It can be stressful and disheartening to see your furry buddy with arthritis. Arthritis is not only a common ailment in humans, but it’s also quite common in dogs. In fact, osteoarthritis (OA) affects almost 25% of dogs as a chronic disease.
Arthritis can cause your dog’s joints to feel stiff and painful. Luckily, dealing with your dog’s arthritis doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several ways to help your dog feel comfortable, relieve their pain, maintain their quality of life and even possibly save on prescription medications for your pets with Inside Rx Pets.
How to Support Your Dog With Arthritis
Make Them More Comfortable
Arthritis means there’s inflammation in your dog’s joints. Inflammation and pain can reduce your dog’s mobility so they’re unable to walk with ease. One of the most effective ways to deal with your dog’s arthritis is to tailor the environment to make your dog more comfortable.
Laying down carpet or rugs can help your dog get better traction and make it softer for them to walk on. You can also lay down anti-skid mats, such as a yoga mat, in slippery areas of your house, especially if the floor is hardwood or laminate. Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Long nails can interfere with your dog’s ability to walk. Keep their nails short to improve traction on the floor. You can also ask your vet or groomer to do this for you. If your dog needs more help, anti-slip socks and booties are available to improve your dog’s grip on the floor, making it easier for them to walk around your home.
Install a Ramp or Step
Your pup may have trouble accessing the bed or couch with arthritis. In this case, you can place a gradual ramp or step so they can get to hard-to-reach areas. If your dog has trouble climbing onto the couch or into your car, you can use a ramp or step that isn’t too steep and has good traction. Ramps with a rubber covering are often a great idea for dogs with arthritis.
Get a Comfortable Dog Bed
Help your dog feel more comfortable by getting a good dog bed. Well-padded beds can help take the pressure off your dog’s joints. You can also get an orthopedic dog bed that provides adequate support specifically for dogs with arthritis or other complications. A dog bed that is low to the ground is also ideal so they can get in and out of it with ease. Assist Your Dog With a Harness or Wheelchair
Your dog’s arthritis may progress or worsen, requiring extra assistance for walking. You can get a comfortable harness to assist your dog in need. You can also use a sheet or towel as a sling to support your dog up while walking or climbing stairs. In severe cases, a dog wheelchair can help dogs with worsened symptoms.
Maintain Reasonable Exercise
Exercise is an important part of helping your dog live a healthier life, even if they don’t have arthritis. Taking your dog on walks and keeping them moving can help keep their muscles strong. Still, be patient and reasonable with what exercise your dog can handle. Depending on the severity of the arthritis, you can make adjustments to your dog’s exercise schedule. Talk to your veterinarian about the best exercise regimen for your pup.
Use Medications and Supplements
To help relieve the pain from arthritis, your dog’s vet may recommend medications and/or supplements. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like meloxicam, can help relieve pain, inflammation and discomfort. Supplements containing fish oil may be recommended for inflammation as well. If the veterinarian prescribes your pet with medication or supplements to help with their pain, be sure to see if you can save using Inside Rx Pets.
Dealing With Your Dog’s Arthritis Together
Prescription medications to treat dog arthritis can be expensive. With a prescription savings card, like the one from Inside Rx Pets, you may be able to save on human medications prescribed to your pet. Simply search the medication and the Inside Rx pricing tool will show you discounts at pharmacies near you. Then, download your free Inside Rx Pets savings card and show it at the pharmacy to save.