Just as we love getting a nice massage, our pets can also benefit from a soothing massage – especially when they suffer from arthritis. Massaging your pet on a regular basis can not only increase the pet-owner bond but also help reduce pain, increase flexibility and blood flow. This can help your pet feel better and experience less pain on a daily basis. Begin by stroking your pet in one direction for a few minutes each day. As your pet gets used to the daily touching and attention, add some soft kneading with your thumbs working from font to back. Be sure to avoid any sensitive or painful areas as you work over your pet’s body. If your pet is less active than s/he used to be, you can also bend and flex the legs to help with some stretching. Again, if your pet displays any distress, either use smaller movements or stop the stretching altogether if it seems to be painful to your animal. Be sure to work this into your daily routine so that your pet continues to receive the benefit of your regular attention and massage therapy.
The best way to deal with arthritis in your cat or dog is to try to prevent it from developing in the first place. Like humans, as animals age, arthritis is a problem that may well develop for your cat or dog. Since prevention is always the best “cure” for any disease here are some tips to help delay the onset of canine or feline arthritis.
1. Allow your animal to sleep inside on a soft bed. Sleeping in the cold or damp will increase the likelihood that your pet will develop arthritis as s/he ages.
2. Keep your animal at a healthy weight. Obesity increases pressure on joints so make sure that your pet does not add excess weight. Animals over the age of 5 or 6 need less fat and lower protein than do younger animals. Most pet food stores carry a weight management pet food so be sure to select one of these if your pet is putting on a few too many pounds.
3. Like the commercial that talks about a “body in motion – tends to stay in motion,” be sure that your pet gets plenty of daily exercise. Not only will you help your animal reduce the likelihood of developing arthritis, you will also be helping yourself prevent this problem as well. Exercise helps both man and animal to stay healthy.
4. Finally, be sure to see your vet on a regular basis. Early detection of problems can mean that your animal can be treated appropriately. This will result in less pain and an overall healthier animal.
One of the biggest contributors to painful arthritis is not only normal aging but obesity in canines. If your animal is over weight, it places intense stress on his joints. This may lead to arthritis pain that can make your dog miserable. The sooner you take steps to slow the progression of arthritis, the better off your animal will be. If you find your animal exhibiting the signs of arthritis such as stiffness upon standing, reluctance to engage in activity, irritability or depression, then be sure to speak with your veterinarian about arthritis. Dogs need regular exercise to maintain muscle tone and mass just as humans do. Be sure to take your dog on daily walks and ensure that he gets some exercise on a regular basis. Swimming is a particularly good exercise that lessons joint stress and is fun for both owner and dog. If your dog is obese, be sure to speak with your veterinarian about the best weight reduction diet for your dog. By dropping some unneeded pounds, your animal will feel better, live a longer and more healthy life and experience less pain in his joints from degenerative arthritis.
As our pets age, just like us, they develop the diseases of old age such as arthritis. This is especially true for over-weight cats or dogs. As a result, one of the first ways to help your animal who suffers with arthritis pain, is to help him lose weight to take some of the pressure off of delicate knee joints. Moderate daily exercise can also help. Just like humans, animals were built to use those limbs in daily exercise. Exercise can strengthen the ligaments and muscles and help keep the muscles and joints more limber. Provide your pet with soft, comfy bedding in which to lay so that they can minimize the cold coming from floors. Cold, hard surfaces can make the arthritis pain worse. If you have hardwood or tile floors, be sure to place carpet segments or nonslip area rugs around. These surfaces can be hard to walk on and may cause your pet harm if they slip and slide around while trying to navigate around the house. Finally, talk to your vet about various medications or herbal treatments that might benefit your pet. Providing your dog with good nutrition and recommended supplements can help your animal get the needed nutrients to repair cartilage and keep joints healthy and as pain free as possible.
