Dog health guide
Four Ways to Relieve Dog Arthritis
Dog health guide: Most all dogs develop joint problems as they age, and larger dogs tend to experience these problems earlier than smaller breeds. Arthritis is one of the great cripplers of dogs as they advance in years, yet it can also begin early in their lives.
Because the bodies of dogs are structured differently than humans, they are under greater stress when they run and play. It is a scientific fact that the areas of the dog body that take the most abuse are the ones most susceptible to arthritic pain as time goes by. Dogs have more joint problems than people do because theirs receive more abuse in natural everyday activities.
What Help Can You Give Your Canine Friend?
There are no miracle cures for dog arthritis any more than there are for humans, but some things can be done that will help your friend be more comfortable as he grows older. Some things you can use for dog arthritis relief include:
#1 – Daily Exercise – Dogs spend a great deal of time in a resting state, and as they grow older, they are satisfied to lie around most of the day, only moving when they must. Although an old dog doesn’t need to be exercised excessively, he does need to move around. If you will make a daily habit of walking your dog, it will help keep him limber, and it won’t do you any harm either.
#2 – A Soft and Comfortable Bed – Dogs will seek the most comfortable place they can find to sleep and relax, but as a dog owner you can assist by providing Fido with a soft and relaxing resting spot. An old mattress or couch is an excellent place for your dog to recline regularly or you can purchase a nice quality dog bed for your pet.
The sleeping area should be one designated solely for the dog so he doesn’t tend to use your good furniture. A large dog can get up from the bed much easier if it is raised above the floor, and it makes it less painful to lie down on it, too.
#3 – A Healthy and Controlled Diet – A trait animals have that is similar to humans is they gain weight as they age. With dog arthritis pain in their joints, dogs will be less active and much of what they eat will turn to fat if their owners don’t exercise some controls in their pet’s diet.
One of the first concerns should be the quality of the food and how much fat the dog will consume from it. Additionally, food should only be available at set times each day so a bored dog doesn’t eat just to have something to do.
Added weight not only makes the dog lethargic, it puts more stress on the dog’s joints when he does move about.
#4 – Glucosamine supplements for your arthritic dog can make a great deal of difference in how well he handles old age and joint problems. These supplements aid in the building of cartilage and can make a substantial difference when started early in the dog’s life. Chondroitin taken with glucosamine provides an even better defense against arthritis.
While you cannot totally eliminate the chances of dog arthritis in your pet, you can take some preventative measures beginning early in your dog’s life and make a difference in how your dog feels and performs as he ages.
The Importance of Diet and Supplements for Dog Arthritis Relief
Glucosamine is an amino sugar and a chief building block in cartilage. It is the most common non-mineral or vitamin dietary supplement taken by adults in the United States. Additionally, it is often used by dog and cat owners for the relief of arthritic pain. Glucosamine occurs naturally in both humans and animals, but the quantity decreases over time.
Another natural product found in the bodies of cats and dogs is hyaluronic acid, which acts as a joint lubricator. Production of this joint ingredient also decreases as an animal gets older. Both hyaluronic acid and glucosamine are available for supplemental use for dogs and cats.
Dog Arthritis is a Common Issue
Because most all dogs have some degree of arthritis in their lifetime, it is important to be observing their movements, especially when they get up after reclining for some time. Dogs seldom make any whimpering noises about pain until it becomes almost unbearable.
By the time most dogs reach four years of age, they have joint problems that typically appear as arthritis. Most owners do not recognize the problem until their animals are well advanced into the condition and have difficulty in their mobility.
It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian about your dog’s joints when you take your pet for a visit. Some animals may be as much as seven to ten years old and not have indications or arthritis, but they are the exception and not the rule.
Importance of Weight Control and Exercise
If a dog’s weight is maintained by exercise and diet, this can help prolong the period before arthritis becomes a painful problem. Some dog food manufacturers offer specialized joint diet products specifically intended for dogs with arthritis and other joint problems. Joint supplements may be included in these dog foods to address the need
If a dog’s weight is maintained by exercise and diet, this can help prolong the period before arthritis becomes a painful problem. Some dog food manufacturers offer specialized joint diet products specifically intended for dogs with arthritis and other joint problems. Joint supplements may be included in these dog foods to address the need for glucosamine and hyaluronic acid. Your vet can recommend dog food brands best suited for good joint health.
