A large percentage of dogs and cats develop joint mobility issues in their lifetime. It is one of the most inconvenient and painful things our pets can deal with. Here is what to know about joint discomfort in pets and ways to help.
Signs your pet may be experiencing joint discomfort
Before helping your pet, it is important to look for signs of joint discomfort. Pets may all show they are hurting in different ways. If your pet is showing any of these signs, talk to your vet about ways to help:
- Moving around less
- Avoiding stairs
- Less jumping
- Getting up slowly and stiffly
- Licking or biting an affected area
- Sudden aggressive behavior
Focus on Health
While many issues that cause joint discomfort cannot be cured, there are ways to help your pet manage discomfort. If your pet is overweight, getting them down to a healthy weight can help with some of the discomfort. One thing to start with is more exercise. Avoid activities like fetch that require your pet to jump around. This will cause more damage than good. To help your pet, stick to exercise activities like walking on a leash or even swimming. Just remember, if you choose swimming to help your pet exercise, be sure to clean their ears after. Water trapped in ears after swimming or bathing can cause infections. Using something like K9 Ear Solutions can help keep infections away from your dog's ears. Many pets will not want to swim, however, it is a great form of exercise that is easy on their joints. Many places even have options for pets to walk on a treadmill in water. This form of physical therapy is a great way to strengthen their muscles without causing too much strain on joints.
Other Ways to Help
While keeping your pet healthy is most important, there are other ways to help. Start by keeping your pet comfortable at home. Make sure they have a warm place to lay that is easy to get to. Cold temperatures may only increase discomfort. Pet supplements that contain glucosamine help promote new cartilage and healthy joint maintenance. Liquid Health Pet’s supplement is one of the best liquid supplements that support healthy joints in dogs. A glucosamine supplement for cats is also available.
Learning what to know about joint discomfort in pets will help you stay aware and find ways to prevent it or at least slow the process. Even if your pet does not have joint discomfort, it is important to take steps to avoid it. Make sure your pets exercise regularly and avoid overfeeding them. Doing so will give your pet a better chance of dodging joint mobility issues.