Your dog depends on you for exercise, nutrition, training, and affection. As they age, they tend to require more attention. Your dog takes longer to get up; moves more slowly and stiffly. It seems that suddenly your dog doesn’t want to take the stairs. Or, want to jump on the bed as they used to when they were younger.
As your dog ages, they show symptoms of arthritis. Symptoms will generally appear by the time they are six or seven years old. Arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joints tissue. This results in cartilage becoming thinner which lets the joints rub together. This leads to pain and inflammation.
Pain medicine and steroids can be helpful. However, this step is only taken as a last resort for most dog owners. In fact, prevention is the best way to improve mobility in older dogs.
Supplements and Nutrition
To slow down the process of arthritis, your dog requires an anti-inflammatory diet full of Omega 3’s. To complement this anti-inflammatory diet, there are several natural supplements available. These will naturally improve your dog’s joint health.
Phytoplankton is the basis of the food chain. All ocean life depends on it. Phytoplankton is a microscopic plant that helps your dog dispose of toxins and absorb nutrients. Marine phytoplankton is touted as a superfood. It contains more omega 3’s by weight than any other food source.
Moreover, it’s important to check where the marine phytoplankton is sourced and that it’s not man-made in lakes or ponds. If so, the marine phytoplankton could possibly be exposed to toxins. This supplement comes in a powder and does not require refrigeration.
One of the best-known sources of Omega 3’s is fish. However, fish do not naturally produce omega 3’s. In fact, fish get omega 3’s from the phytoplankton they digest. Furthermore, fish oil may cause side effects. These include bad odor and gas and it also requires refrigeration. So, it is best to avoid fish oil when there are other options available.
Some veterinarians perform chiropractic manipulation. Adjustments are performed to the joints of the extremities and the spine. Realigning the vertebrae may alleviate the stiffness of arthritis and help muscle spasms. This therapy has risks and should be performed by qualified veterinarians only.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method that utilizes tiny needles on meridians of the body. It provides balance and helps with self-healing. This treatment is non-invasive and is usually well-received by dogs. Acupuncture provides many benefits for older dogs with arthritis.
A canine sports massage therapist uses their fingers and hands to remove spasms and manipulate muscles in the body. By doing so, circulation is increased, endorphins are released, and synovial fluid to the joints is improved. This results in a reduction of stiffness and a natural pain reliever.