and exercises to build the strength and mass of the muscles that are attached to the joints. Your dog could be suffering with muscle soreness and tightness just like we do.


If you would like to book in for a Veterinary Physiotherapy treatment then please do not hesitate to get in touch .

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