Pets

How To Maintain Healthy Joints In Your Aging Dog

If you own a German Shepherd, a Golden Retriever, a Labrador Retriever, a Newfoundland, a St. Bernard, a Rotweiller, a Mastiff, a Great Dane, or an Old English sheepdog, watch out. Your dog may develop painful and debilitating joint pain as the dog ages.

aging dog joints

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Large dogs, particularly these pure breeds, tend to develop both developmental as well as degenerative problems.

However, joint problems aren’t just experienced in large dogs. Daschunds, Corgis, and Basset Hounds have long bodies and short legs. As a result, they are prone to back problems.

The Two Main Categories Of Treatment For Joint Pain

Vets have at their disposal a number of veterinary drugs to treat arthritis such as:

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

They are such drugs as carprofen, deracoxib, and meloxicam, going by the common names Novox or Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox, and Metacam are often prescribed.

Most dogs tolerate these drugs, but others do not do well at all. Particularly if your Vet has prescribed an NSAID and your dog experiences diarrhea, foul looking and smelling tarry tool, and vomiting along with red skin redness and scabs, stop giving your dog the NSAID and consult your vet.

In addition, vets have at their disposal stronger opiates such as tramadol and Gabapentin.

Give Them Supplements Such As Glucosamine And Chondroitin

What Do Glucosamine And Chondroitin Do For Dogs?

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance used in the treatment of arthritis in humans, dogs, horses, and other animals. It can be an aid in alleviating joint pain and also aid in spinal disc injuries.

Chondroitin is actually a vital part of cartilage and keeps the joints from deteriorating.

Many dog owners supplement their dog’s food by adding either glucosamine, chondroitin, or both.

If this is you and you want to either ease your dog’s joint pain or to keep joint pain to a minimum as they are, I’ve provided these two great links – Proper Diet as well as glucosamine for dogs which will help you get on the right path.

While we’re at it, I would highly suggest that you get more knowledge and familiarize yourself with the essential food nutrients that dogs need to be healthy.

A Closer Look At Joint Problems With Dogs

One of the most common problems with joint pain in dogs, besides the fact that the breed has a tendency to get inherited joint problems, is the dog being overweight.

Keeping your dog slim and trim, and giving them moderate amounts of exercise is often the first advice from a vet other than mild NAISD’s.

Methods Of Helping Your Dog Get To A Healthy Weight

  • Feed your dog fewer carbohydrates by giving him more protein.

  • Reduce the number of high fiber foods you feed him.

  • Feed your dog the right kinds of fats (which essentially means giving your dog a moderate amount of fish oil).

  • Gradually reduce portion size. If you cut too much out too quickly, your dog will notice and complain. However, if you gradually reduce the portion size. A recommendation is to start with approximately 1 ounce for every can of dog food.

  • Consider buying a measuring scale. Eyeballing how much food to give your dog is not the best way to do it. Measure both dry and wet food if you want success in your dog losing weight. Then keep a record, and weigh your dog accordingly.

  • Weigh your dog about every two weeks. The goal is to get about a 3-5% reduction per month. But you have to weigh your dog. You can’t really tell if he’s losing weight by looking at him.

The Dirty Little Secret About Glucosamine And Chondroitin

Buy your glucosamine and chondroitin from a trusted source. This is due to the fact that there are hundreds of brands that are not safe for dogs (and probably not safe for people either.)

One consumer lab found that lead and other unsafe contaminants were frequently found in glucosamine and chromatin supplements. In fact, only about one out of every two met their safety standards.

This is particularly true of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements sourced from China. And a note of caution here, the bottle can say, “Made in the USA” even though the ingredients were sourced from China.

The plain fact is that pet supplements are completely unregulated by the FDA. Sellers are not required to tell the FDA where they are sourced from.

Cheap Chinese and Southeast Asian pet supplements get thousands of animals sick every year, but people keep buying them because they are cheaper.

Buy only lab-grade quality glucosamine and chondroitin and make sure you verify their source as coming from the USA.

Besides adding toxic chemicals, such as lead and arsenic; a substantial amount of products sold as glucosamine supplements for example, contain as few as 1/20th of the amount of glucosamine advertised. And even more shocking is that remains the same case for even some of the most trusted brands.

So be sure that if you are going to add supplements to your dog for joint pain, that you are getting the real deal, not a cheap, toxic substitute.

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