Maintaining optimum joint health for your pet is essential to ensure they lead a good quality of life. Poor joint mobility can make it hard for your pet to perform simple every day tasks such as, getting a comfortable nights sleep or being able to go on walks.
There are a number of reasons why your pet might be suffering from poor joint health, including old age, being overweight, or if they have suffered an injury. Joint problems tend to occur more often as pets age, with some dogs, particularly larger breeds being more prone to developing joint problems than others.
During the colder months, joint discomfort can appear more pronounced, as cold weather can aggravate joint conditions. It is especially important to support and protect your senior pets during winter, or if they have suffered any broken bones, as these might be more sensitive to the cold and wet conditions.
As a pet owner you will understand the normal behaviour patterns exhibited by your cat or dog and looking out for signs of where they are struggling will help with their health. There are common signs of joint problems to look out for, which include:
- Your pet may rest more following exercise and show signs of stiffness and lameness.
- Your pet may have an inability to perform certain tasks, such as jumping into the car or onto furniture.
- Your pet’s joints may become swollen or warm.
- They may bite at irritating and painful joints.
- Your pet may become irritable or aggressive due to painful joints, especially when handled.
- Heat can soothe sore joints, so your pet may seek out warm spots around the house.
The mobility of your pet can have a dramatic impact on their everyday life, but there are some positive things you can do to help maintain optimum joint health, including:
Manage their weight – excess weight can put pressure on joints. If they are overweight, aim to reduce your pet’s calorie intake to minimise the load on the joints. Your vet will be able to advise on a healthy weight for your pet.
Exercise – it is important that your pet gets regular exercise to avoid stiffness and muscle wastage. It’s key to maximise the range of movement and fitness of the muscles around the joint. Try to avoid long or infrequent walks for your dog and make sure you take them for several, short walks throughout the day. Think little and often to keep the joints mobile.
Diet – feed your pet a good quality diet. To do this you may need to reassess their food and consult a veterinary professional who can recommend the best diet for their needs. You should also raise water and food bowls if your pet finds it difficult to bend down to eat.
Comfort – provide plenty of cosy and warm bedding to help keep your pet warm. Make sure their bed is in a warm place to avoid cold and damp conditions, which can aggravate joint pain. Lift their bed up from cold floors and add extra bedding to provide padding for sore joints.
Pain relief – your vet may prescribe medication to reduce the inflammation and provide pain relief. A natural alternative is Boswellia extract, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the dose of other medications and preventing potential side effects.
Visit your vet – regular vet visits will ensure your pet’s condition can be monitored frequently and that you receive the best up-todate advice.
Alternative therapies – to increase circulation and mobility you could consider using other therapies such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
Consider using a nutravet joint product such as nutraquin+, which is fast acting and contains the highest quality and purest natural ingredients including Boswellia extract, Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine HCL. Boswellia plays an important role in maintaining smooth and comfortable joint movement. nutraquin+ can help to maintain optimum joint function in dogs, cats and horses, whilst supporting the natural systems that control inflammation.
If you are concerned about your pet’s joint health you should consult your vet. They are best placed to offer advice to ensure the health and wellbeing of your pet.