Everyone wants their beloved pets to enjoy life and be as full of energy as possible for as long as they can. Just like humans, dogs and cats can benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Supplements come in tasty flavors like liver and can help rebuild cartilage and repair damaged joint tissues. For animals with joint pain, extra strength glucosamine chondroitin tables can improve joint mobility and reduce the inflammation that arthritis can cause in animals.
Like their human owners, both cats and dogs can experience joint pain and arthritis as they age. Signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis or painful and inflamed joints include: limping or favoring one leg, not wanting to jump up or down from furniture that s/he used to readily do, showing difficulty getting up from a lying down position, hesitancy to go up or down stairs, and finally, lethargic or listless behavior where the animal sleeps more than usual and is not interested in the things that used to easily interest him/her.
If your pet displays these types of behaviors, s/he probably is experiencing the signs of arthritis or joint pain. Since arthritis or joint pain is made worse by cold and dampness, allow your pet to sleep in a warm place. If s/he normally stays outdoors, consider allowing him or her to come in when the weather is either cold or damp outside. Provide a cozy rug or soft bed in which your pet can lie rather than having to lay on the cold floor.
Although strenuous exercise is painful and may harm joints further, light exercise such as slow paced walking for ten minutes on a leash can be beneficial. Swimming can also be helpful exercise for pets with arthritis. Since water can help lift the body, this type of exercise can be good on the joints. If your pet is overweight, look for “light” or reduced calorie foods that can help him or her slim down. Extra weight on your animal’s joints only makes the joint pain worse. Lightening the weight can help reduce the pain and swelling that the animal may experience.
If your pet sleeps with you, consider getting a ramp or stairs that can help the animal easily get up and down on his own. Most pet stores have pet ramps or stairs that owners can buy that can make getting up or down on places your cat or dog likes to rest easier. Also consider purchasing a raised food and water bowl that can allow the animal to eat or drink without having to bend way down to the floor. This too will help reduce the joint pain that your animal may experience. Joint supplements may also help animals just as they help people cope with joint pain.
While we can’t turn back the hands of time, we can help our animals have a higher quality of life while they are with us just by following a few simple strategies.
Cats can live much longer than dogs but just like their canine friends, can suffer greatly as they age with joint pain. As cats age they may become less willing to jump or climb and they too may have difficulty getting into a standing position when they are laying down on the floor. Your feline may have difficulty stepping in and out of the litter pan and may meow mournfully when he has been laying on a cold, hard surface from the pain in his joints. A cat suffering from joint pain may also be lethargic and have a decreased appetite and be less likely to properly groom himself. A supplement with glucosamine and chrondroitin can be a good solution to help your feline feel better and have a bit more of the energy he had when he was young.
As dogs age, their joints often become stiff just like they do in older humans. Your dog may experience mild swelling in the his joints and have difficulty getting up and down from a sitting or laying down position on the floor. Your favorite canine might be hesitant to go up or down stairs because it takes a significant amount of effort. He may also lag behind and move much more slowly then he used to while taking walks outside. Although he loved to play with his toys when he was younger, a dog with joint pain may no longer be willing to chase a toss toy due to his constant joint pain. You may also see the animal favoring his limbs and possibly even licking them to help relieve the pain. Your dog may be reluctant to jump up on your lap or onto his favorite sofa or chair as he ages. Providing some relief with an anti-inflammatory product designed for dogs can certainly help alleviate some of his pain as he ages.
Just like people, older dogs and cats may suffer from arthritis pain. Animals with arthritis often have stiff and painful joints that makes getting up from a laying down position difficult at best, and very painful for the animal at worst. Arthritis can make it difficult for your dog or cat to get around like he used to. If joints are stiff and painful, the animal will not want to run and play like they did when they were younger. This only helps increase the stiffness and painfulness as the joints become more and more unused. Good nutrition and exercise help alleviate some of the pain of arthritis but if your animal hurts, the less he or she feels like moving. This increases the joint pain and puts the animal on a vicious cycle that only adds to the pain the animal feels.