Muscle & Joint Care for Senior Dogs

Muscle & Joint Care for Senior Dogs

As our dogs age, it’s not unusual to see a host of health problems and medical issues develop. One of the most common problems older dogs face are to do with their muscles and joints. You may find your older dog is walking at a slower pace or is finding it difficult to leap onto the sofa like he once could.

Fortunately, there are many simple ways to help your aging, arthritic dog, from upgrading to an orthopaedic bed to switching to a senior dog food formula. Helping to improve your older dog’s quality of life is important so his golden years are as comfortable and as happy as possible.

What are some signs my senior dog is suffering from muscle and joint issues?

Below are some indicators of chronic discomfort due to joint pain, and must be inspected by a vet as soon as possible.

  • Increased irritability
  • Slower pace on walks, lagging behind
  • Slower to get up in the morning
  • Stiffness or limping
  • Increased sleeping
  • Reluctance to play games or go for exercise
  • Reluctance to jump in the car/on furniture or go up or down stairs
  • Excessive licking of a sore joint
  • Swollen joints
  • Muscle loss
  • Discomfort when touched

Muscle and joint pain came come on gradually, and you may not recognise all the signs right away. If you do notice any, it’s important to take them to your local vet to be inspected so they can provide the best treatments and advice going forward.

senior dog sleeping in bed

What can I do to help my senior dog with muscle and joint pains?

There are many simple, inexpensive, and effective things you can get and do to help improve your aging or arthritic dog’s mobility.

Invest in an Appropriate Bed

Senior pups need a good bed as muscle and joint problems are rife when they age. A pain-free, restful sleep is very important for older dogs. It can improve mobility, lessen pain, and improve their quality of life. Dogs who suffer with conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint or circulation problems will also benefit from an orthopaedic or memory foam bed which they can get in and out of easily, like the M-PETS Oleron Memory Foam Mattress,which provides your dog with extra support and comfort.

Molly enjoying her Muscle & Joint Therapy in Kilkenny

Short Grooming Sessions

Watch for signs of discomfort or pain when trimming your senior dog’s coat or nails. Older dogs may not be able to stand as long they once could, so make sure to very slowly and carefully adjust to a more comfortable position. Don’t keep him in the grooming seat too long; it is more ideal to work on your dog for 10 minutes at a time, a few days a week than to expect him to endure longer grooming sessions. If you take him to the grooming studio, simply let your groomer know of their condition-they’d be more than happy to take care of him.

Canine Massage

A canine massage can provide a wide range of physical and psychological benefits for your dog, leaving them feeing relaxed, at ease, as well as lowering anxiety and stress. Canine massage therapy also includes increased oxygenation, relief from pain, improved joint flexibility, as well as miscellaneous benefits to the immune system.

Senior dogs with mobility issues can truly benefit from a canine massage. It can provide relief from muscle tension, soreness, discomfort from arthritis and hip dysplasia through a release of endorphins.

In addition, canine massages can provide emotional well-being for your pet. They are known to calm hyperactivity, anxiousness, and nervousness.

At Petmania Grooming Studios, our three main treatments that include canine massage therapy are;

If you would like to book your dog in for a groom, you can do so by clicking here, or you can call into your local store to see what your options are.

Nutritional Needs

Vet Carol Doyle recommends moving to a senior dog food formula as your dog reaches his golden years. “These will have been developed with lower calorie levels and a careful balance of other nutrients, such as essential fatty acids and antioxidants to support your dog’s ageing joints and immune system,” she says.

Your adult dog food will probably have a senior variety that you can consider, but if your dog allergies, a sensitive tummy or skin, a hypoallergenic dog food may be needed. We recommend choosing a food specifically developed for older dogs and which will:

  • Contain fewer calories to prevent weight gain
  • Be high in fibre to prevent constipation
  • Have a moderated protein content to support age-related muscle wastage
  • Contain Glucosamine and Chrondrotin to support the joints and age-related arthritis
  • Have reduced phosphorus levels to promote good kidney health
  • Boost immunity with added antioxidants
  • Contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids to reduce inflammation and promote good skin health

Regular Exercise

Exercise with your older dogs is an important part of their daily routine and care to ensure they remain fit and healthy. Make sure you take them out for a walk every day; sometimes, two five minute walks are better than one long, ten minute walk. Go at your dog’s pace and stop when they need to stop. Try to keep to a familiar route (especially if they’re very old) and if you feel your dog needs one, take a break.

Small Adjustments to the Home

Little changes such as a dog ramp to help your pup get up and down from the sofa or an elevated dog bowl to eliminate excess strain on his head and neck can really help your aging doggie. Always keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort such as limping, difficulty changing position, trouble getting up the stairs or jumping, and lying down when eating or drinking—all of which suggest that your dog will need to take a visit to the vet.

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