Many dogs suffer from hip and joint problems. Some are severe such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia from poor breeding but others are just degenerative from age such as arthritis. Either way most pet owners choose to hang onto their pets for as long as they possibly can. Many will have the conditions treated with surgery or some will pursue holistic avenues and medicinal. No matter what route you choose to go down with your pet, there are still a few things that you can do at home to help make life easier on your beloved friend.
One of the easiest ways to help your pet be more comfortable is to look at ways to improve its every day life. The basics of life can often be made easier with just a few simple tasks. One of these is to purchase or make raised or elevated food and water dishes. These wonderful contraptions raise the bowls up off the ground and help your pet reach them far easier without putting undo stress on their backs, shoulders, and elbows as they bend down to drink or eat. You will see many pets who are in pain from bending over to eat laying down in front of the food and water bowl. These pets may look comfortable but you also must take into consideration the energy and effort they will need to get up and down from these positions in order to eat. If you pet is already suffering from chronic pain they may actually start avoiding the food and water bowls because of the effort and pain that the act of eating and drinking brings them. The best way to avoid this is with elevated dishes. The cost to add these dishes to your home is minimal. Many can be purchased for under twenty dollars.
Many pet owners have their beloved dogs sleep with them. But getting in and out of bed can prove a trial for a dog that is suffering from hip or joint pain. Stepping or jumping onto the bed and off the bed can prove an effort in pain that your old friend might mask because of his need and desire to simply be close to you during the long night. So nowadays you can actually purchase steps or ramps to place beside your bed to help you friend. These can used for beds or sofa’s. They come in small and large. The prices normally range from $100-$300. If you are handy you can make them for a fraction of this cost, however.
If your dog does not sleep beside you at night then you might want to consider purchasing an orthopedic dog bed. These are wonderful for a pet. They come in all sizes and most will have a head support or even leg supports. Some are made out of memory foam and others are air cushioned. The price of these beds can range from $100-$600 depending on size and type of bed that you wish to purchase. I have even seen heated models that offer heat to old bones during cold winters in your home.
You can also offer your pet relief with heat therapy simply by using a heating pad. Some people also buy personal massager’s that they will give their dogs a rub down with to ease tense muscles.
Many dogs love to swim and hydrotherapy is wonderful for them. So why not invest in a pool if you do not already own one? You can purchase above ground pools nowadays for very reasonable prices. A large pool and filter will run you only about $300. Your dog will benefit from swimming in these pools. Not every dog enjoys this activity and you must gage where your dog will be on this innovative therapy. But swimming will definitely give your dog a bit of relief.
Nowadays there are many herbal solutions that you can also purchase which have proved quite successful at easing chronic pain in dogs due to a joint or hip condition. I would urge you to research these and look into them.
Speak with your veterinarian because he or she will also have many suggestions to help your best buddy get through life with minimal pain and still be able to enjoy the every day benefits that life has to offer.