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Coping with Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Published 31st January 2024

We would like to thank Maxine Cooch of Hunts Hill Physio, Mountsorrel, for writing this guest blog.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that can affect dogs of any age. However, dogs with previous injuries or congenital conditions such as hip dysplasia are more prone. While it may feel like a life- changing diagnosis for your dog, there are many ways of managing the condition that can be effective and improve their quality of life. Here are a few ways you can help your pet.

1. Education

Make sure you are up-to-date with the current research and evidence for the treatment and management of OA. Take a look at the Canine Arthritis Management website here for lots of help and support.

2.  Weight management

Increased weight can lead to strain on your dog's joints, making it harder for them to exercise. So, it's a good idea to check your dog is the right weight and shape. Check out the PDSA's Body Condition Score here

3. Consider your flooring

Slippery floors can be really challenging for dogs with arthritis. Make it easier for them to move around by laying down rugs, runners or mats. Consider using steps or a ramp for access to the car or sofa.

4. Activity modification

You may find that your dog has slowed down a little, or becomes more sore after exercise. Try to accommodate this by going for shorter but more frequent walks. Little and often can be so much easier for them. 

5. Consider a supplement

Supplements such as Yumove can be a big help to ease stiff joints. Some pets may benefit more than others and really only you can know if it is helping your dog. I would usually recommend trialling a supplement for up to three months before deciding if it is helping or not. If it is, then great, keep going!

6. Consider Physiotherapy

Your physiotherapist can help with support, and advise you on the management of your dog's condition. They can also provide various treatment techniques and specific exercises to help loosen and strengthen joints and muscles.