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How to Help Ageing Dogs Stay Mobile


5 things you can do now to help your dog stay mobile and healthy for the long term

Dogs have that special ability to win their way into your heart and your life. For 15+ (hopefully more) amazing years, you have the perfect companion by your side who just means the world to you. Sadly, dogs do age faster than humans and many of the same health concerns will arise.

Many dogs will struggle with joint health and mobility as they age, which can mean that they end up spending their twilight years getting injections to keep their legs working, on strong pain killers and other treatments. However, with some preventive health measures, your dogs can stay more mobile, comfortable and healthy for the duration of their lifetime. After all, no one wants to see their mate in pain.

Here are a few easy things you can do to help your dog remain mobile and pain free.

#1. A Healthy Diet

There has been a lot of controversy with the pet food industry in recent years, with fillers and all types of poor-quality ingredients being used by brands in their pet food, treats and supplements.

While the industry does have regulations, they are voluntary and this essentially means that brands don’t actually need to follow them.

Supplements however, when chosen wisely, can be a game changer when it comes to your pets' health: from joint health, digestion, calming, there are many natural ingredients that can actually make a difference. 

Just make sure you check the back of the packet for artificial colours, flavours and binders!

Accessibility can become an issue so ensure sure your dog's food and water bowl are by their bed and easy to reach.

Why should you consider a joint supplement?

Just like us, dogs can be prone to joint and hips problems which can make them immobile and uncomfortable. This can be experienced as a slight stiffness all the way up to something more serious such as osteoarthritis. Some breeds may also be susceptible to the likes of hip dysplasia and ruptured ACLs tears from something as simple as jumping off the couch!

Stats show that 20% of dogs aged 1+ years suffer from arthritis, whilst 80% of dogs from 7+ years do. These are sobering numbers...

Wholesome ingredients that are rich in vitamins and minerals can be a great preventative measure. Some ingredients are also backed by significant research showing that they can help to improve your pet's condition even after the damage is done. Having said that, prevention really is key.

Some of the standout ingredients include:

✔️ Rosehip has been scientifically proven to reduce the impact of pain and inflammation, while also improving mobility in both dogs (and humans) who are suffering from various types of arthritis.

✔️
 Green Lipped Mussels – Are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C+E, Glutamine, Zinc, Copper and Selenium which are all great for joint health. 

They are described by Veterinary Practice as sea water filters as they retain a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals from the sea off the coast of New Zealand.

✔️ Turmeric (Curcumin) – scientific studies have shown that Curcumin offers anti-inflammatory support for osteoarthritis treatment in dogs [1].

✔️ Bone broth powder –is rich in collagen and hyaluronic acid which helps to lubricate joints and tendons, ultimately reducing the symptoms of stiffness associated with arthritis.

✔️ Finally the macro minerals such as magnesium, which is needed in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Diet obviously plays a big role in keeping your dogs thriving, but like humans, there are a lot more elements to keeping their bodies and minds healthy and sharp.

#2. Regular Exercise:





Like with humans, ensuring your dog gets adequate exercise will help them stay at a healthy weight  and this in turn reduces the pressure on their joints. 

Less pressure on their joints means less chance of joint pain. Exercise is also important for keeping their minds healthy, keeping their bodies working optimally and keeping them entertained. 

Dogs are social creatures; they want to be with you, and they want to enjoy experiences with you. Just be mindful of walking them too far on hot summer days and always pack water.

#3. Keep your dogs' nails and feet healthy



Many joint problems for dogs start because of sore feet or uncared for nails. As a result of the discomfort, a lot of dogs will start to move out of alignment to overcompensate for the pain they may be feeling due to their feet not being cared for. 

This can lead to joint issues. Make sure you get your dogs feet taken care of by a groomer if they are the type of dog that needs to get haircuts. If not, you can learn to cut their nails yourself or take them to the vet.

#4. Make sure dogs have somewhere cosy to rest



Sleeping out in the elements, especially in winter can lead to joint pain and other health issues. If you have an outside dog, please let them come in to sleep at night or at least have a warm and cosy doghouse set up for them to rest. 

It will help with the longevity of their joint health, and possibly their health in general.

#5. Dog Massage

While petting your dog, get in there and give them a little massage too to help relieve their muscles. Massages can improve circulation and decrease pain. 



They may also help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your bond with your pet.

Summary

Just like with humans, a healthy lifestyle is very important to keeping a dog healthy for the duration of their lifetime. It is recommended that you start them on a healthy diet early which may also include supplements, however if you notice any of the following symptoms, it may indicate signs of the onset of arthritis.

Those symptoms include stiffness, depression, lethargy, inactivity, difficulty getting up, swelling, licking joints, urinating indoors, losing muscle, changes in weight, reluctance to jump, change in mood, vocal pain or if they are sleeping more than usual.

If you see any of these symptoms, consult your vet, but also look into natural wholefood supplements to assist in getting their joints back to better health. These supplements can also assist with digestion and gut health, which will in turn help to reduce inflammation.

[1] Colitti M, Gaspardo B, Della Pria A, et al. Transcriptome modification of white blood cells after dietary administration of curcumin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in osteoarthritic affected dogs. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2012;147(3-4):136-146.)

About the author

Todd Graham
is the Founder of
Australian Pet Organics.

Australian Pet Organics (APO) offer a range of delicious certified organic pet supplements and treats designed to help reduce inflammation, heal digestion and target joint health. The range was developed by a vet nutritionist who is also a conservation scientist and all products have been tested on humans. They also support a range of animal charities, it’s Good Dog Karma™

The range came about Todd discovered that one of his dogs, Tank had Spina Bifida. By the age of 7, Tank’s legs had started to give way. It was hard for him to get up in the morning and run around and play with his sisters. 

The vet suggested that surgery would be the best option, however before taking an invasive route, Todd decided to test alternatively options. He fed Tank bone broth, turmeric and Rose Hip, among other ingredients and within two weeks, Tank was back to being able to play and was mobile again. 

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