For those of us dog lovers who are lucky enough to still have our Canine Kid around in her golden years, it’s good to know that there are senior dog supplies available just for her.
O.K., maybe not just for her, but specifically for all dogs like her. Dogs that have faithfully loved and protected their humans for years, and are now approaching a venerable ripe old age. Unfortunately, health issues often go hand in hand with advancing years. One of the most common and painful of these conditions is canine arthritis.
Luckily, we humans have invented, discovered, and developed all sorts of things to keep our precious pets with us for as long as possible, while also keeping them as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible.
What is canine arthritis?
Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of the joints; whether one joint or multiple joints. Since both humans and animals use their joints in basic mobility, arthritis pain can range from being a nuisance to being downright crippling, depending on the severity of the condition.
There are different types of arthritis, but the most common type in dogs is canine osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when there is deterioration of joint cartilage. This causes chronic joint inflammation because when the cartilage within the joint wears down, it results in the bone surfaces rubbing together. Unfortunately, the increased bone-on-bone friction causes even further damage to the joint cartilage.
Think of it as a “cartilage cushion” wearing down between the bones of your dog’s joints. You can well understand how this causes pain and discomfort. This cartilage deterioration usually happens through wear and tear and the normal aging process, which is why senior dogs are at the highest risk for osteoarthritis. Learn more about arthritis in dogs.
How can I tell if my dog has osteoarthritis?
Since this condition causes joint discomfort and stiffness, the first sign you may see is that your cuddly canine just doesn’t seem as keen to exercise anymore. She may be reluctant to go up or down stairs, or to jump onto her favorite chair. Maybe she takes longer getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially after a long period of rest; then after she moves around a bit, her ease of motion improves.
Cold and damp weather conditions usually worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. You might notice her shivering slightly. Dogs do shiver from being cold but it can also be an involuntary response to pain.
She may show lameness or an overall stiff gait. Whining occasionally for no apparent reason could also be a clue that your precious pet is suffering from some degree of pain or discomfort. Some older dogs just become more lethargic and grumpy.
But you know your dog better than anyone. You are able to detect the subtle changes in her behavior that she’s communicating to you. She’s reaching out to you.
Thanks to senior dog supplies specifically designed to alleviate canine osteoarthritis, you can reach right back to her.
Your Dog’s Semi-Retirement
In her lifetime, she will never fully retire from the job of being Your Dog. She knows her job and it’s a multi-tasker, but thankfully, it’s part of her very nature. Let’s look at what she does in the occupation of being Your Dog:
- Loyal companion (and silent but sympathetic confidante)
- Watchdog (guard dog, and fierce protector)
- Faithful friend (with a furry shoulder to cry on)
- Joyful exercise partner (long walks and jogs on the nature trail)
- Fishing buddy (and couch potato pal)
- Children’s playmate (and unwitting adventure accomplice)
- Man, woman, and child’s Best Friend (unconditional giver of LOVE)
The job of being your dog is a joyful privilege and a labor of love for her. If she could continue devoting her life to you without pain or discomfort, she certainly would. Lucky for her, you can help her out in her later years with a few “semi-retirement” gifts. Check out these senior dog supplies to minimize her arthritic pain and keep her as comfortable and happy as possible in her later years.
What Does Your Dog Do in the Course of a Day?
SLEEPING / NAPPING: Orthopedic Dog Bed ~ Before the day in your household even begins, everyone is hopefully waking up from a restful sleep, including your dog. Most senior dogs spend a good amount of time in their dog beds. Not only is it a place for sleeping and napping, but it’s also a safe haven for her.
An orthopedic dog bed can make your dog’s sleeping, napping, or resting experience a beneficial one in regard to her osteoarthritis. But many dog beds claim to be “orthopedic,” so before you buy one, make sure it is made of memory foam. Memory foam dog beds are the most highly recommended beds for senior canines.An orthopedic dog bed with memory foam helps ease the pain of her aching joints, and the stiff foam allows her to get up much more easily after laying down for a while. The bed gives extra support for her spine, joints and muscles while she gets her rest and relaxation. She won’t toss and turn as much and the memory foam distributes her weight evenly which helps relieve pressure on the joints.
