Dogs of every age, size and breed need hip and joint support. Learn some simple things you can do to keep them healthy and active.
Hip and joint care is important for all dogs, big and small, young and old. It’s true that large and giant breeds, like Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes, and overweight dogs are more prone to hip and joint issues because of their size, weight, and genetics, but all dogs can suffer from it, especially as they age.
Fortunately, with lifelong continual support, dogs can have stronger hips and joints, less discomfort and better mobility, so they can stay active and enjoy their favorite activities for as long as possible. Here are some ways you can help maintain your dog’s healthy hips and joints:
Schedule your dog’s routine wellness exam with your veterinarian
The frequency of these checkups depends on the dog’s age and health status, but once or twice a year is average for a healthy adult dog. During this appointment, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination that includes observing how your dog walks, stands, and generally moves their joints. The veterinarian may suggest specific treatment or nutrition if they feel your dog could benefit from them. Catching issues like joint swelling and bone deterioration early can make treatment more effective.
Ensure that your dog gets the right exercise
It’s very important for your dog to get the type and duration of exercise that’s best for their body. Too little activity can lead to stiffness and weight gain, which puts extra stress on joints. Too much activity can also wear on the joints. Regular low-to-moderate exercise is best for older dogs to maintain muscle mass and flexibility. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for dogs, helping to improve muscle tone and range of motion without putting too much strain on joints. Use a canine life jacket if your dog isn’t a strong swimmer, or talk to your veterinarian about hydrotherapy.
Keep your dog comfortable at home
Make sure your dog has a supportive place to rest inside, such as an orthopedic dog bed made with thick memory foam. During the winter, your dog may need extra help staying warm. Maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, offer warm blankets, and consider dressing your dog in a sweater or coat for winter walks. And never leave them outside for an extended amount of time.
Keep your dog safe at home
In addition to other safety practices, like keeping toxins away from your pets, make sure that your dog can safely walk on your floors and easily access necessary areas of your home. Lay down additional rugs where needed on hard floors to prevent slipping, and consider ramps to assist older dogs with stairs.
Incorporate massage into your dog’s grooming routine
Like humans, massage can help dogs relax, improve circulation, and reduce pain and swelling. It’s therapeutic for both dogs and dog parents!
Feed proper nutrition to manage weight and support healthy joints
Maintaining a healthy body condition is critical for hip and joint support. Dogswell™ Hip & Joint dog food, treats and supplements are intentionally designed to promote hip and joint health – with added glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory ingredients – while giving dogs the full meaty flavors they love.
Don’t wait until your dog starts slowing down or showing signs of distress. With both proactive maintenance and reactive treatment, you can help your dog move freely and comfortably throughout their life.