Don’t You Wish You Knew What Your Dog Was Thinking?
Don’t You Wish You Knew What Your Dog Was Thinking? We sure do. . . .
If only our pets could talk. Sometimes I wonder what my dog would say and other times I’m glad she can’t talk because I’m sure I’d hear an earful about what our cats and potbellied piggy did all day. Some things are just better left unknown.
But when my dogs have a problem or seem sick, I would give anything if they could talk and just tell me what’s wrong so I could fix it. I have to play detective sometimes and try to figure out what’s going on by watching closely and thinking things through, which can be hard when your emotions are running high because you know your dog is suffering or in pain.
Some things don’t take all that much detective work because we now know more about our furry children than ever before. I know if my Great Dane TJ could talk, he’d probably tell me his joints hurt, because Great Danes are big dogs and hauling that lumbering gentle body around all day is a miracle in itself. Everyday activities take a toll on him, and as a responsible pet parent I know I need to do something to help him- because our choices are our dogs’ voices.
You too, can be a proactive pet parent and take care of your pet by keeping him healthy and happy through preventative measures, like healthy joint support and weight management.
An Overweight Dog is a Hurting Dog
If your dog is overweight, no matter his breed size, he’s hurting on a daily basis. His body simply isn’t designed to carry any extra weight. And when he has to pack around those extra pounds, it puts added stress on his heart, his lungs, and his joints.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight that is ideal for his breed is a must to keep him from hurting. It can be hard to say, “No” to those big begging puppy eyes when he wants a bite or two of your sandwich, but limiting his food intake is an essential part of taking care of him well enough to make sure he’s around for many years.
Breeds with Joint Problems
Specific dog breeds are known to be predisposed to joint problems and need special care and preventative actions to keep them healthy and pain free. Some of those breeds are Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Rottweilers. Large dogs are also at a higher risk for joint problems, even as puppies.
If you notice your dog walking with a limp, stiffening when he moves, or exhibiting signs of pain with activity, he might have arthritis in his joints. Just like people, this can happen after a mild injury (one you may not have even noticed) or as the years go by for your dog. Even dogs as young as five can start to exhibit signs of arthritis!
What Doesn’t Work
Studies have shown that common medicines used to treat joint problems in humans can lead to some very nasty diseases like strokes, cancer, bleeding, stomach ulcers, and abnormalities in the nervous and immune systems. Even natural treatments like chondroitin have come under fire in recent years as not being effective in treating joint problems. We just want our dogs to be healthy and pain free, but finding something that helps can be difficult.
While it may be tempting to use “people medicines” on your dog, like ibuprofen or arthritis creams, these can be very dangerous to dogs. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving any people medicines to your dog to obtain proper dosing information and find out if those medications are safe and appropriate for your dog. If you’ve applied over the counter ointments to yourself and then petted your dog with the medicine still on your hands, he can become sick from licking them off his fur later or from the small amounts he absorbs while being petting. Always wash your hands after applying medicine to yourself or others before your come in contact with your pets and never use these creams on your pets without talking to your veterinarian first.
What Does Work
We know that moving the joints regularly and gently helps with arthritis and many other joint conditions. Frequent gentle exercise is best. Swimming with your dog is ideal as water exercise helps limit jarring movements and provides a little extra resistance when he moves which can help him strengthen his muscles.
Massage isn’t just for people anymore. There are special veterinarians and even massage therapists who have been trained to treat dogs who can help provide pain relief for your dog. There’s something very healing and powerful about the human touch. Your dog can benefit from the warmth and skilled pressure a massage therapist can provide. If you can’t locate a massage treatment for your dog in your area, learn to do it yourself. There are many instructional videos on YouTube to help you learn.
Moist heat packs applied to your dog’s joints will help relieve pain and inflammation. Just be sure to test the temperature on your own skin before using a heat pack on your dog. Special heated dog beds can also be helpful as can simply giving your dog a blanket to keep him extra warm when he lies down.
Supporting your dog’s joint health through nutrition is also crucial. Certain foods are known to encourage inflammation in people, like processed foods, carbohydrates, and grains. Avoiding these types of foods in your dog’s diet will help reduce the pain and swelling in his joints. Consider feeding your dog a Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods Diet with raw meat as his primary food source. He can still enjoy doggie-appropriate fresh fruits and vegetables if you choose to feed him those, but by feeding him a raw diet you’re avoiding all those grains, fillers, and chemicals that are often found in commercial dog foods that can lead to increased inflammation.
Adding a joint health supplement to your dog’s daily routine is also an important part of treating joint pain in your dog. TruDog’s FREE ME is specially designed to relieve pain and support your dog’s joint health with all natural ingredients. It’s veterinarian approved and recommended for dogs of all sizes with joint problems. Pet parents swear by FREE ME (you can get it at Amazon or the TruDog Store) and you and your dog will, too.
Your dog doesn’t have to live with joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Talk to your veterinarian about what you can do today to help your dog live an active, pain-free life. Your dog may not be able to talk, but if he could, he’d tell you you’re the best pet parent ever for loving him the way you do.