No one knows your dog better than you do; From the way they communicate and those puppy eyes, right down to their favorite sleeping spot. Yet often our dogs have an amazing way of hiding things from us, even though we are so close to them on a daily basis. This is especially true when it comes to how their age affects their everyday life.
As they graduate from playful puppys to adults and then distinguished senior dogs, the way they interact, their signals and activity all fluctuate. For older dogs, maintaining healthy joints and connective tissue can be challenging. With time, you will at some point begin to notice a change in their joint function and mobility, and you may even ask yourself how you can help? Let’s demystify the inner workings of your canine companion to keep their joints healthy and licks happy!
Back to basics
What is a joint?
In a nutshell, a joint links together two or more bones, and allows your dog to move – think of the joint as a hinge, and your dog’s bones as doors.
How does a joint work?
For the bones to stay flexible, they’re covered in slippery tissue known as cartilage. This cushions the joints and allows them to glide past each other when moving around. What’s more, the joint capsule is well oiled thanks to synovial fluid, a sticky substance that washes around the joint.
What joints are affected most?
Synovial (or ‘free-moving’) joints are most affected by stiffness in dogs.
Causes of stiff joints in your dog
Just like humans, stiff joints are more common with older age. Cartilage becomes thin, causing the joint capsule to become inflamed. Over time it can become toughened and stiff, resulting in the synovial fluid becoming thinner and less lubricating.
Watch out for these top 5 causes:
- The cold
- Type of breeds
- Underlying conditions
If you want to reduce the risk of stiff joints for your dog, there are a few do’s and don'ts. Most importantly, ensuring your dog is at a healthy weight, thus not putting too much strain on their joints.
Larger breeds such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers are more susceptible and often show the signs of stiffness from an earlier age. If you dog falls into a category of breed that tends to suffer more, opting for hip & joint dog supplements could offer excellent support: Hip and Joint Chews
Spot the signs
Doggies don’t necessarily keep things from us but their inability to actually speak what is wrong requires us humans to look for signs that something might be up.
You may also notice their sleeping schedules becoming abnormal. Simple signs like this or maybe even sleeping longer than usual are our dogs way of indicating they may not feel the best.
Lagging behind on walkies
It’s normal for a dog to lag slightly behind after bursts of activity during an extra long walk - that means they’ve run off that energy! However, if you notice this more regularly or their endurance reduces, adding a supplement to their routine may enhance bone and joint health
Difficulty when standing
A key sign is difficulty when standing, sitting down and general day-to-day movements. If those big stretches or jumps seem more strenuous for your dog, book an appointment with your vet to get it checked out.
Less playful or lack of energy
Most ‘fun’ activities for your dog tend to put added pressure on their joints. If their physical energy dips or they become less playful, give them lots of verbal praise and strokes.
You know your dog better than anyone - especially the way they communicate with you - so try your best to spot the signs early.
How can you help?
We never want to see our precious pets suffer, so what can you do to help them through stiff joints or uneasy movement? Let’s break it down:
- Healthy exercise
This is the best thing for your dog, even if they suffer from stiff joints. Swimming is one of the absolute best exercises they can do. The water supports your dog’s body and lowers the strain on their joints. Plus, it lets them make movements that would otherwise present a challenge.
- Keeping them trim
If your dog is overweight, their bones and joints bear more strain. The best way to maintain your dog’s healthy weight is by monitoring their food intake and providing regular exercise.
- Massage your pupper
We all need a little TLC at times and it’s the same for our pets. A pampering session can do your dog’s joints a world of good.
- Adapt home environment
- Place non-slip mats in areas of your home where they could be more likely to slip (tile, hardwood or laminate flooring)
- Use elevated food and drink bowls to prevent straining when eating
- Install a stair gate to reduce the their use of the stairs
- Provide ergonomic bedding with easier access
Controlled exercise and weight management can go a long way to maintaining your dogs joint health. You can also opt for specially formulated hip and joint dog supplements containing all natural ingredients that are known to maintain joint mobility for dogs.
Strength with supplements
If your dog needs a helping paw with their movement, they’ll ruff Active Chews! Our chicken-flavored Hip & Joint chews are packed with ingredients aimed to support joints and reduce stiffness. Here is what’s inside the tasty supplement:
- Glucosamine: cushions and lubricates joints to promote easeful movement, greater flexibility, and help provide joint support
- Chondroitin: supports healthy cartilage for improved shock absorption
- Turmeric: naturally promotes healthy inflammation response and joint mobility.
At Active Chews HQ, we do not cook or heat any of our ingredients and therefore we provide 100% potency for the dosages for our dog supplements.
Want to get your paws on Hip & Joints Active Chews? Take 20% off your first purchase when you sign up to our mailing list. If you and your pooch are happy, you can subscribe and save so you never run out AND you'll continue saving 20% on every order!