Supplements Combined with Nutritional Food
The problem with dog foods that contain supplements is that they may not address other health issues such as skin, coat, and teeth. Some dog owners feel it is a better situation to feed dogs nutritional foods that address overall pet health and handle their dog arthritis needs by giving supplements to their pets. This method also assures that the dog is getting the supplements in the proper amounts.
Some of the ingredients to look for in supplements besides glucosamine and hyaluronic acids are chondroitin, perna caniculus, and creatine. Another consideration for any dog that shows signs of joint trouble is an Omega 3 supplement.
Joint supplements, a nutritional diet, and regular exercise are your best defenses against arthritis in your dog, and can also increase the quality years of your dog’s life when practiced regularly from the time the dog is just a puppy.
What Dogs and Basketball Players Share
Some young men come out of college to play basketball professionally and have great careers, earning millions of dollars per year. Even though this sounds like a great way of life that everyone would love to experience, it does take its toll on the body. If you fast-forward twenty years in the lives of some of these athletes, you will find men who have many physical problems that they must deal with on a daily basis.
The Deteriorating Health of Dogs and Basketball Players
There are two primary contributors to the deteriorating health in basketball players that occurs in just a few short years:
1) They over exert themselves by stretching the boundaries of their physical abilities and,
2) They make poor diet choices.
Often, joint problems lead to surgeries to repair the damage and a need for supplemental aids to keep the body parts working.
The same kind of situation exists with dogs that depend on their owners to protect them from life’s circumstances. When puppies are young and full of energy, owners have the tendency to allow them to run and exert themselves until they are too tuckered out to go anymore.
Food for the puppies is often a manufactured product that is the lowest priced one on the grocery shelf. When the puppies reach maturity, they may already have the beginnings of joint problems because of the strain on the shoulder, hip, knee, and elbow joints, and the problem is increased without the proper nutrition necessary to maintain joint health.
A Pet Owner Can Make a Big Difference
It is actually the fault of the owner, in many cases, for the condition their animals find themselves in. Dogs are like small children who depend on someone else to give them the things they need, and the responsible pet owner should shop selectively for nutritious food products.
Because most dogs will develop arthritis in their lifetime, their masters should begin to give them supplements at the first signs of joint problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the prime ingredients that should be a part of any joint supplement program. Adding hyaluronic acid (HA) and a special blend of omega fatty acids to the mix ensures the best defense against those painful joint problems.
If an owner is really concerned for their pet, supplements are available for the younger dog to promote healthy joints before there is a problem. Since larger dogs experience joint problems and arthritis earlier than smaller dogs, it is almost never too early to begin giving joint supplements to your pet.
If you care about your pet, give him nutritional foods, joint health supplements, and regular exercise all his life so he can feel great even in his later years.
How Safe are Those Joint Supplements for Your Dog?
People are becoming more conscious of drugs and supplements because so much is published on side effects and other problems from their use. Even medications that have been taken by many people for years have been questioned in recent times, causing us to question if these things that are supposed to be good for us are actually safe.
The Dog Food Dilemma
The recent situation with imported dog food has made us painfully aware of a problem that has probably been going on for some time, only the animals couldn’t tell us that they were being poisoned. The dog food dilemma caused pet owners to wonder about the safety of other products they use for the “health” of their animals.
Necessary Medications for Dog Health
Some medications and supplements are necessary for a pet’s well-being, such as heartworm pills, shampoos for fleas and ticks, and certain inoculations, but how sure can we be with other products that are not as mandatory? Vets have been preaching the need for joint supplements for many years, but are there any risks involved with taking these for an extended time?
Joint Supplement Safety
Thankfully, there are no known problems at this time with approved supplements used for arthritic joints in dogs and cats. These products have been on the market for many years and they use some basic ingredients that have shown very good results without any harm to the animals.
In very rare cases, dogs that are given high doses of joint supplements with chondroitin and glucosamine may have diarrhea or even vomiting when first introduced to the substance.
