Inflammation is a physical response to injury and illness and is more common in senior dogs as a side effect of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the cartilage in joints to break down, leaving bones to rub against one another. This causes pain and swelling (inflammation) and reduces your dog’s mobility. According to Vet Times, this condition affects 20% of middle-aged and senior dogs.
The good news is that there are things you can do to help reduce your aging dog’s inflammation and maintain mobility, even if they have arthritis.
Keep their body weight within a healthy range
As dogs age, it’s natural for their metabolism to slow, leading to weight gain. Unfortunately, a few extra pounds can put undue strain on your dog’s joints, especially if they are already experiencing arthritis. Keeping your dog’s body weight within a healthy range will reduce this strain and improve overall mobility. These tips will help you determine whether your dog is overweight.
Reduce processed foods
Processed foods typically contain preservatives, added sugars, and filler ingredients likely to increase your dog’s inflammation. A well-balanced diet of high-quality ingredients (like Rollover) is a great way to help reduce inflammation.
If your dog is eating only Rollover products, there’s no need to worry about their processed food intake, as our products are minimally processed and made from fresh ingredients. But since many dogs eat goodies from multiple sources, we wanted to bring this to your attention!
Exercise your dog regularly
Low-impact exercise is a powerful way to preserve your dog’s mobility, even if they’re struggling with inflammation related to arthritis. Exercise helps keep your dog’s body weight down, which lessens the strain on their joints. Plus, it keeps their muscles toned, enabling them to take pressure off the joints.
Be mindful of your dog’s pain, as you don’t want to cause them discomfort when exercising. Stick to low-impact activities, such as gentle walks or swimming, to limit joint strain.
There are natural anti-inflammatories that you may be able to incorporate into your dog’s diet to help reduce inflammation. These include:
- Turmeric – the active ingredient, curcumin, is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and helps reduce inflammation
- Fish oil – fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which work to disrupt the production of an enzyme that triggers inflammation.
You should always consult your veterinarian before offering these substances to your dog so they can educate you on the correct doses and any potential risks, such as interactions with any medication your dog is taking.
The Bottom Line
Joint inflammation is a common affliction in adult and senior dogs, but feeding your dog a healthy diet, engaging them in regular (gentle) exercise, and keeping their body weight down will go a long way in preserving their mobility for years to come.