Tips for Managing Joint Stiffness in Dogs

Joint stiffness is a problem that typically appears in senior dogs over the age of 7 or 8. Joint stiffness is associated with arthritis, as the swelling of the joints will lead to the incapacity to perform certain movements. If your pet is affected by stiff joints, he will most likely be limping or hesitate to jump and perform more complex movements. Firstly, you need to identify the problem causing joint stiffness (i.e. injury, arthritis, bone cancer) get suitable treatment and change the dog’s lifestyle.

Administer Joint Supplements

Joint supplements such as glucosamine or glucosamine sulfate should be administered to a dog with stiff joints. These supplements are meant to support the joints. Glucosamine is normally produced in the dog’s bones and joints and when the dog is getting older, the production of glucosamine decreases and joint pain and stiffness can occur.

These joint supplements should be administered according to the prescriptions of the vet. An overdose of glucosamine may cause certain health problems.

Low Impact Exercise

Dogs that suffer from arthritis or joint stiffness should perform exercise and daily activities, as they need to move. Moderate or low impact exercise is recommended for dogs with joint stiffness. Swimming, walking or exercising on the treadmill are among activities that can be performed by dogs with stiff joints.

Frequent Massages

Massages can be integrated in the grooming routine and may have a beneficial effect of the dog’s joints. You should use a moisturizing cream or creams that contain mint or camphor, which will have a cooling effect and will provide temporary pain relief.

Remove Obstacles from Home

If your pet has stiff joints, he won’t be able to perform certain more ample movements such as jumping over different levels. For this reason, you should remove any objects that you consider could be obstacles in your pet’s way.

At the same time, you should offer your pet help when you see he cannot perform certain movements.

Get a Soft Bed

You should get a comfortable bed for your pet. If your pet has stiff joints, he is likely to spend most of his time in the bed, so it should be soft, so that the joints will be comfortable.

You may also place a few pillows in your home, as well as padding on the furniture and areas where the dog is more likely to bump into.

Pain Medication

Dogs with joint stiffness are in pain and the pain should be managed with medication. The vet can recommend a few anti inflammatory drugs (steroidal or non steroidal), which will reduce the swelling of the joints, leading to less pain.

Pain medication will also be recommended, especially if the swelling cannot be controlled. There are different types of pain medication; some are stronger, while others have a milder effect. The vet will recommend the drugs that are suitable for the condition of your dog.