3 Ways To Prevent Arthritis In Your Dog
By Pet Drs - 16/09/22
Preventing Over Reversing
In this blog:
- Taking preventative measures is key in order to reduce the chances of developing arthritis
- Nutrition and diet play a key role in assisting bone health
- Keeping active is beneficial to not only your dog but you too
- Supplements can help to assist keeping your dog’s joints healthy and happy
- Pet Drs Hip & Joint includes a range of supplements to assist joints and arthritis
- Omega 3s can be essential to reducing inflammation in the body
- Symptoms and signs your dog may be developing
Osteoarthritis is not only a common condition in humans, but in our furry friends as well. It is especially prevalent in dog breeds of larger size including Labradors, German Shepherds & Rottweilers, however the genetics of any dog breed may lead them to be predisposed to develop arthritis.
For any who aren’t aware of the condition, simply put, arthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It occurs when cartilage in the joint begins to wear away, leaving the joint without ‘cushioning’ which results in friction on the bones as they grind against each other. This can also lead to osteophytes (bony lumps) that form on the bones as a result of this constant friction (or with older age) (Schechter, 2020).
Arthritis is a condition which progressively worsens over time and results in pain, decreased range of movement, and inflammation in the body. The most commonly affected areas of arthritis include the lower body such as the hip joint, elbow joint and lower spine. When we speak in terms of a joint, this is referring to the joint capsule, bone, cartilage joint fluid, ligament, tendons and the muscles (Turner, 2021).
Unfortunately once your dog does develop arthritis, it can’t be entirely reversed, however there are a number of steps which an owner can take to reduce the pain, inflammation and discomfort associated with the condition. As well as this, there are many preventative measures that can be taken to limit the chance your dog has of developing arthritis in the first place.
Here are our some of our recommendations for prevention and care:
Nutrition & Diet
It is important to give your dog the best start in life from the very beginning during their puppy years. This includes feeding them appropriately based on their age and breed. If a puppy is fed over their recommended amount/foods not suited to them, there is a high chance this will lead to rapid growth and additional weight on their body.
This growth spurt can damage their joints as their bones won’t be prepared to handle the added weight. As well as this, no matter the age of your dog, if their body composition is larger than recommended for their size, this is going to lead to excess stress on their joints.This in turn increases their chance of developing arthritis as the wear and tear is more significant on their joints.
Ensure to always feed your puppy/dog with food allocated to their age to aid their development and limit the chances of added stress on their joints.
Activity for your dog is one of the factors that can greatly assist joint health and development. However, it is important to choose the correct form of exercise based on your dog’s age and breed.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise to promote joint health, however it may not be the most suitable for all breeds.
For example a Golden Retriever will have a far better swimming ability than that of a French Bulldog, whose anatomy does not allow them to swim with ease.
Another form of activity that owners should be wary of is excessive use of stairs. As a puppy, joints are not yet properly formed, and repetitive stair exercise can result in hip dysplasia later on in life, especially for large dog breeds (Leininger, 2016).
Hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket of the joint do not fit together properly, and grind against each other rather than gliding. This wear and tear can result in your pet developing arthritis.
Ensure to choose an activity suited to your dog’s needs to prevent any unnecessary damage to their joints.
It’s a regular part of routine for humans to take supplements daily to assist their health, and it should be the exact same for pets!
Two supplements that can slow cartilage deterioration are glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds are found within healthy cartilage. Manufactured forms of these supplements often are derived from cows or shellfish, however it can also be derived from plant based sources.
Not only do they protect cells of the joints but they are also anti-inflammatories which assist in reducing any inflammation if it is present. This in turn will help to reduce your pet’s chance of developing arthritis.
These two compounds are found within the body, however with age, levels of them begin to decrease which assists the breaking down of the joints. Therefore, supplementing your pet with these compounds can be extremely beneficial as they get older, and to prevent levels from lowering in general.
Try our Hip & Joint Supplement which combines these two ingredients into an easy to take powder!
As well as this, combining an omega supplement into your dog’s diet may also be beneficial. Omega 3s are types of poly-unsaturated fatty acids that are ‘essential’ to numerous functions within the body (Bauer, 2007). This is because they produce chemicals which balance the body’s inflammation levels. Therefore, when the body lacks Omega 3s, there can be an increase in inflammation, which can worsen arthritis symptoms.
Omega 3s can be found from a range of sources including fish, krill, and flax seeds. Owners can incorporate omegas into their dog’s diet via easy sources such supplements or fatty fish including sardines and salmon. Unfortunately most supplements are formulated from seafood sources, and many dogs may be allergic to this form.
Pet Drs provides an alternative plant based Omega 3 supplement called Mega Oil which is based on flaxseed oil. It provides all of the essential fatty acids that a dog may need to replenish their body and assist the reduction of inflammation.
Hip & Joint Supplement
Hip & Joint was developed by a naturopath and veterinarian, to optimise and support the healthy growth, development and maintenance of joints. As mentioned above, glucosamine and chondroitin are two ingredients which can greatly assist the joints.
Pet Drs Hip & Joint Supplement is an all natural supplement which includes not only those two ingredients but an extensive list of others which also support joint health. The collagen in the formula is derived from a plant based source and aids in lubricating the connective tissue which supports joints.
The formula also includes methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is beneficial to reducing pre-existing muscle damage and relieving stiffness and pain.
Incorporating Hip & Joint Supplement into your pet’s daily life can drastically improve their joint health whilst also preventing any further damage.
Along with the Hip & Joint Supplement, we always recommend including our Mega Oil into your pet’s daily routine as well. As mentioned above, Omegas are essential to both pet and human health. By taking Mega Oil daily, it is ensuring that your pet is receiving adequate amounts of Omegas 3, 6, 9 which will assist in reducing inflammation in their body. With the help of flaxseed oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and more, this plant based omega supplement will improve overall pet health.
It’s super versatile and can be added to their normal meals, or made into fun treats such as frozen fruit pops, dog gummies and so much more.
Visit our TikTok for suggestions on how to incorporate the Mega Oil into your pet’s day.
Try our Joint Health Bundle which combines both of these supplements into one pack at a discounted price!
As an owner, it is important to observe changes within your dog’s everyday movements which may indicate the development of arthritis.
Some common signs may include:
Limping on the affected joint as well as decreased movement of the area.
Reluctance to move and play as they usually would have previously.
Squirming or showing discomfort when touched in areas around the joints or particular locations.
Licking, chewing, or biting the areas of pain.
This may result in hair loss around the area as well.
Muscle atrophy (deterioration of muscle due to lack of use) in long term arthritis sufferers.
Although the breed of dog you have may predetermine if they are more likely to develop arthritis, you can still incorporate these three tips to give them the best chance for healthy and happy hip joints throughout their life.
By doing so, you can reduce pain, decrease their chance of developing further damage, and assist their arthritis.