5 Ways to Help Your Dog with Arthritis

Super Smiley, blog dog here, and I don’t have arthritis, but I have dog friends who do, and it can be sad to see them slow down and not play anymore.

So this is my first thought. If your dog seems to be slowing down, don’t just think it’s normal because “he’s getting older.” Instead take him to his veterinarian, because when he’s diagnosed, you can take specific action to make his life better.

Who gets it? Osteoarthritis affects one in five dogs in their lifetime. Most are senior dogs, but it can affect younger dogs as well.

What is it? Arthritis affects the joints, which is the place where two bones come together like in a hip or shoulder or in the spine where the vertebrae are next to each other. There can be bone spurs, inflammation and degeneration, all of which cause pain.

Symptoms or signs your dog may have arthritis:

  • Seems “off.” This can be a sign that he’s in pain
  • Appetite is off. This can be a sign of pain too
  • Difficulty moving or walks with a limp
  • Unwilling to move like he normally does
  • Slow to get up or to go up or down stairs
  • Seems like he can’t get comfortable
  • Cries out

This all sounds terrible, but Megan’s got some ways you can help your dog if he’s diagnosed with arthritis.

Good job Super Smiley! This is a very important topic, and like you said, the very first thing to do right away is to take your dog to his veterinarian to find out what’s going on.

5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Dog

  1. Keep him warm! Winter cold can make arthritis symptoms worse, so here are some simple remedies. Get him a sweater, a heated pet bed or a heating pad for sleeping. Ask your veterinarian about the heat elements to confirm they are OK.
  2. Weight Control! Carrying excess weight can further stress the already stressed joints. This can make him less likely to want to move, which will contribute to more weight gain. We can support our dog’s weight loss by also reducing his food intake and switching out part of it for low calorie treats like carrots and broccoli. But be sure to ask your veterinarian about diet changes.
  3. Supplements: Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can help reduce inflammation and support joint function if started before arthritis becomes too advanced. Products like PetArmor for Dogs Joint-Eze PLUS provide these supplements in a soft and tasty chewable. Again, be sure to ask your vet if this is OK.
  4. Rx: Your vet may prescribe medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are effective in dogs and humans.
  5. Alternative Support: Acupuncture releases endorphins, which can help reduce pain. This may also be good if your pet can’t tolerate the prescription drugs. Also, acupuncture can be done in conjunction with and as a support to the prescription drugs.

Super Smiley and I are keeping our fingers and paws crossed that your dog doesn’t have arthritis. But if that day comes, one of the best things you can do is first know what to do and have a plan.

For now, stay warm!

And Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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