This is highly unlikely to happen in any given circumstance, and beyond that, no fatalities or severe side effects have ever been reported due to joint supplement use. Most owners give supplements with food, which generally helps avoid any kind of reaction.
Long Term Joint Supplement Use in Canines and Dog health guide
Pet owners who worry about the long-term use of a supplement will be happy to know that many dogs take joint supplements for years without any incidents or problems. Usually, a dog can take supplements for about two months in large doses and then the amount can be reduced for the remainder of the dog’s life.
Because the joint supplements contain ingredients that are already a part of the dog’s physical makeup, there is very little danger of overdosing or experiencing a bodily rejection of the supplements.
If a dog experiences any adverse reactions to joint supplements, they are minor in comparison with the pain and physical loss the animal will experience without their use. Even humans are faced with this kind of tradeoff with some of the drugs they take.
When you consider all the facts, there is only one choice if you love your pet. You want him to have the best life he can and live to be a ripe old age.
What to Do for Your Dog When Joint Supplements Aren’t Enough
Dog owners who take the best possible care of their pets may still see arthritis set in as their dogs become older. There is nothing to guarantee that the best medications and supplements will relieve all of your pet’s health problems. Some animals are not born as healthy as others are, and they often require more supplemental care.
Joint Supplements and Pain Medications for Your Dog
When an owner is giving a dog a joint supplement, there may be indications that the animal is still suffering. This should be discussed with your veterinarian to see if a stronger dose is necessary or if pain medication should be administered in conjunction with the supplement.
A pet owner should never automatically assume that supplements and pain medications can be mixed safely; it is always best to ask a professional veterinarian.
Many times, dogs that take supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, and fatty acids show an improvement over time without the need for pain medications, but it may be necessary to use some anti-inflammatory pain reliever while the supplements begin to take effect. Not all pain relievers are created equal, and not all are safe for dogs.
Aspirin and carprofen are acceptable pain medications, but Advil and Tylenol have been shown to be dangerous to use with some animals. It is best to have a vet’s opinion on what human products can be used for pain in dogs, and it is important to note that a dog does not require as large a dose as a human, even large dogs.
Dog Joint Supplement Dosages
Joint supplements dosages are calculated based on the size and age of the dog. It is in the best interest of the animal to adhere to safe levels of supplements and pain medications. Most products of this type should be given to an animal along with food.
Dog Joint Supplement Ingredients
You may wonder what some of the dog arthritis supplement ingredients are. Here is information on three common dog supplement ingredients.
* Perna Mussel – Also known as green-lipped mussel, this shellfish is located along the shores of New Zealand. The soft tissue of the mussel is frozen and freeze-dried before processing into a powder. This dog supplement additive contains glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids.
* Creatine – This additive is to combat muscle loss in dogs that have been inactive due to joint pain. In itself, creatine does little to help build muscle, but when combined with exercise, it produces positive results. It also supplies energy so the dog can exercise more.
* MSM – Methylsulfonylmethane (see why it’s called MSM?) contains sulfur in a form the body can use which aids in the production of chondroitin, glucosamine, and collagen. The antioxidant, glutathione, also depends on sulfur for production.
While a pet owner should never give a dog more supplements than are necessary or recommended, those formulated to promote joint health are safe and should be considered necessary for the your dog’s comfort and well-being.
Unlike with human beings, dog arthritis is caused by an injury of a joint. This is an illness which is to be encountered more frequently with older animals, the explanation for this not being the age itself, but the fact that their bones are very sensitive. It is the animal’s weight that presses the joints, which is also why dog arthritis is more frequently encountered with heavier animals. Moreover, some of the causes of arthritis, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, are to be seen in big dogs, which grow up very fast. However, this is an illness which appears in all animals, regardless of their stature. In fact, studies show that twenty per cent of the cats in the United States of America all suffer from this illness.
Animals cannot tell us that they are hurting, but there are different ways of identifying this disease. The animal can present personality disorders, lack of energy when playing or it can have difficulties when climbing stairs or jumping. Moreover, if the animal sits by the walls and has trouble getting up, if it halts or is sensitive to touching, it should be taken to the veterinarian, who can treat it with dog supplements or using other methods, after diagnosing it.
