Signs of joint pain and arthritis in pets and ways to treat it
Just like their owners, dogs and cats can experience joint pain and arthritis –– and that's especially true as they get older.
In fact, joint pain and arthritis are among the most common ailments affecting pets. But unlike humans, our pets can't tell us when their joints are aching. As pet owners, we need to know the signs.
Is your dog or cat experiencing joint pain or arthritis? Here are some signs to look out for and ways you can treat the ailment.
Common signs of joint pain and arthritis
If your dog or cat is limping, it could mean their joints ache. Similarly, it could be a sign of arthritis, which involves joint pain and stiffness. That's especially true if your pet is middle-aged or older.
But some other signs can be a bit more subtle. If your dog is walking slower than they used to on walks, or if it takes them longer to stand up after sleeping, joint or arthritis pain could be to blame.
Other signs can include lethargy, irritability or having accidents in the house. Cats sometimes will urinate outside of their litter box because they have trouble getting in and out.
It's also good to understand the genetic predisposition your pet might have so that you can watch for signs early on. German shepherds, for instance, are predisposed to hip issues. Overweight dogs and cats also are more likely to have arthritis.
If you suspect your pet is experiencing joint pain or arthritis, talk to your vet, who can recommend the best way to treat it.
Prevent it before it starts
A good diet and exercise can help prevent pets from experiencing joint pain and arthritis.
Obese dogs and cats can carry too much weight on their joints, putting stress on them. If your dog or cat is overweight, talk to your vet about a diet pet food. Hill's Science Diet Adult Dog Food, available at Premier Pet Supply, is an excellent option for dry food. For a wet option, try Zignature Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Goat Recipe Wet Dog Food. And for cats, look for Koha Cat Limited Ingredient Diet Pate Turkey Cat Wet Food.
Just as the proper diet is important, keeping your pet exercising and fit is, too.
Dogs love walks –– but too much running, especially as puppies, can affect their joints. Opt instead for regular daily walks and, if your pet enjoys it, take him for a swim. Swimming is low-impact on joints and is great exercise. Likewise, keep your cat active by engaging her in regular playtime.
Use dietary supplements
In addition to feeding your pet a healthy diet, it's helpful to provide vitamins and supplements formulated especially for joint health.
Look for products that have glucosamine or chondroitin and omega-3s, such as fish oil and green-lipped mussels. Turmeric and dried milk protein are also believed to help with arthritis and joint pain.
Be sure to purchase products that are made for dogs or cats, not for humans. Some pet owners also use pet products with CBD –– cannabidiol, one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis.
Premier Pet Supply has a wide range of products to aid in your pet's joint health. Pet Releaf Edibites Hip and Joint Peanut Butter and Banana Treats, which contain CBD, can help alleviate joint pain in dogs. Overby Farm Hip Flex Canine Dog Treats, which have glucosamine and omega-3, are a tasty way to supplement your dog's diet.
For cats, try NaturVet's VitaPet Senior Daily Vitamins, which have glucosamine. Pet Naturals Hip and Joint cat chews, all available at Premier Pet Supply, are also a great option.
To find more foods and supplements to help protect your pet's joint health, visit premierpetsupply.com.