HOLIDAY FOODS THAT ARE BAD FOR DOGS

The holidays are here, and the risk of dogs coming in contact with dangerous foods your dog should never eat can be high. Although some human food is healthy for dogs to eat, there are many foods, especially holiday foods that are bad for dogs, cats and other pets.  

Veterinarians and Pet Insurance Companies report that the holidays bring an increase in pancreatitis, gastroenteritis and other health issues due to dogs ingesting human foods that are toxic to pets. Keep your holidays Merry and Bright by avoiding a potential pet health emergency.


HUMAN FOODS THAT ARE TOXIC TO DOGS


As soon as my sister walks through the door, one of the first things she says is "Can I give the dogs a treat?" For some reason, people that don't have pets often feel compelled to give my dogs treats or sneak them food from the dinner table.  They don't realize there are many human foods that are toxic to dogs, some can even be fatal!  

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Holiday Foods That Are Bad For Dogs

Traditional Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkuh foods can be very rich and loaded with ingredients that are harmful to dogs.  

Here are the most common people foods to avoid feeding your dog, not just during the holidays but all year round.

* Onioins
* Garlic
* Chocolate
* Alcohol
* Turkey skin and fat trimmings of meats
* Macadamia nuts or Walnuts
* Chips or pretzels (they contain too much salt)
* Grapes and raisins
* Caffeine (keep dogs away from coffee and tea)
* Any food that contains Xylitol, commonly found in candy, baked goods, and "sugar free" foods and beverages

Sauces and gravies often contain these ingredients, so don't let your dog lick up gravy or sauce.  M
arinated meats, dips, baked goods and other dishes may also contain food ingredients that are harmful to dogs.

If you're baking or cooking from scratch make sure the dog doesn't get into ingredients like baking soda, baking powder, onion powder or salt, apple cores or seeds from apple pie making, yeast, sugar, or spices. These foods can be poisonous to dogs.

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Human Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs & Other pets

Don't let your dog chew on cooked bones from meat or poultry. Cooked bones are too soft, they can splinter and pierce your dog's intestines or cause a blockage.


HUMAN FOODS THAT ARE HEALTHY FOR DOGS 


Now that we've talked about foods that are bad for dogs, are there healthy human food alternatives you can give dogs during holiday festivities? Yes! There are plenty of delicious human foods that are safe for dogs to eat, so they can celebrate the holidays safely along with you.  

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Human Foods That Are Healthy For Dogs

In addition to holiday food for us humans, I put together a collection of human foods that are healthy for dogs, so Icy and Phoebe feel included. Having pet safe human food on hand not only allows me to include the dogs in holiday festivities, it also discourages my guests from slipping them unhealthy food or snacks from the dinner table! 

These human foods are healthy for dogs, and most dogs love at least a few of them!

* Carrots
* Bananas
* Blueberries
* Apples
* Sweet Potato (Cooked, not raw)
* Pumpkin (100% canned or fresh pumpkin, cooked not raw)
* Peas
* String Beans
*
 Pineapple
* Broccoli
* Organic applesauce
* Organic Peanut Butter
* Nonfat Yogurt
* Eggs (boiled, scrambled, poached - not cooked in butter, fat, or vegetable oil - olive oil is ok)


Icy and Phoebe love pretty much all of these fruits and veggies, and they especially love eggs.  I often mix these foods in with their regular dog food. I like the added nutrition and they love the taste and variety.

For holiday gatherings, I put out my platter of healthy human foods for dogs and let guests know they can freely give my dogs treats from the platter instead of sneaking them table foods that are unhealthy or toxic to dogs. 

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When the big holiday meal is served, my dogs eat right along with us. I make them a plate of turkey (No Skin!) with pumpkin, peanut butter, nonfat yogurt or applesauce, and some of the vegetables above.  They know it's a special holiday meal made just for them, and they feel included in our holiday feast.

Keep your dogs and other pets safe during the holidays. However you celebrate, Icy, Phoebe and I wish you and your families a joyous and healthy holiday season!!  πŸŽ„


Would you add any foods to the list of people foods that can be dangerous to pets?  What about the list of human foods that are healthy for pets? Please leave us a comment, we love when you bark back to us!

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DOG HALLOWEEN COSTUME TIPS

Do you dress your dog up for Halloween? I do! It's so much fun to dress them in Halloween costumes for dogs or simple homemade dog Halloween costumes you create yourself. Not every dog likes to get dressed up for Halloween, and each dog has a different tolerance for wearing costumes, or wearing any clothes for that matter. 

It's important to know your dog's comfort level for wearing clothing or costumes and consider that when coming up with Dog Halloween costume ideas.

DOG HALLOWEEN COSTUME TIPS


My dogs Icy and Phoebe are very different in terms of their comfort level for wearing pet clothing or pet costumes. My Siberian Husky Icy, really doesn't like to wear clothes or costumes at all. She rarely stays still long enough for me to take some photos, and there better be some high value treats involved!

