6 Tips to Improve Your Dogs Joint Health

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6 Tips to Improve Your Dogs Joint Health

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Jenny Perkins

One of the most painful ailments in dogs that pet parents dread is osteoarthritis, a common joint related illness. It is a condition which is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage. Cartilage is a small layer covering the ends of the joints, which receives nourishment via the fluid generated by a membrane in the joint. As this layer deteriorates, it becomes brittle and causes the inflammation of joints, leading to stiffness, pain and eventually mobility.
The worse part about osteoarthritis is the fact that the condition is irreversible. However, the pain can be managed via specific medications. But wouldn’t it be better to take preventive measures at the right time and improve your dog’s joint health to protect him from arthritis and other diseases of the sort.
In this article, I bring you six amazing tips for your furry companions better joint health.
Watch Your Dog’s Weight
 A primary cause of joint problems in dogs is obesity. The extra weight puts excessive stress which leads to the deterioration of joints. About 53% of dogs are overweight or obese, and 20% show some signs of osteoarthritis irrespective of their ages due to the same reason. Obesity even affects the intensity of chronic arthritic pain. It is because the fat tissue releases a hormone called Leptin which causes inflammation of joints and affects the body’s mechanism of regulating pain. Hence it is imperative to keep a tab on your dog’s weight and prevent him from obesity. As we talk about prevention of obesity, the two factors that play a significant role are diet and exercise.
Take Care of Your Dog’s Diet
It is essential to monitor the quality and quantity of the food your pup eats. Many dog parents make the mistake of not measuring their dog’s food. If we leave it up to our furry companions, they will likely overstuff themselves, so it is crucial to keep an eye on what they eat. Whether you are feeding your pooch expensive or cheap store-bought dog food, there are feeding instructions available on the back of the pack. For homemade food consult the veterinarians as to what quantity should you give your pooch. Next up let’s have a look at the vital nutrients.
Multiple foods can help make your dog’s joints healthier and may even provide relief from arthritic pain. Foods rich in nutrients such as copper, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and omega three fatty acids should be a necessary part of your dog’s meal. Leafy greens such as Kale, Spinach, garbanzo beans and lentils are sources of copper whereas berries, broccoli, papaya are rich in vitamin C, both these nutrients aid in forming collagen which is a vital constituent of tissues. You can also add fish oil which has anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in improving mobility. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, mango, pineapple, turmeric are ingredients that can help reduce joint inflammation thereby relieve pain. But please remember to keep these veggies in moderation, whilst dogs primarily need meat, vegies and fruits from time to time can provide vital nutrients.
Exercise is Essential
I can’t stress enough about the importance of keeping your dog active. Firstly our dogs need to expend energy and burn off the calories they consume to stay at an ideal weight, so the excess fat doesn’t put pressure on his joints. It will also keep the joints flexible and provide natural lubrication to the bones. Make sure that your pup does get the recommended level of physical activity according to his breed, age, and size. Physical exertion isn’t only essential for the prevention of joint problems, even if your dog does develop illnesses like arthritis, you need to keep him moving.
Prevent Injuries
Many joint problems may appear as a result of injuries that occur in early life. Some dog-parents make the mistake of incorporating strenuous exercises such as long walks, jogs or high jumps in their young puppy’s routine. As a result of it, the undeveloped joints and bones get injured, increasing the chances of your pup developing joint problems in the future. Therefore make sure you prevent your pooch from injuries of all sorts, always consult the veterinarian regarding the exercise regime you set for your pooch. In case your dog suffers an accident, immediately take him to the vet even if you think it isn't
something serious.
Consider Supplementation
You can consider adding Glucosamine and Chondroitin to your dog’s diet as these supplements promote healthy cartilage. Glucosamine aids in repairing damaged tissues and has an anti-inflammatory effect thereby reducing joint pain. It can also improve mobility and the lubrication in joints. The compound can provide optimum benefits when used in combination with Chondroitin which helps the cartilage retain water. Again ensure all supplementation is done is moderation and do not over do it. More is not always better.
Care for Your Dog’s Comfort
Some factors in our dog’s environment are so common that they might be easily overlooked, however may end up affecting your dog’s joint health in the more extended run. For instance, your dog may love sleeping on the floor; this can put constant pressure on his joints for longer durations which can be dangerous. To eliminate this habit, get your pooch a comfortable dog bed. For older dogs, consider investing in dog ramps, so they don’t injure themselves while jumping from sofas or car seats.

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