We all adore our dogs and will not spare anything to ensure that it lives a long and fulfilling life. But as are the cases for humans, dogs can also be beset with diseases or age-related problems. One common problem that almost all dogs will have is arthritis. If you notice your dog limping in one of its legs or struggling to stand up, this can indicate that your dog is suffering from arthritis.
What is arthritis in dogs
Arthritis is a problem that besets most dogs, especially when they start to age. It is the stiffness and swelling of joints that is actually a common problem for dogs. When the joints start to be stiff and swell up, it can cause friction between the dog’s joints. Can you imagine what the pain that the dog goes through when, let’s say the bones at their hips starts to rub against each other as a result of the swelling up of the cartilage? The friction caused by the rubbing of the bones causes the dog to be in pain.
Do you also know that small bone fragments can be chipped off due to the friction of the joints? These can also result in the formation of new bones around the joint too. While usually the formation of new bones is good for younger dogs, it is not the case for the older dogs, especially if the bones are at the joints. The new bone around the joint will present itself as an additional layer of resistance, causing the dog to be in pain whenever it tries to move.
What causes arthritis in dogs
One of the predominantly reasons for arthritis in dogs is due to age, but arthritis in dogs can also be caused by problems that actually started when the dog is young. If we properly attribute arthritis as the swelling of joints and hence causing friction, then we will know that problems such as bone fracture and ligament damage as causes for arthritis in dogs.
But that’s not the only reasons. Do you know that an imbalanced meal can also cause arthritis in dogs? If you have been feeding your dog with a protein rich diet, then it is very likely that their body frame is too large for the bones to support. When this happens, it will cause damages to the dog’s body structure, and with that it can potentially cause the joints to be form badly, which in turn causes friction to occur when the dog starts to move
Which dog breeds are more susceptible to arthritis?
While arthritis can happen to any dogs, there are some dog breeds that are more susceptible to this problem. The following dog breeds are just some of the ones that can be prone to having this problem:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Pit Bulls
- Bernese mountain dogs
Notice that most of the dogs above are either large dog breed, chunkier in size, or athletic dogs. This really correlates to the causes of arthritis in dogs, since the food in take as well as their daily activities can heavily influence the onset of arthritis in your dog.
How to identify arthritis in dogs
Here are some of the telltale signs that your dogs might be suffering from arthritis.
- Lethargic and refusal to exercise when urged to
- Change in its behavior as well as having a lower mood than usual
- The dog is limping more often than usual
- Rain or cold weather affects the dog’s gait
- You dog has a noticeable lame after it has rested for a longer period
- Excessive licking at joints. Dogs do this in the hope that it can alleviate the pain
- The regular walks are taking a longer than usual time because of the slower speed
- Your dog is starting to be grumpier whenever you try to touch the affected joint
If any of the sigs are evident in your dog, then it is very likely that it is suffering from arthritis
How you can help dogs with arthritis
There are various ways that you can help dogs to manage arthritis. One of the most obvious manner is to bring the dog to the vet, but there are still things that you can do, on a daily basis, for your dog so that the pain is more manageable.
Massaging the dog’s joints allows you to reduce the swelling in the affected area. It also helps to relax the muscles, and hence helping to ease the stiffness in the muscles and joints too.
Whenever you bath the dog, try to use warmer water as it can help to relax the dog’s body. This is important since it helps to ease the stiffness in the joints.
Always ensure that you provide your dog with a well-balanced meal as it helps to keep your dog healthy as well as helping to maintain its weight. Note that obesity in dogs is also a major reason why they can be suffering from arthritis. Try to reduce the protein intake if the dog is tipping the scales. You can always opt to purchase health supplement for your dogs. There are some supplements that are specifically formulated to strengthen the dog’s joints.
We are strong advocates of using orthopedic dog beds for our furry companion. A proper dog bed will allow your pet dog to have a good rest that also supports their joints. Try to get the orthopedic dog beds as they use memory foam which is designed to help alleviate and support the dog’s weight. The dog bed can also keep the dog warm too as opposed to them sleeping on the cold hard floor too.
What’s So Special About Turmeric?
The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti fungal, and anticancer properties. To put it simply, it’s an absolute gem of a medicinal spice, which has impressive results in treating aliments and also as preventative health support.
Turmeric and Inflammation
Systemic inflammation in the body is the plague of modern society for humans and for our faithful friends. Connections have been found between systemic inflammation and conditions such as: Arthritis Eczema Asthma Type 2 diabetes Digestive disease Dental disease Obesity Cancer Heart disease.
Inflammation is a necessary function of the body in order to heal wounds and fight infection. When inflammation remains after the threat or injury has dissipated the body starts to experience negative impact. “Systemic” inflammation is chronic persistent inflammation and is usually caused by diet, lifestyle and stress.
Turmeric is exceptionally remarkable in its anti-inflammatory effect and as such is a must have addition to any dogs diet. Often the existence of inflammation in the body is not apparent until specific health problems arise.
Using turmeric regularly therefor acts a preventative measure. If your dog has a diagnosis or is experiencing symptoms associated with any of the conditions mentioned above, then it goes without saying turmeric is a fantastic and simple addition you can make to your beloved companions diet which will help ease symptoms.
How Do I Get My Dog To Eat Turmeric?
Now you’re on board with the wondrous restorative power of this little yellow spice I guess you’ll be wondering how on earth you actually get your canine companion to down it? Not to worry we have a quick and easy guide Your dog’s body won’t absorb turmeric if it’s ingested in isolation. It must be combined with a healthy oil such as coconut oil. Also black pepper is a must ingredient. A phytochemical in black pepper called peperine can increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%. With all of this in mind here’s a recipe for turmeric paste designed to achieve optimal absorption
- 60g turmeric powder
- 250ml water
- 70ml cold pressed Olive or Coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Place the turmeric and water in a pan, stirring over a gentle heat until you have a thick paste.
- This should take 7 – 10 mins, add more water if required.
- Add the freshly ground black pepper and oil at the END, whisking to incorporate the oil.
- Allow to cool
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 months
You can add the paste directly into your dog’s meals. Be careful to mix in well otherwise you could end up with a yellow stained dog face beaming at you.
Here’s the recommended guideline for dosage:
- Small dogs – start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day
- Medium dogs – start with 1/2 teaspoon per day
- Large dogs – start with 3/4 teaspoon per day
- Giant dogs – start with 1 teaspoon per day