Regrettably, the day will come when your beloved friend will begin to slow down.
The game of catch or fetch becomes a little less energetic, the walks get a little slower and the sound of their paws become a little softer around the house.
With a heavy heart, you’ll know they’re getting old.
Just as with humans, with old age, there’s a chance that joint degradation can occur. It happens for a couple of reasons: wear and tear can occur simply as a function of age, or it can be caused by mechanical damage due to enhanced activity.
The two main categories for joint problems are developmental and degenerative problems.
Developmental problems are where the joint does not develop properly in several different ways. For example, hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.
Degenerative problems include things like arthritis in dogs which is caused by the ligaments degenerating over time.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis – it’s a progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints.
It affects dogs when they get older, although certain breeds can suffer from this at a younger age. Suffice to say it reduces mobility and can also be very painful.
How to spot joint problems:
- Difficulty in moving – they become slower in general movement and start having difficulty in jumping up or down
- Increase in sleeping – they sleep or rest more, get tired more easily
- Loss of appetite – inactivity can result in loss of appetite
- Depression – through inactivity they become depressed
- Muscle loss
- Licking, chewing or biting – they may be trying to draw attention to an area of pain
- Noticeable swelling of the joints
- Whining or whimpering
- Exhibiting excessive panting
In general, increased size and weight is always a factor in joint problems – meaning if they carrying a little too much weight, it’s worth getting them on that diet!
That said, due to their genetic predisposition and build, certain breeds are more prone to joint injuries. Some of the most likely breeds to develop joint problems are;
German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Dachshunds, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands and Old English Sheep Dogs.
How to prevent/slow joint problems in dogs
There are many ways you can help delay and minimize the onset of joint pain.
- Diet and Weight
- Regular Check-Ups
If you’re considering using a supplement, take a look at our Joint Aid for Dogs.
It’s a high specification joint and muscle supplement with glucosamine and has been designed to aid freedom of movement in all dogs.
As well as helping maintain the flexibility of movement, it supports the formation of cartilage, tendons, ligaments, synovial fluid and muscles and helps maintain the natural anti-inflammatory actions of the dog’s metabolism.
If you have a concern about the current, or future state of your dog’s joints, talk to your vet in the first instance.
If you having any questions relating to your dog’s diet, or if you would like to discuss how our food could potentially help your dog, please get in touch.