Arthritis: Helping your Pets at Home
If your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis, you’ll no doubt want to know how you can make life easier for them and help with some of their discomfort.
You may have already agreed a treatment plan with you vet, but there are also some changes that you can do to your home and your pet’s lifestyle to help manage their condition.
Here are our handy tips to help you to ensure your pet maintains a good quality of life despite their arthritis.
Adapting your home for your arthritic pet
If your pet’s sleeping area isn’t already soft and padded, turning it into one that is can help their joints to feel less stiff and painful. There are dog beds available that are specially designed to help pets who need extra support. Try a dog bed filled with memory foam as they mould to your canine companion, providing warmth and optimum comfort for them as they rest.
Hardwood, laminate or tile floors can cause your pet to slip and fall, increasing the chance of unexpected aches and pains. Placing secure rugs and foam mats in the areas where your pet walks can give them the footing they need to get around safely.
If your pet is struggling to reach their favourite spots like the sofa, bed or windowsill, investing in cat ladders or dog ramps will enable them to climb without the need of a big jump or leap.
Activities and exercise
It’s always good to keep your pet’s weight under control but this is particularly true if they have arthritis. Being overweight can put extra pressure on their joints and this can further affect their mobility.
Gentle exercise can help to keep joints a bit more flexible and supple. Don’t be afraid to continue with regular walks, just be mindful you may need to adjust the distance of the walk to suit your dog’s capability. If you usually take your dog out for one long walk a day, try multiple short and slow walks. If your dog can tolerate it, try walks up and down hills, this will help to increase overall strength.
Feeding your arthritic pet
Omega 3 fatty acids have shown promising effects on reducing inflammation and most diets specifically for arthritic pets will usually contain a good amount of these, along with other ingredients that can help with joint health. Always check with your vet first before changing your pet’s diet.
There are various supplements available that can help arthritic pets and these contain key ingredients that are known to be beneficial for pets with the condition.
Supplements, such as Flexadin Plus Chews, support joint health in dogs and cats and combine the benefits of glucosamine, chondroitin, and Harpagophytum procumbens (devil’s claw), a medicinal plant traditionally used to relieve joint pain. Please discuss the addition of supplements with your vet to ensure they are suitable for your pet.
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