An Answer to Achy Paws

Ever wonder why dogs are so susceptible to developing arthritic conditions?

Arthritis occurs with age in dogs as well as in people. One of the most important things that dog owners can do to delay the onset or reduce the severity of arthritis is to keep their dogs lean. Excess body weight not only adds stress to the joints but also is associated with an increase in inflammation. In obese dogs, the fat cells secrete chemicals that actually increase inflammation in the joints, causing or aggravating arthritis. In addition to weight control, gentle exercise and a diet that contains fish oil or supplements of glucosamine may help.

Signs that your dog may have arthritis:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Sleeping more
  • Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased activity or less interest in play
  • Attitude or behavior changes
  • Being less alert