Arthritis is a disease that affects not only humans. Dogs of all ages can suffer from arthritis. When it comes to young dogs, diseases such as dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), or other growth diseases are more of a concern. Osteoarthritis is a very common disease for older dogs. It is one of the most common types of arthritis and it is caused by the degeneration of cartilage. The role of cartilage is to absorb shock and in the absence of it the bones start rubbing against each other causing pain, loss of mobility, inflammation and an overall decrease in quality of life.
Some of the signs of osteoarthritis include stiffness when getting up or lying down, limping, constantly slowing down on walks and visible discomfort of pain. It is important to recognize these signs early to begin treatment in order to slow the progression of the disease.
When it comes to arthritis you should never let your dog get overweight. Due to the extra fat he can ruin his health and increase the risk of developing many other diseases. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition and the excess fat can cause inflammation.
Additionally, the extra weight causes additional stress to your dog’s joints. This is why it is highly recommended that you help your dog maintain normal body weight.
If your dog is already overweight you should put him on a diet. Although your dog may miss some of his favorite treats, he won’t miss the pain in his joints.
A healthy diet can change your dog’s life if he is suffering from arthritis or has any other kind of joint problems.
If you are feeding your dog commercial foods then it is very likely that it contains grains. Although they aren’t very dangerous, grains can increase inflammation and worsen the symptoms of arthritis therefore they should be avoided if your dog has arthritis.
You should feed your dog sweet potatoes or other brightly colored fruits and vegetables because they provide him with important phytonutrients and antioxidants that help with the inflammation.
Other great foods for your dog’s diet are oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, all of which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties and can help increase joint mobility. It also helps your dog with heart, eye and skin health.
Although eggs and meat can worsen the inflammation you can still feed them to your dog, just leaner cuts.
Along with a healthy diet you can give your dog several supplements to help him with his arthritis symptoms.
The most well known supplements that you can give to your dog are glucosamine and chondroitin. They help with the cartilage and stimulate the body in order to make more cartilage. In addition, they provide lubrication to the joints.
Another supplement that you can give to your dog is MSM, which helps your dog to use vitamins and other nutrients in a more effective manner.
With just a bit of help from you, your dog can enjoy a long and happy life.