It is important for every dog owner to understand that irrespective of your dog’s age, a clear balance between his physical activities and food intake must be maintained. The right amount of food intake, exercise and physiotherapy will assure your dog a healthier life.
At any given age, it is important to keep your dog active. The following can help you understand your dog better as it ages.
Devices for easing your dog’s life
Dogs with osteoarthritis are usually unwilling to stand on all four legs. By using a special harness, you can help him to walk, climb the stairs or get into a car. Just make sure you both are comfortable with this.
If your dog finds it difficult to jump into the car, a light canine access ramp or bendable stairs can help. Climbing a gentle slope is easier for a dog than jumping.
Your dog is likely to be less steady on his feet or the floor is too slippery for him. If so, a carpeted floor will help improve his grip and stability.
Physiotherapy at home
Physiotherapy is now commonly used for dogs. Learn from your vet how to perform massages and to actively/passively mobilise your dog’s legs.
Swimming is an excellent activity for older dogs. It exercises their joints without putting too much stress on them. A floating jacket is strongly recommended for dogs that have lost their full range of mobility,
Nutrition is a must
Proper nutrition for your dog can help protect his joints. Nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, long chain omega-3 fatty acids and green mussel extracts are known to be efficient in slowing down the osteoarthritic process.