Phoebe is my Little Mermaid in my elaborate Mermaid Under The Sea vingnette


Phoebe on the other hand, will wear anything I ask her to. In fact, she loves when I put clothes or costumes on her! I think she is mostly responding to all the adoring attention and yummy treats she gets when she looks adorable in a super cute outfit or costume.

Some dogs get really stressed out when you try to put any kind of clothing or costumes on them. If your dog gets super stressed when the pet garments come out, you may want to opt for simple accessories that clearly show the idea of a costume or theme, but are easy to utilize.

Accessories like colorful holiday themed collars and leashes, holiday themed bandanas and scarfs or bow ties are also a great choice. Some bandanas are actually worn on the dog's collar. Collars fit right through an opening on the bandana, similar to how a curtain rod slides through a curtain. 


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Simple Halloween bandanas that most dogs will wear

Icy and Phoebe look festive in their Halloween bandanas. For great Halloween photos of the dogs I got a spooky background and placed a single skull head prop next to them - instant simple Halloween photo session!

I also have these cute matching Halloween neck scarves for my dogs. The scarf has an elastic band that makes it more comfortable to wear. It's a simple accessory that clearly says Halloween.


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Simple elastic scarf accessories that are easy for dogs to wear 

If your dog doesn't like to wear clothing or costumes but is willing to wear simpler costumes, try a head piece, a cape, or a "rider" costume. These are adorable but minimally intrusive to dogs.  Icy's Headless Horseman costume and Phoebe's Devil costume are perfect examples.

Icy's Headless Horseman rider Halloween costume is one of my favorites! When she runs with her Headless Horseman costume on it's a Riot! The costume fits easily and comfortably on her back, kind of like a dog backpack.

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Icy wearing her Headless Horseman rider costume 


Phoebe, my sweet little Devil is so cute wearing her devil horns, a red sparkly bow tie, and a devil tail. The red sparkle pitchfork and distressed tiny pumpkin lend a fun touch.  Simple wearable accessories plus a few props make an adorable Halloween costume.

Phoebe, my adorable little Devil!


If your dog is up for a full on pet Halloween costume, go for it!  If you decide to have your dog wear a full costume, here are some safety tips for Dog Halloween Costumes to keep in mind as you plan for Halloween fun with your dog.

🐾 Inspect dog costumes to ensure there are no pieces or parts of the costume that can be easily ripped or chewed off, possibly posing a choking hazard.

🐾 Dog costumes or costume accessories should not limit the dog's eyesight or their ability to move freely while wearing costumes. 

🐾 Costumes that cover a dog's head or eyes can inhibit a dog's ability to see what's around them. It could even limit their breathing, especially if the dog is a brachycephalic dog breed like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs.

My DIY cardboard Disney Frozen castle with Phoebe as Elsa and Icy as Olaf


I had spent so much time making this DIY Disney's Frozen castle, I was pretty proud of it! It took me hours to make the castle, and I had purchased adorable Elsa and Olaf costumes for Phoebe and Icy to wear. But as cute as Icy's Olaf costume was, she didn't like wearing it at all. The Olaf costume wasn't comfortable for her and it's giant head impaired her ability to move and see freely.  So I snapped some photos, showing off their costumes and my DIY castle and then threw poor Olaf in the trash. 

Phoebe loved wearing her Elsa costume, so I kept that one. I should have dressed Icy as Anna instead of Elsa's faithful friend Olaf! Poor Olaf.

🐾 Be sure to let your dog try on Dog Costumes in advance of any Halloween parties, visits to pet store dog Halloween events, or greeting Halloween trick or treaters at your door. Don't wait 'til the last minute to make sure the costume fits your dog properly, and that he can move comfortably and safely in it.

🐾 Measure your dog to make sure her costume is the right size and can be adjusted for optimal fit.

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Dogs can be frightened by scary Halloween decor and costumes

Halloween is a fun holiday that's scary and spooky. We know that, and we expect scary decorations in the neighborhood and in stores. We also get a kick out of seeing neighborhood kids in elaborate, scary costumes. But our dogs don't understand the concept of All Hallows Eve and can be frightened by these Fright Night sights. The Humane Society points out that even our Halloween costumes might be scary to our own pets! Be aware of that and slowly introduce your dog or puppy to spirited Halloween decor and costumes, including your own.









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Are you dressing your pets up for Halloween this year?  Tell us about it in the comments!

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INCLUDE THE DOG IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, but we keep disaster preparedness top of mind all year round. We make sure to include the dogs in our disaster preparedness plan. I always have a Pet Emergency Go Kit ready for our dogs, Icy and Phoebe.

Some of the disasters that can cause your family and pets to evacuate with very little notice are:

πŸ”₯ Wildfires
πŸ’¨Tornados
πŸ₯ Hurricanes
πŸ’§  Floods
🌐 Earthquakes
☠  Caronavirus

Disasters and Emergencies often strike with very little notice. You don't want to be scrambling around, grabbing supplies needed for evacuation when you're stressed and panicked! 

INCLUDE THE DOG IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS 


Don't wait to start preparing for a potential disaster or emergency situation, prepare an emergency supply kit now so you and your dog can be ready to GO at a moment's notice!

