I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that arthritis will likely affect your dog as it ages. The good news is that a lot of the problems and risk factors associated with arthritis can be reduced by keeping your dog at a healthy weight. As overweight dogs age, the extra strain on their joints causes arthritis to progress more rapidly and can result in increased pain for your animal. Keeping dogs of all ages at a weight appropriate for their breed and size helps to prevent the development of arthritis.
If you begin to notice your senior dog having trouble getting out of bed in the morning or onto its favorite chair, seeming grumpy or expressing pain when you pet them in certain areas, or moving more slowly than usual, it may be time to speak to your veterinarian about pain management strategies. There are several types of pain medication that are chewable tablets dogs love. With treatment this easy to give, your animal doesn’t have to be in pain any longer!
A special note from NSAC: regardless of how much pain your animal is in, never give them any amount of Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve, or any other over-the-counter pain medication. These medications can cause severe liver and kidney damage, creating more problems than they solve. Additionally, Aspirin can cause painful stomach ulcers. Instead, rely on your veterinarian to prescribe medication tailored to your pet’s problem for optimal pain relief.