Dog Arthritis Signs

As your dog gets older, it's important to be aware of the most common arthritis signs so that you can keep track of his overall health. Arthritis is a degenerative condition which affects the bones and joints and tends to arise in older dogs, although it may strike at any age. By being aware of the major signs of arthritis, you'll be able to identify the condition early on and help to have your pet diagnosed by a vet quickly so that you can begin to address the issue.


Dogs suffering from joint and bone pain will not be able to communicate that pain to you in the same way that a human can. However, there are still signs that your pet is feeling some sort of discomfort as he moves about. In particular, you should watch to see if your pet begins to move more slowly in general. Pay attention if he doesn't seem to be interested in walking, running, jumping or playing. In particular, notice if he takes extra time to lie down or to stand up, or if he seems slow to respond when you call him for a meal. The slowness may be most noticeable in the morning or at night, or when the weather is cold.

Licking at Joints

Dogs experiencing joint pain often don't know what the problem is with their bodies. They may begin to assume that it has something to do with an open sore or a wound on their body. If this is the case, it's not uncommon to see your pet try to lick his legs or any other joint that he can reach with his mouth. There will not be any outward sign of damage or injury, however.


Dogs with arthritis tend to have a difficult time rousing up energy in general. Take note of how much time your pet spends sleeping. If he seems to be lying down more than he normally would, or if he refuses to wake up or get up in the morning or when there is some sort of excitement in the house, he may be suffering from arthritis.


Watch for a change in your dog's gait as well. This is often attributable to stiffness in his legs, which is a common symptom of arthritis. If your dog appears to have a difficult time bending one or more of his legs, or if you notice that his walk appears to be unusual or of a different pattern than normal, it's possible that he's suffering from early stages of arthritis or a similar condition.

If you notice any of these arthritis signs, it's a good idea to take note of them and schedule an appointment with your vet right away. Because these signs may come about in normal older dogs, it's crucial that you have a vet examine your pet in order to make a proper diagnosis.