This week on A Dog’s Tale Barney met lots of active pets who were loving life! Dogs who are very
active can put a lot of stress on their joints and they may develop arthritis when they get older.
Luckily Barney is a young, healthy and active dog but some of his other doggy friends are slowing
down a bit. Advances in veterinary care mean that our beloved pets are living longer than ever and
our pets need extra care as they age to ensure they can enjoy a good quality of life in their senior
Here are some tips to keep your best friend active and happy as they get older. Osteoarthritis is a
disease that occurs slowly over time and it is debilitating for one in five dogs over seven years of age.
Did you know that arthritis also affects cats? Sadly, many cats suffer in silence because cats are so
good at hiding their pain.
The best way to keep your pet active and healthy is to have a regular check-up with your vet every 6
months. They can help manage arthritis and minimise damage to your pets’ joints, especially if they
detect arthritis early and intervene at the early stages. There are treatments and special diets
available that can help repair joint cartilage, improve mobility and relieve arthritic pain. As soon as
you notice your pet showing any signs of arthritis please contact your vet so they can help! Signs
include: slowing down, being less active, having difficulty getting up, avoiding stairs or difficulty
jumping up onto the bed or couch.
There are many things that your vet can do to help and simple lifestyle changes that you can
make at home to keep your pet comfortable as they get older.
Bedding: Provide padded, soft bedding and a bed that is easy to get in and out of.
Exercise: Gentle exercise will help keep their muscles strong. Try gentle walks on the
lead, avoid excessive running or strenuous activities.
Low impact activities: Help dogs gently out of the car or provide a step or chair to help
cats jump up onto surfaces. High impact jumping may damage their joint cartilage.
Warmth: Keep your pets cosy this winter, try a warm jacket or snuggly blanket. In
summer, be extra careful that your pet doesn’t overheat. Older pets have difficulty
staying cool on hot days and are susceptible to heat stroke.
Joint repair & pain relief: Talk to your vet team about special diets and medications that
can provide pain relief, repair cartilage and help to keep your pets moving!
Nutrition: obesity or excess weight damages joint cartilage. Your vet can recommend
specific diets to help with weight loss and joint health to keep your pet satisfied, lean,
happy and healthy!
Vets Love Pets has an extensive range of Hill’s Science Diet and Prescription Diet foods designed to
improve mobility in pets. For all of your senior pet’s needs visit www.vetslovepets.com.au