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How to Care for a Cat or Dog with Arthritis

One of the best things about pet ownership is seeing our precious fur ball run, jump, and play around our home and outside. From when they were an energetic young pup to a fully grown adult, and then inevitably an old and cherished member of our family. Slowing down is a natural part of aging, both for people and our pets, however if you are noticing that your pet dog or cat is struggling or reluctant in their movements, it could be the onset of arthritis.

What is Arthritis and What Causes It?

Osteoarthritis—the most common form of arthritis, is a cluster of conditions that result in joint dysfunction. Cartilage protects the joints from the friction of bones rubbing together. It is also critical in cushioning the joint from any impacts. Because cartilage doesn’t receive any nerve signals, it can be tough to tell when cartilage is being worn away until arthritic symptoms show.

Arthritis is most often a product of diet, age and genetic susceptibility.

Dietary management is essential. Avoid all tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.  They all belong to the same plant family, Solanaceae. They are all nightshades and produce toxic alkaloids. Sweet potatoes are OK. They belong to a different family.

Certain breeds may be more prone to arthritis than others, especially large breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, St. Bernard’s, Mastiffs, Labradors, etc.

How Does Arthritis Affect my Dog or Cat?

Arthritis in dogs, cats, or any of our pets is not unlike that which people experience. It is a common ailment that affects dogs and cats in their middling to older years. However, as fellow pet lovers ourselves, we understand your desire to make sure your pet is as comfortable and without pain as can be. Be assured, there are things you can do.

If you are unsure whether your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort due to arthritis, look for any of these symptoms listed below:

  • Stiffness in gait or when getting up after resting
  • Reluctance to exercise or difficulty in exercise
  • Inability to do things they once could not long ago, such as jumping up and down on a couch
  • Weight gain as a result of lessened activity

Weight gain is a major issue for anyone with arthritis, as the increased weight places further stress and pressure on the joints, which will only increase pain and make your pet even less willing to move about and exercise.

Ways to Manage Your Pet’s Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that can be managed. While there is no “magic bullet” for joint dysfunction, there are many natural,  low cost supplements and physical aids that can help. This is why it is all the more important to keep a sharp eye out for signs that your pet may be experiencing joint pain. One of the most important ways to manage your pet’s arthritis is to make sure they still get regular exercise in whatever way is most comfortable for them.

It can help to also provide quality of life changes in your home for pets that are suffering from a more advanced arthritis. Even simple changes such as providing a padded object for them to jump onto if they want to get on or off the couch or bed.

Getting a quality dog bed is also crucial for a pet suffering from joint pains. We understand the importance of a good mattress, the same goes for your pet’s dog bed!

Keeping your dog’s nails short is not just a matter of grooming, keeping nails short provides better traction to the floor, which will make it less taxing for them to move about.

Stimulating blood flow on a daily basis is good for the remaining cartilage in the joints as well as will help reduce pain and stiffness. Holistic therapies such as acupuncture have gained popularity as part of a push to avoid unnecessary use of pain medications. In the case of arthritis, sometimes NSAID’s are used to reduce inflammation and pain, but long-term use is not recommended, and so holistic strategies win out for long-term pain management.

Holistic Arthritis Supplement for Dogs

 Vitality Science is proud to provide holistic remedies to common ailments that dogs and cats experience. Arthritis is one such common ailment that can stifle your pet’s energy and liveliness. Our Flex + Lipids Combo for Dogs is a product that we provide which is comprised of our Flex-N-Free supplement which supports joint and bone health. After all, range of motion is incredibly important to comfort and being able to stay fit.

Flex-n-Free contains nine of the most scientifically proven nutraceuticals that reduce inflammation, strengthen ligaments and tendons and aid in the recalcification of bone. Of course we have chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine HCl, but also vitamin K2, the master controller for calcium deposition, high potency bromelain and serrazimes, two anti-inflammatories and more.

The second half of the combo is Vital Pet Lipids—please note, these products are also available in formulations for cats as well! The vital pet lipids contain Astaxanthin—a naturally occurring carotenoid which has a host of impressive health benefits for animals—including greatly reducing inflammation and joint pain!

For more information on our products, click the links in this blog post. You can also email us at [email protected]

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