My darling fourteen year old golden retriever suffers from arthritis. While he is a stoic old gentleman, he definitely has his moments where I can clearly see the discomfort and frustration on his face. While I know he will only have a few more years with us at best, I strive every day to make his life a bit more comfortable and easy. Here are some tips on how to help your arthritic dog live out his days in as much comfort as possible.
Talk to Your Vet About a Glucosamine Sulfate or Aspirin Regimen
Both drugs offer a potential amount of substantial relief from the pain and discomfort of canine arthritis. Work with your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage and frequency of the drug regimen. I began giving my dog Glucosamine with his daily meals during the summer and the difference was like night and day. This drug builds up in the system and offers a wonderful amount of pain relief after only a few doses. One Monday my dog could barely get up to go outside and by Thursday he was frolicking around the yard like he was a young pup.
Move Bedding Downstairs
Going up and down a staircase several times a day can be tortuous for a dog suffering from arthritis. If your canine friend generally sleep
s upstairs on his own bed, eliminate the trip and move the bedding to the first level. Your dog will appreciate being able to sleep in comfortable and familiar surroundings without the exertion of going up a staircase.
Add Throw Rugs and Runners to Hardwood Floors
A few years ago, we removed all the carpeting from the first level of our home. This was a great aid in controlling my husband’s asthma, but was a great detriment to the comfort of my arthritic dog. When he began to really suffer from the condition, he was literally stuck wherever he had chosen to lay down. The laminate and hardwood flooring did not allow him any traction when trying to get up and move to another room. A few strategically placed throw rugs and runners gave him that extra boost when trying to switch from a reclined to an upright position.
Splurge on a Piece of Low Furniture
My darling dogs have always been spoiled and pampered. They are accustomed to napping on my couch and love seat whenever the mood strikes them. Unfortunately, the height of my living room furniture makes it very difficult for my arthritic dog to successfully make the climb. I purchased a futon and placed it in a corner of the living room. My golden retriever finds it much easier to navigate that shorter height when he wants to settle in for an afternoon nap. Not only can he relax in comparable comfort, he does not need to tax his aching joints to do so. Large Orthopedic Dog Beds is also something I plan to get my dog so that he doesn’t have to make the climb. They come in various sizes with bolsters so your dog can lay and stretch out.
Get in Tune with Your Canine Friend.
Learn your dog’s non verbal cues and signs of distress. While canine arthritis can be managed for a time and steps can be taken to minimize the discomfort, the condition is painful and debilitating. Shortly after my golden began to exhibit signs of arthritis, he developed a signature bark that indicated when he was in need of something. I now am able to recognize his messages of thirst, a need to go outside or a problem in getting up. He very clearly lets me know when he is having a bad day and needs a bit of help in meeting his needs. Paying attention to your dog’s expressions and sounds will allow you to be sensitive to his needs and offer a bit of comfort on particularly painful and challenging days.