As with humans, as our dog ages, pains begin to appear. The joints are exceptionally delicate, and there are more and more cases of dogs diagnosed with arthritis. Food is one of the factors to control, so from My Animals, we give you some guidelines.
Arthritis in dogs
It is believed that approximately one in five dogs suffer from arthritis. While it is a joint disorder that can occur at any age, older dogs are the most likely to suffer. In general, it can be said that arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes inflammation of the joints, both in elbows and knees.
Some symptoms that dogs with arthritis have are the following:
- Difficulty sitting or getting up
- Stiff limbs.
- Signs of pain or groans when touching the affected areas.
- Reluctance to climb stairs or other obstacles.
Dogs with arthritis need special care. Being a degenerative disease, the best treatment is to apply palliative care that reduces pain and delays its progress. At the level of quality of life, orthopedic beds or joint protectors are helpful. But did you know that food can also help you?
The importance of the diet
If we want to help our dog have a life as bearable as possible, it is interesting to modify the natural food and add some beneficial nutritional supplements. One of the most effective components to fight arthritis is collagen, the substance that is perhaps the most decisive in maintaining joint flexibility.
Collagen is part of the cartilage, which is responsible for keeping the joints cushioned. Therefore, an extra contribution of both cartilage and collagen in the diet will be very beneficial for your pet.
If you do not know very well where to find this extra supply of cartilage, you should know that the bones contain high proportions of this, so you can occasionally include them in the diet.
As for collagen, there are supplements notably indicated to increase its intake and synthesis. However, there are many high protein foods – such as fish or meat – that much help the dog synthesize the collagen naturally.
As an additional measure, adding moderate amounts of Omega-3 to the diet can help your dog cope with the inflammation caused by the disease. Coconut or krill oil contains significant amounts of omega-3.
Dogs with arthritis: diet and exercise
Apart from modifying the nutritional contribution, it is essential to remember that the more you eat, the worse. Overweight is one of the great enemies of the joints, because the more we weigh our dog, the more work the joints have to do to support it.
Therefore, avoiding overweight is one of the highest in dogs with arthritis. We must make sure to give our dog a balanced diet, with quality ingredients and respecting the amounts indicated for its weight and age.
Physical exercise can also help our pets. In this case, the activity should be moderate but constant, as it will help strengthen your joints and prevent our dog from getting more fat from the bill. Taking daily walks or taking them for a swim are two of the most effective exercise guidelines for dogs with arthritis.