Our dogs love to play, jump, run and bound around. Sharing their enthusiasm is part of being a dog owner and part of what brings us so much joy with our dogs. But sometimes, especially in their old age, dogs can develop stiff joints just like us humans. Many dog owners don’t recognise the signs and those that do, don’t always do something about it. Read on for guidance on spotting the signs and suggestions for keeping your dog healthy, happy and full of life!
What to Look Out For
Look out for these signs, which might indicate your dog has stiff joints:
- Hesitates when faced with using stairs or steep inclines
- Difficulty in getting up, or appears stiff after getting up
- Your dog no longer bounds up to you
- Difficulty jumping into the car
What Causes Stiff Joints
There can be lots of factors that cause stiff joints, with the main ones being:
- Hereditary – Some breeds are more susceptible than others
- Age – Older dogs are more likely to develop stiff joints, just like humans as we get older
- Weight – Excessive weight over a prolonged period of time can put unnecessary strain on joints
- Weather – Sometimes cold weather can irritate the joints
What Can I Do?
If your dog shows any of these signs, speak to your vet.
Is There Anything Else I Can Try?
There are lots of things you can do to help a dog with stiff joints:
- Feed an appropriate diet
- Take your dog for shorted walks, rather than one long walk
- Don’t take your dog on walks with steep inclines or difficult terrain and avoid slippery surfaces
- Make sure they have a comfortable bed away from any draughty areas
- Try and help them avoid having to use stairs wherever possible
- Speak to your vet about a joint supplement for dogs such as Synoquin EFA