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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

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Arthritic pain can be as crippling to our pets as it is to their owners, particularly in the dead of winter. If you've noticed your dog or cat moving a little slower these days, they may have arthritis, also called degenerative joint disease (DJD). The ailment is common in older, as well as long-backed dogs and cats. While there are a number of ways this disease can be treated, a combination of prescription medication and natural methods are often considered most effective.

Weight Management

Ensure your pet is at their optimal weight. In most cases, you should be able to feel the pet’s ribcage. Both dogs and cats should have a slight “tuck” towards their hips.

Diet[/heading]

Making small changes to your pets diet can help alleviate the pain of arthritis. Diets that are low in fat and carbohydrates are optimal, but difficult to find. Instead, consider offering vegetable treats, such as celery and carrots.

Playtime[/heading]

Take your pet for a walk and realize the benefits of exercise for both you and your favorite canine. Playtime should consist of focused movement rather than ‘jumpy” movements. Popular ways to help decrease stress in arthritic joints can include: Swimming, walking on a treadmill, and other low-impact sports.

Massage[/heading]

Massage and stretching can be healing for you and your pets. While massaging the shoulder or knee of an animal, you will likely experience a drop in your own blood pressure!

Natural Supplements[/heading]

Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and omega fatty acids can all decrease arthritic pain. These supplements can be found naturally in foods, or given in tablet or liquid form. However, it is important to note that you should never give your pets any type of medication without first discussing with your veterinarian.

Cold Laser Therapy[/heading]

Use of the Cold Laser on Pets can be invaluable in immediately relieving a pet’s pain level. While initially developed for treating chronic pain in humans, professionals have discovered it is equally effective in treating pets.

[heading style="2" color="#996633" style_color="#996633"]Heated Pet Beds[/heading]

There are many Heated Beds on the market that will help ease the aching bones of older dogs and cats. There are many different types of heated beds (and some specialty heaters that you can add to specific carriers and favorite mats. 

While many therapies focus on treating inflammation and pain, it is also important to help the joint heal. By using a combination of alternative and traditional medicine, you can manage your pet’s pain and facilitate healing.

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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