One should never panic if their dog suffers from arthritis. The good news is that there are a lot of treatments to cure its pain. One of these methods is medication and the dog is also bound to lose some weight. The regular medicines to be administrated are analgesics, which allow the dog to move more freely and to put up with its pain. There are also exercises which can correct the position of a dog’s joints, so that the pain is reduced. The vet may even recommend the administration of fat Omega 3 acids to protect the heart, the liver and the kidneys.
Furthermore, a lot of veterinarians recommend the administration of dog supplements, which ensure the protection of the cartilages. In fact, not only do these supplements protect the cartilages, but they also lead to the reduction of pain. The second part of the double treatment consists of the dog losing weight. Those who have dogs should pay attention to what their dogs feed on. Studies show that this is another method which causes the pain to decrease.
The best method to treat dog arthritis is to be chosen according to the stage and evolution of the illness. If the dog suffering from dog arthritis cannot be cured with medication, steroids or dog supplements, it can even go through arthroscopic surgery, so that the injured bones are removed. Acupuncture is also an option, as well as natural supplements, vitamins and anti-oxidants, while massage therapy relaxes and calms the pain in the joints and muscles.
Even if being treated, dog arthritis can transform movement into a challenge. Therefore, the master should make a series of changes around the house in order for the dog to cope better with its illness. Indeed, the quality of the dog’s life can be affected, but there are always treatment options to recur to, which can make both the master’s and the dog’s life easier.
To avoid high medical costs you can always opt for a dog health insurance. The insurance rates are quite low, and you wont have to worry about expenses when it comes to big surgeries.
The Five Basic Dog Grooming Procedures
There are five major categories of grooming that owners should pay close attention to regarding their dogs. Some dog breeds require more attention than others because of their physical characteristics, but every dog needs some level of grooming and maintenance.
The basic forms of grooming are:
1. Brushing – Brushing stimulates the skin and removes loose dander as well as other particles that might become lodged in a dog’s coat. The regularity of brushing is very much dependent on the length of the dog’s hair; you can brush a dog every day without any adverse affects. Most dogs love to be brushed, and those that don’t will learn to love it after they become accustomed to it.
As a general rule of thumb, shorthaired dogs should be brushed once per month, dogs with medium length hair need brushing once per week, and longhaired dogs should be brushed daily. Any of this can vary based on the activities of the animal. Dogs spending more time outside tend to require brushing more often than dogs that spend more time indoors.
2. Nail Trimming – Some animals have problem nails that may grow back into their paws if they are not trimmed regularly. Not only is this condition painful, but it can also lead to infection. Nail trims are necessary to prevent this problem.
Dog owners should ask their vet for advice on trimming nails if they are not sure how to accomplish this task safely. Dogs don’t like to have their nails clipped and that dislike will only increase if they are hurt during the process. There is a specific length to cut a dog’s nails, and cutting into the “quick” of the nail should be avoided.
In case there is an accident leading to a bleeding nail, keep styptic powder on hand and apply to the nail area to stop the bleeding. Let the dog rest and postpone the remainder of the nail trimming session until another time.
3. Bathing – The standard rule of dog bathing is once per month, but once weekly is not too often. It is not recommended to bathe a dog every two or three days because it dries out their skin. If you bathe your dog weekly, use a shampoo formulated for dogs that moisturizes the skin.
4. Haircuts – You probably won’t be thanked by your dog if you give him a haircut, but it is in the best interest of dogs with medium or long hair, especially in the warmer months. How often this is done is solely based on the preference of the owner, but when hair gets in an animal’s eyes and thwarts his vision, it needs to be trimmed.
5. Ear Care – Keeping foreign materials out of a dog’s ears can be a difficult task. Daily inspection of the ears is the best way to keep them clean and healthy. A gentle ear cleansing needs to be performed when necessary using a product specifically designed for this purpose. With active dogs, especially those that swim frequently, this might need to be done more often, but once every week or so is typically all that is necessary.
If your dog is a wanderer and prone to wading the creeks or swimming in lakes, it is important to give him a good visual inspection every day for parasites, injuries, and other potential problems.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to grooming because it is basically a “perform as needed” procedure. Proper attention to the regular grooming and care of your dog will prevent health and safety issues caused by neglect, and your dog will feel better because of your concern for his well being.