These orthopedic beds will also prevent your dog from sinking to the hard floor or ground, and the memory foam will form to her body, giving the most benefit and comfort. FYI, an orthopedic dog bed with memory foam can also help prevent future joint problems in a younger dog.
EATING: Elevated Food and Water Bowls ~ The canine joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the hip, elbow and knee joints; However, this condition can cause pain in any joint in the dog’s body, including the shoulders and neck.
Having worked as a vet tech in a teaching animal hospital for many years, I noticed that sometimes owners of senior dogs would have a common complaint. It would go something like this: “I don’t understand it Doctor, she seems hungry but she won’t eat. But she will eat all her food if I hand-feed her.”
It’s not uncommon for neck and shoulder pain to make a dog reluctant to bend and stretch to reach a food or water bowl. A raised dog feeder will help her eat, drink, and swallow more comfortably.This top rated elevated feeder comes in small, medium and large, and is available with or without an airtight storage compartment below for storing dog food.
GOING FOR A WALK! Dog Support and Rehabilitation Harness ~ It’s important for your senior dog to get out for exercise and fresh air, but sometimes bad arthritis pain can make it hardly seem worth her while. The walk down the porch steps alone may be difficult for her, and painful joints will keep her from enjoying a walk the way she used to.
Luckily, a support and rehabilitation harness makes it easy for you to literally lend her a helping hand and loving support. This support harness is designed especially for old, injured, or disabled dogs, and it comes in different sizes and styles so you can choose the right one for your precious pet. Best of all, it’s tested, used, trusted, and recommended by veterinarians.
FAMILY OUTING: Just because your dog is a senior citizen doesn’t mean she wants to be left behind when the Fam goes to the park, on vacation, or on a camping trip. But she may not be so adept anymore at jumping up into the SUV, car, or truck. Get her some portable stairs!These portable lightweight steps by Cozy Pet are easily movable but strong enough for a 150lb. (63 kg.) dog. The bottom is non-skid, and the steps themselves are padded for extra comfort, with a machine washable cover. It comes in 3-step and 4-step.
HAVING A LAZY, LEISURELY, LOUNGE: All-Over Massage Roller for Pets ~ When your dog is chilaxin,’ (just drowsing with sleepy eyes), this is the perfect time for you to give her a massage. She’s already in a tranquil state and you can enhance her relaxation while relieving her discomfort, with a total body massage.
The smooth rolling motion of this handheld massaging tool stimulates blood flow to her joints and muscles, helping to relieve osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. The massaging process also releases endorphins in your precious pooch, making her more relaxed and happy. A doggie massage can also be a great bonding experience for you and your pet!
ALL DAY, EVERY DAY: Joint Pain Relief Given Nutritionally: Senior Advanced Multivitamin Bites ~ This daily supplement is especially formulated for senior dogs with arthritic joint pain. It is a chewable treat that is natural pain relief from the inside out.
But this 8-in-1 supplement doesn’t just address canine osteoarthritis. It also supports other senior dog issues such as digestive and immune system health, bladder function, skin and hair coat, cardiovascular health, vision, and overall cognitive brain function. It’s a comprehensive daily supplement to completely support the health of geriatric dogs.
Senior Dog Supplies = A Comfortable Canine Semi-Retirement
More than half of all senior dogs (about 65%) suffer from arthritis to some degree. Now you know there are ways that you can help your faithful old friend stay as comfortable and content as possible in her later years.
They say that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I think in the case of all the great stuff that people have developed for dogs’ health, comfort, and longevity over the years, a great deal of LOVE went into that too.
Your dog has always been there for you, and now you can be there for her too; especially when she really needs your love, help and support. She wants to keep being Your Dog for as long as she can. Help her do it with comfort and dignity.
Thank you for visiting MyGeriatricDog and for reading my article on senior dog supplies to help your older canine kid deal with the painful effects of osteoarthritis. If you have any questions, comments, observations, or experiences you want to share, please leave them in the comment section below! Thanks Again!