Tips for Caring for Your Pets during the Summer Months

Helping Your Dog Cope With Arthritis And Joint Pain

by Kirk Hernandez

As your dog ages, you may notice that he or she starts to slow down. Not unlike people, dogs may develop aching joints. Degenerative joint disease (DJD) and osteoarthritis are common in older dogs. If your large dog is developing one of these conditions, you will need to make some adjustments to keep him or her comfortable.

The first thing you will want to do is have your veterinarian confirm that your dog is, in fact, suffering from a joint condition. Once you have this confirmation, you can move forward making adjustments.


There are some excellent over-the-counter joint supplements that work for dogs. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your pup any supplements.

The ingredients you want to look for are glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and green-lipped mussel. You'll find supplements that have these in a variety of combinations.

Another supplement that can help with joint inflammation is Omega-3 fatty acids.


Your dog's movement may appear to be slow and strained. Signs that there is pain would be walking slowly, appearing to be stiff, and having trouble getting up or lying down. He or she may have good and bad days. This is something you want to watch for and provide extra assistance when necessary.

Things you can do to help your dog include the following:

  • Provide assistance going up and down stairs. Put your dog on a leash and help them go slow and easy. Dogs often get in the habit of running down stairs. You can pick up and carry a small dog, but large dogs require different assistance.
  • Walk your dog on their leash instead of letting them go out unassisted; even in your own backyard. Leash walking is also a good way to ensure he or she keeps their joints moving.
  • Keep your dog confined to a small area of the house or even on a leash next to you. This isn't an everyday thing. On days where there seems to be much discomfort, you may want to make sure he or she is calm and comfortable. Besides, what better way to spend the day than next to each other!
  • Have a ramp or steps to help your dog get on and off furniture. A ramp for getting in and out of the car is helpful too.


You will want to have a dog bed that gives support. Memory foam and egg crate beds are good choices. Any bedding that provides support and is easy for him or her to get in and out of will help.

Anything you can do to help alleviate your pup's discomfort will ease not only his or her pain but also your mind.

Treat your dog with arthritis and joint pain with loving care. Keep in close contact with a local vet like Southwest Animal Hospital who may prescribe medications in addition to these other things.