This is the third part of our 4-part series “Hip Dysplasia in Dogs”.
How important is your dog’s weight if your pet is suffering from hip dysplasia?
⇒ Part 1: ‘What Is Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Causes & Symptoms’
⇒ Part 2: ‘Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hip Dysplasia’.
The degree of pain and discomfort for a dog with hip dysplasia is affected by the dog’s weight and one of the best things you can do as a responsible pet owner to support your pet’s health is to maintain its recommended weight.
If you feed your dog a good quality food** in an amount appropriate for its size, breed, and normal activity level, and –here’s where it can get tough– keeping those doggy treats to a minimum, you can make its life a lot more comfortable if it’s suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia.
Exercise is also important in helping a dog maintain his proper weight, or to lose excess weight if it’s already overweight.
The correct type of exercise should provide a good range of motion and muscle building while taking care to limit the amount of wear and tear on the joints.
Taking your dog on frequent walks and slow jogs will help maintain an acceptable exercise level. You must judge how severe its hip dysplasia or arthritis is and how it’s affecting everyday movements before determining the proper level and frequency of exercise.
Surprisingly, if you give your dog too little exercise it can prove to be more harmful than too much exercise.
Also, the wrong type of exercise can result in more harm than help. Any exercise like playing Frisbee or running to catch a thrown object, can be a lot of fun for a dog, but it is extremely hard on its aching joints if it has hip problems.
Daily exercise is critical in order to keep the dog’s joints as limber and muscular as possible. Try warming the muscles before going on a walk by rubbing them gently, concentrating on the rear hip joint or joints that are affected by hip dysplasia or arthritis.
When a dog has hip dysplasia, the joint wears abnormally and the protective cartilage on the surface of the joint gets worn away and the result is painful bone-to-bone contact. Giving your dog an all-natural supplement like Winston’s Joint System, will help heal the cartilage and lessen the pain.
The symptoms of hip dysplasia and arthritis always tend to worsen with changes in the weather.
If your weather turns cold and damp, it helps to keep your pet warm. If your weather is too hot, as it is in the summertime in many places, try keeping it cool with the Canine Cooler Bed.
The Canine Cooler Bed uses a revolutionary SoothSoft Technology in a fluid-enhanced design for a dry, cooling effect with superior cushioning and support. It’s perfect for dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia.
Giving your dog a massage may sound a bit strange but it will help relax his stiff muscles and encourage a good range of motion in his joints. Remember, your dog is in pain, so start slowly and easily in order to build his trust. Begin by gently kneading the muscles around his joints and gradually begin massaging the surrounding muscles. Five minutes or more of massage will go a long way towards helping him with his pain.
And lastly, if your dog must go up and down stairs, you can ease the pain associated with this by installing a ramp for him to use when needed. These can be purchased ready-made, or a visit to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s will provide you with both the materials and advice needed to make your own custom ramp.
Learn more about hip dysplasia in dogs in Part 4:
Can Hip Dysplasia Be Prevented?
Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.
There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.