ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Pets and Animals»
  • Dogs & Dog Breeds

Dog Arthritis and Exercise

Updated on August 13, 2012

What Is Arthritis?

Canine arthritis is a disease of the joints. The cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber between the bones, swells then breaks down. As the cartilage gets thinner, the bones actually rub against each other causing pain and damaging joints. This leads to swelling in the joints, stiffness, pain, and difficulty walking. When arthritis develops in dogs, it often occurs in the hips and elbows.

If your dog has arthritis, there's a pang in your heart. We all know how painful and difficult this condition can be with people, and unfortunately it is not any different when it comes to dogs. While it hurts to see your dog in pain, you can help him or her cope with this condition. Surgery and medication are two methods for dealing with it. But, did you know dog arthritis can also be relieved with regular exercise?

What? you may be saying. My dog has arthritis--his joints hurt. Taking him walk is the opposite of what I should do. It will do even more damage to his joints and hurt him even more.

Actually, moving around a bit can have the opposite effect. Vet and animal specialists recommend exercise for dogs with arthritis for several reasons.

Why Exercise A Dog With Arthritis?

  • Exercise helps increase flexibility and endurance and strengthens muscle around the joints. Stronger muscles relieve some pressure on the joints. Flexible and strong tendons (attach bones together) also help lift some of the weight and pressure from the cartilage between bones.
  • To manage weight. If you dog is overweight, losing some pounds will provide relief. Excess weight serves to stress the already painful joints causing even more pain and swelling o If you dog is at a healthy weight, continuing to exercise will help maintain the weight and as we said, too much weight adds to joint strain and pain of arthritis.
  • Less activity and lying around helps your dog's joints to become stiffer.
  • Regular exercise uses tires your dog out and helps her to sleep better.
  • Exercise helps stave off other health problems such heart disease.
  • Exercise helps your dog to deal with the physical pain. Activity occupies her mind, so it's something else to dwell on other than discomfort.
  • Exercise is still fun and dogs like to have fun. Fun always improves anybody's quality of their life.

How Do I Exercise a Dog With Arthritis?

Frequent exercise is best, but keep it short. Two 10-15 minute walks daily does better than one long walk. A short daily walk is much better than a weekly hike.

Keep the exercise mild and low key like walks on level, soft ground.

Of course, take cues from your dog. If he wants to run a bit, let him run. If he's ready to rest, stop and rest. Moderation is the goal: not too much, not too little. As with people, dog arthritis is relieved with a balanced lifestyle that includes a good diet, medication if necessary and stretching the legs regularly.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Allison 8 years ago

      For our dog, we found the Dr. Max Powers "Joint Suppory + Vitamin B12" worked wonders!!

      This provided the best price on a therapeutic dose of glucosamine. We looked far and wide for a product that had the recommended doses of glucosamine and condroitin. This has worked wonders helping our dog live with arthritis.

      She still has some minor symptoms - but these pills have made a HUGE difference for our dog..

      For anyone looking for an economic solution to joint problems, this is a great way to go. They were recommended by our veterinarian as a great alternative to those expensive dog pills...plus, they have worked MUCH better....we are so much happier now!

    • FitnessDog profile image
      Author

      FitnessDog 9 years ago

      There are several dog joint supplements out like Re-nu and Pet Alive (which I recommend). A search on dog joint supplement will show lots of products. Those 2 I names are like dog treats, one is liver-flavored I think, so you could give them the supplement straight or mix it in their food. I'm glad you found this hub helpful!

    • profile image

      Jake 9 years ago

      Thank you so much for these wonderful tips. I will be sure to do this for my dog. But does anyone know if there are supplements I can give to her so that her joints are strengthened? I know I can't prevent her from getting old, but I would like to make it as less painful as possible. I would prefer something that I can mix into her food rather than a pill because she is so finicky that she won't swallow anything. Any advice? Thank you!

    • FitnessDog profile image
      Author

      FitnessDog 10 years ago

      My neighbor is the same way with her dog. I pressed her (in a joking way) for a few weeks and she finally took him out for a few walks around the block. After a week she said didn't know if she saw a diffference yet (but after a week what are you looking for?), but she did say he slept better at night.

      It sounds like your daughter is really sympathetic to her dog's pain. Still, I hope she might talk to her vet and consider getting the dog out even just a little bit, especially if you are seeing a difference.

    • julieannevanzyl profile image

      julieannevanzyl 10 years ago from Gold Coast

      I'll give this to my daughter to read - she says her dog is not fit to walk, and yet he seems better (to me) when he does walk!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)