Just like all dogs, small dogs and toy dog breeds can suffer from joint pain and arthritis later in their life. But is this inevitable? While we can’t reverse the effects of aging, we can help prevent or at least alleviate our dogs’ joint pain. Here’s where you can start:
Exercise can help strengthen our dogs’ joints and muscles, but only if it’s done right. Some types of exercise can actually hurt, not help, our dogs’ joints. Walking up hilly areas, for instance, puts more pressure on the joints. But there are other ways to exercise that can lighten the impact:
- Walking in areas with no steep inclines
- Indoor games
- Play sessions where your dog stays close to the ground
Does your dog love to snuggle up on the couch at the end of the day? Then make it easier for them to get up on the couch by installing a small ramp. Small dogs often struggle to get up onto high places like couches or chairs. As a result, they’re putting a lot of pressure on their joints, but a ramp will allow them to climb up with ease.
Watch their weight
Overweight or obese dogs are more likely to struggle with joint problems than healthy dogs. After all, the more weight a dog carries, the more pressure there is on the joints to keep them upright. If your dog is struggling with weight problems, it may be time to put them on a special diet. As always, though, be sure to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.
Get them cozy
Upgrading your dog’s bedding can alleviate any pressure on their joints. A memory foam mattress coupled with a soft, cozy blanket can be the perfect thing for your dog to relax into after a long day. Keep their beds low to the ground so that it’s easier for them to get in and out each day.