How to manage your pet’s joint health

Maintaining optimum joint health for your pet is essential to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life with you. Poor joint mobility can make it hard for your pet to perform simple daily tasks such as, getting a comfortable night’s sleep or being able to bend down to their food bowl.

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. Although joint problems are more often seen in older pets, younger pets can also develop stiffness.

During the winter months, joint discomfort can appear more pronounced, as cold and damp weather can aggravate joint conditions. It is especially important to support and protect your senior pets, or if they have suffered any broken bones, as these might be more sensitive to the cold and wet conditions.

Looking out for signs of when your pet may be struggling will help monitor their condition. Some common signs of joint problems include:

  • Pets may rest more following exercise and show signs of stiffness and lameness.
  • Your dog or cat 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.
  • They may seek out warm spots around the house to help soothe sore joints.

To help manage your pet’s joint health, there are some positive things you can do, which include:

Manage their weight – excess weight can put pressure on joints. If your pet is overweight, aim to reduce their calorie intake to minimise the load on the joints. Speak to your vet before putting your pet on a diet or changing their food as they will be able to advise on a healthy weight for your pet.

Keep up with an exercise routine – it is important that your pet still gets regular exercise to avoid stiffness and muscle wastage. Try to avoid long walks for your dog and make sure you take them for several, short walks throughout the day.

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. Raise your pet’s water and food bowls if they find it difficult to bend down to eat.

Comfort – keep your pet warm, avoid cold damp windy conditions which can aggravate joint pain. Provide a cosy warm bed with enough room to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Carpeting can also help increase traction. Try to limit stair use and jumping on or off furniture.

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.

Alternative therapies – to increase circulation and mobility you could consider using other therapies such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Natural supplements – consider using a natural pet supplement, such as nutraquin+, which is fast acting and contains the highest quality and purest natural ingredients including Boswellia extract, Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine HCL. nutraquin+ can help to maintain optimum joint function in dogs, cats and horses, whilst supporting the natural systems that control inflammation.

Consult your vet – speak to your vet if you are concerned about your pet’s joint health. Regular vet visits will ensure your pet’s condition can be monitored frequently and that you receive the best up-to-date advice.

Find out about nutraquin+ by visiting the nutravet website at www.nutravet.co.uk/nutraquin

Animal Therapy Magazine