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Caring for a Dog With Arthritis

Have you noticed your dog starting to slow down? Is Fido taking longer to stand up or lie down than he used to? If so, your pet may be developing arthritis. This painful condition is quite common in our canine companions. A Salem, VA vet discusses caring for an arthritic dog in this article.

Diet

A good diet will go a long way towards helping keep Fido healthy. Omega 3 and 6 oils are very important, as they can help lubricate stiff joints. Your furry friend may also benefit from certain vitamins and/or supplements. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Exercise

While you certainly don’t want to overexert a pooch with arthritis, it is important to keep your pet active. Even a short daily walk will help keep Fido in shape, and prevent his muscles from atrophying. Just let your canine buddy pick the pace, and take him home when he gets tired.

Veterinary Care

Make sure Fido sees the vet regularly. There are now many options for managing arthritic pain in pets! Plus, exams will help you and your vet monitor Fido’s condition, and change his care routine as needed.

Bedding

A comfy bed is an absolute must for any pup with bone/joint problems. Orthopedic beds are a great choice, because of the extra support they offer. If you have a large house, get Fido a few different beds. It’s always good to have options!

Doggy Comforts

Small touches can really help keep your canine pal comfortable. Pet ramps or stairs can help Fido get on and off the bed or couch and/or climb in and out of the car. Elevated dishes may also help, as these are much easier for dogs to eat from than bowls on the floor. A heated doggy bed may be helpful in some cases. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Nail Trims

Keeping up with Fido’s peticures is much more important than many people realize. If your dog’s claws are too long, they can make walking uncomfortable. Your pooch may change his gait to compensate, which will put additional stress on his bones and joints. Plus, long nails can easily snag and tear on things. This can be quite painful, and can even lead to infections.

Please contact us, your Salem, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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