How to Care For Your Aging Dog’s Aches and Pains
As an owner of a four-legged friend, it is our responsibility to take care of their body and make sure they are healthy and pain-free. While it is important to provide proper nutrition and exercise, we must be aware of any age-related aches and pains that may begin to manifest in our canine companions. That is why we put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand what age-related pain looks like in your dog and how to address it.
Here, we’ll discuss the different types of joint pain, the best treatments for your pup’s aches and pains, and the significance of providing adequate nutrition and exercise. Understanding the importance of maintaining your pup’s joint health, will help you prolong their life and keep them healthy and happy for years to come.
Assessing the Cause
The first step in helping your pup is assessing the cause of the pain they’re experiencing. While it’s possible to figure out some things on your own, it’s best to contact a veterinarian for advice as well. Start by thinking about any recent activity or injury that could be causing pain — you may want to consider if your pooch has been playing different types of games or running more frequently than normal, both of which could lead to pain over time.
Once you’ve assessed possible causes, contact a vet for their input. They may have other ideas and be able to recommend more specific treatment options that are tailored to your pet’s individual needs.
Providing Pain Relief
Once you understand why your pooch is hurt, begin providing relief in whatever form works best for them. Over-the-counter medications may be enough, but cold and hot therapies are also effective methods for easing discomfort.
For cold therapy, apply a cold towel or pack wrapped in a cloth for no longer than 15 minutes at a time, or use an ice pack in the same way. For hot therapy, moisten a towel with warm — not hot — water and massage inflamed areas gently, or apply a hot water bottle wrapped in a cloth for around 30 minutes at a time. You may also consider getting a dog massager to help with your pet’s discomfort as well.
In some cases, you may need to seek veterinary treatment for your pup’s aches and pains. Your vet may prescribe medications to help manage the pain as well as physical therapy services, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the discomfort and the underlying issues causing it.
Proper nutrition is key when it comes to healing, so make sure your dog is getting adequate nutrition while they’re suffering from body aches and pains. Choose a premium food specifically tailored for dogs that contains natural ingredients and supplements like glucosamine and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in joint tissues and provide support for developing bones and cartilage.
If your pup requires additional vitamins or minerals due to age, injury, or illness, speak with your vet about supplementing properly. Use their clinically proven products as directed, for over-supplementation can be harmful in large doses.
Continuing regular physical activity can provide long-term health benefits and encourage healing, too! Stay on top of your pup’s walking schedule if their injury allows, or consider activities like swimming that require less stress on injured areas if necessary. You can even do certain physical therapy exercises recommended by your vet such as stretches and massages designed for them depending on their needs. Just remember, rest is important as well, so don’t overdo it!
Finally, be sure you are providing a comfortable living environment for your pup where they can rest and heal easily. Access to plenty of fresh water and soft bedding material such as blankets or pillows that won’t irritate any affected areas of the body during recovery is important during the healing process. Lastly, provide them with a safe space, such as a crate or kennel, where they know they can lie down undisturbed until they have fully recovered and feel ready to engage in more activity with you again.
Caring for your pup’s hurting body doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the proper steps outlined in this guide. By providing appropriate pain relief, maintaining proper nutrition, staying active relative to their situation, and creating a comfortable home environment where they can rest and heal safely, you will quickly get your pup back up on all four paws again!