A Definitive Guide to Optimal Joint Health for Dogs

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Dog Health

Dogs are naturally born playful and are indeed a man’s best friend. However, as your fur companion grows old, there’s a higher chance it could develop joint problems. 

Maintaining healthy bones and weight can help your pet move freely without limping or experiencing pain in its knees. 

Without proper care for bone structure, your dog could miss out on activities like running, swimming, or playing fetch. In this blog, we’ll discuss the signs of joint disease and what you can do to prevent your dog from experiencing joint problems.

What are the Signs of Joint Disease in Dogs?

Since dogs are typically highly active, they’re more prone to joint diseases and trauma. Limping is one of the common signs of bone problems. If your canine experiences difficulty walking or jumping, there’s a possibility of joint swelling or muscle degeneration. 

Here are commonly seen signs that your pup might be suffering from leg and knee-related problems.

  • Lameness & stiffness
  • Joint inflammation
  • Reduced appetite
  • Panting & shaking
  • Fatigue

Understanding Canine Leg Anatomy

Below are some of the important parts of a dog’s skeletal anatomy. These parts play a crucial role in maintaining leg mobility and strength.

  • Tendons: These are connective tissues made of collagen, or elastic bands that connect the muscle to the bone.
  • Cartilage: A smooth layer at the end of the bones that helps reduce friction and keep the joints moving smoothly.
  • Synovial Joints: These joints are composed of ligaments inside a joint capsule with synovial fluid that keeps the bones intact.

6 Ways to Prevent Joint Problems in Dogs

Dogs are active animals, regardless of age. Make it a point to protect your pet’s joints and bones so you can enjoy more fun activities together! Read on to find out how to promote your dog’s joint health.

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Obesity can lead to various health problems, such as arthritis and chronic pain. If your dog overeats without proper diet and exercise, it could end up overweight. Keep your pet healthy by giving it natural food such as:

  • Turmeric: A popular spice rich in curcumin, which helps prevent joint inflammation.
  • Fish oil: Fish oil is an excellent supplement to your dog’s diet because it can help relieve allergies and joint pain. 
  • Parsley: A powerful diuretic with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help reduce swelling of joints.

2. Keep Your Dog Fit With Regular Exercise

Avoid strenuous activities that could strain your dog’s joints when exercising with your pet. Instead, opt for light exercises like 30 to 45-minute walks each day. 

Low-impact exercises like swimming can help your dog destress while staying healthy and fit. However, if your pet is a high-energy breed like a Yorkshire terrier or Siberian husky, you may opt for light jogging exercises to keep them in good shape. 

3. Massage Your Dog’s Joints

Massaging the joints can relieve swelling or inflammation. A simple massage helps improve blood circulation while strengthening your pet-owner bond.

Unlike humans, dogs are more sensitive to touch. When giving a massage only apply light pressure. Use a soft voice before and during the massage and use circular motions for your pet’s neck, shoulders, chest, legs, back, and tail. 

4. Install Carpets & Use Pet-Friendly Ramps 

Is your home pet-proof? Dogs can easily injure themselves. Remove any potential hazards that could lead to trauma or other knee-related diseases. 

For your pet’s safety, we recommend installing heavy-duty ramps at home. Also, to avoid any untoward incidents outdoors, make sure to bring a dog ramp so your dog may enter and exit your vehicle with ease.

For larger breeds like Great Danes and Bernese Mountain Dogs, using a dog ramp can reduce the risk of developing joint problems by putting less strain on the legs. You may reduce the frequency of any slips and falls by placing a carpet over your floors. 

5. Supplement Your Dog’s Diet to Promote Joint Health

Besides maintaining a proper diet, vitamins are a must to achieve optimal joint health for dogs. Below we’ve listed some of the most common dog supplements.

  • Glucosamine

This natural chemical compound consists of glucose and glutamine and is beneficial for dogs with arthritis. For example, a 30-gram chunk of beef trachea contains about 5% glucosamine, which you can use to cook a delicious bone broth. You may also feed your dog beef trachea as a treat, either raw or dried.

  • Chondroitin

Like glucosamine, chondroitin is a natural supplement that can help relieve joint discomfort. Giving your dog vitamins with this natural compound can help provide better tissue elasticity, so your dog can move freely without experiencing any pain.

  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is a dog joint supplement that can help prevent common bone problems because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is ideal for dogs with arthritis. 

6. Visit Your Vet Regularly

To ensure optimal joint health for your dog, schedule regular visits to your veterinarian. Your vet can examine your dog for potential joint problems as early as possible. You can also ask for guidance on how to ensure overall canine health.

Maintain Optimal Joint Health for Your Dog

With proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle, your pet can lower its chances of experiencing knee problems and bone issues. Your dog can enjoy everyday activities and live a pain-free life with the proper care and lifestyle!

For more helpful tips and insights on how to take care of your dog, visit the TLPOInfo blog today. 

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