ONCE your dog reaches six or seven, it is considered a senior – and with that can come any number of problems.
However Tim Norris, aka The Dog Healer, says there are things we can do to help our dogs live longer, healthier, pain-free lives.
“Over one in four dogs will suffer with the pain of arthritis in their lifetime, with this number increasing as they reach their senior years,” he said.
Here are Tim’s tips to help your old dogs stay on their feet:
Overfeeding: It’s estimated that 40 per cent of dogs in Australia are overweight. This can lead to a range of health and joint issues like heart disease and debilitating joint problems. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight and ensuring it has a nutritious diet is critical to their health and longevity.
Inappropriate exercise: Are you exercising your dog too much, too little, or inappropriately for its age and condition?
Throwing a ball too much, too often or for an older dog is one of the biggest risk factors for injury and arthritis. A dog’s exercise needs to change as it ages, so we have to adapt how we exercise it to minimise injury risk.
Unsafe home environment: There can be many health and injury hazards around the house that can impact on dogs. For example, tile, vinyl and wooden floorboards will be slippery and unsafe over time as dogs become older and less stable.
Many dogs are injured jumping on and off the bed and couch, so think about using a halfway step to help them.
Too much stress: Dogs exposed to consistent levels of stress can suffer anxiety which, over time, can lead to health and behaviour issues. Creating a calmer and more relaxed environment at home can help your dog stay happy and healthy.
Pain management: Dogs get stiff and sore from time to time, just like people do. If you don’t address these issues early on, this can lead to more serious joint problems resulting in a more painful, less active and shorter life.
The key is having proven hands-on tools and a pain management plan to help your dog in the moment … relieve pain and stiffness and prevent it from becoming a long term, life-changing issue.
Giving your dog a massage will help relieve any muscle soreness or pain, keep muscles and joints healthy and moving well. You can learn how to massage your dog safely using simple and proven techniques that are quick and easy to do.
Building some gentle strength and conditioning exercises into your dog’s daily routine will help it stay stronger and more active and also provide important mental stimulation.
Tim Norris, from Both Ends of the Lead, specialises in natural, non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical based arthritis treatment and senior dog care.
Check out the free online training – Your Dog Has Arthritis … Now What to get started at www.bothendsofthelead.com.au
- Read more: Don't let your pet live with the pain of tooth decay
- Read more: The importance of worming your pets