How to Manage Arthritis in Pets for Health and Happiness

As dogs and cats grow older, they’re at increased risk of developing arthritis which causes painful joint inflammation and limited mobility. When not properly addressed, arthritis can significantly reduce a pet’s quality of life. However, there are several treatments and therapies available that can help alleviate symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to effectively manage your cat’s or dog’s arthritis and preserve their comfort, energy, and quality of life.

7 Tips for Managing Your Pet's Arthritis

1. Weight Control
Just a few extra pounds can significantly increase a pet’s risk of arthritis and worse symptoms. As pets age, they become more prone to weight gain. Manage your pet’s weight with a healthy, modified diet and light exercise.
2. Gentle Exercise
Gentle exercise can prevent the joints from becoming stiff due to a lack of use. Walking and swimming are the best options, as they put less stress on the joints.
3. Dietary Supplements
Many dogs and cats with arthritis respond quite well to the addition of nutritional supplements to their diets. These might include omega-3 fatty acids and green lipped mussel supplements to block inflammation, and PSGAG injections and chondroitin and glucosamine to protect cartilage.
4. Lifestyle Adjustments
Rugs and runners help reduce slip and fall, and make rising and settling down easier in arthritic pets. Provide your pet with ramps or stairs up to the bed, onto the couch, and into your car. Additionally, they’ll appreciate having an ergonomic pet bed and raised food and water bowls.
5. Pharmaceuticals
From anti-inflammatory medications to prescription drugs designed to protect your pet’s joint cartilage, there are several options that could help your pet manage symptoms and condition at the same time.
6. Laser Therapy
Cold laser has been clinically proven to increase circulation, reduce swelling, and trigger a healing response at the cellular level. This therapy is non-invasive, pain-free, and, when used properly, has no negative side effects.
7. Massage
If you take your daily belly rubs a step further, you can provide your pet with lots of relief through stretching and massage. Frequent gentle range of motion and massage can increase circulation, reduce swelling, and greater comfort.

Schedule an Arthritis Consultation for Your Pet at Our Houston Veterinary Clinic

Every pet is unique, and as our pets age, their veterinary needs change along with them. At Tanglewilde Veterinary Clinic, we provide cats and dogs with personalized, comprehensive care for arthritis and other age-related conditions. To learn more about how to manage your pet’s arthritis, we welcome you to contact our clinic or schedule a veterinary examination today. Our veterinarians will help you find the perfect arthritis management plan for your dog or cat.