HOW TO PLAN FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION WITH YOUR DOG


Sadly, many pets are lost during natural disasters and are never reunited with their owners. A microchip links you to your pet permanently. Any Veterinarian or animal shelter can scan your dog or cat for a microchip and help reunite you. Please get your dog or cat microchipped Now, before disaster strikes. 


CREATE A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


It's important to have the essential items needed for your dog in case you have to leave your home immediately due to a natural disaster or other emergency. 

These essential items should be packed well in advance, and be accessible so you can grab them and Go at a moment's notice. In an emergency situation, you don't want to waste time having to think about all the pet supplies you'll need, search the house for them, and find something to pack them in.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU NEED FOR A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


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  SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


3-5 days of water and dog food in airtight containers, food and water bowls
 Medications and supplements
 Pet carrier or crate
 Dog's Rabies certification, other medical documents, and ownership documentation
 Extra Leash (and Harness if you use one)
 First aid kit
 Blanket or towel
 Comfort toy, chew sticks/treats to help dogs stay calm
 Plenty of dog waste bags
 Clear Photos of your dog in case she gets lost 
 Paper towels, pet wipes, plastic ziplock bags for cleanup

In addition to these essential dog supplies, you should have a flashlight in case the power goes out.  You should have some cash with you as well. When the power grid fails merchants often revert to cash only business. Gas, food and lodging along your evacuation route may require cash. During the 2003 blackout in New York City, it was really disconcerting to be unexpectedly stranded in the city and unable to use a credit card for anything until power was restored! Face masks and gloves for COVID19 protection are also important supplies to have with you.

A durable Backpack or Duffle Bag like these would be a great Emergency Go Bag - Click the product links to Buy It Now from our online store!


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Duffle Bags for Travel, Work, School, Emergency Go Bag


Prepare your dog's Pet Emergency Go Bag now and store it within easy reach. Check the bag a couple of times a year to ensure food, treats and first aid items haven't expired. When supplies in my dogs emergency go bag get close to expiration, I replace them. 

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Do You Have A Pet Emergency Go Bag For Your Dog or Cat?


We have never had an emergency evacuation, but we recently moved to Florida which is hurricane territory. As soon as we moved, I was even more diligent about preparing a pet emergency go bag for my dogs.

ADVANCE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLANNING


πŸŸ† Never leave your dog at home if you are evacuating! Plan to take her with you. If it's not safe for you to stay in your home, it's certainly not safe for your dog to stay there. Don't assume that "someone" will find your dog and take care of her. Odds are they won't. She'll be left alone and frightened, trying to fend for herself. You can't be sure when you'll return.

πŸŸ† Search now for public shelters (school, stadium, etc.) in your area and hotels that accept pets, or have a plan of where else you will go with your pets such as a family or friend's house outside your own city or state.

πŸŸ† If you think a mandatory evacuation order is coming leave your home Early, don't wait. Restrictions may increase as an evacuation progresses. You may also get shut out of pet friendly shelters and lodging options. Don't wait until the last minute. 

The U.S. Government has put together a guide on how to plan for an emergencies and disasters. It includes information on how to create a plan and what should be in your family emergency kit.

The website also has additional information on how to prepare your pets for disaster.

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Bringing Home A New Puppy or Dog 



Do You have a Pet Emergency Go Bag for your pets? Phoebe wants to know! Please leave her a comment and let her know - she cares about your pets!

EASE DOGS ANXIETY AS YOU HEAD BACK TO WORK

During the height of the COVID19 Pandemic, many companies set their employees up to work virtually, from home. There were pros and cons for us humans, but our dogs LOVED it!  Their people were always home with them, giving them attention and love all day, every day.  Now that the world is getting back on it's feet, people are getting back to working outside the home. But that can leave our dogs feeling confused, not understanding why suddenly we are leaving them alone every day. How can you ease dogs anxiety as you head back to work outside the home?

Going back to work outside the home may seem like second nature to us, but it can leave our dogs, cats or other pets feeling abandoned. They may not understand why suddenly you're leaving the house every day for hours and hours, why you're leaving THEM every day.


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How To Ease Dogs Anxiety As You Head Back To Work

Changes in daily routine, coupled with the absence of their people can be very unsettling to dogs. My dogs don't like it when I make the slightest change in their routine - dinner at 6 instead of 5:30? Icy lets me know she won't stand for it! My cat Maggie used to freak out if I moved a piece of furniture to a new position!  

HOW TO EASE DOGS ANXIETY AS YOU HEAD BACK TO WORK

How can you ease your dog's anxiety now that you're getting back to your old routine, leaving the house for work daily? There are a few things you can do to raise your dog's comfort level and help her through the transition of you leaving her alone at home each day.

🐾 It sounds obvious, but try to spend some extra time with your dog as you head back to work. Can you squeeze in an early morning dog walk, or extend the time of her morning potty walk? If mornings won't work, perhaps you can add more evening walks, or make evening walks longer. 

Morning walks burn energy and can tire your dog out for much of the day. It can also lower her stress level. Evening walks will give your dog something to look forward to at the end of each day. Once she knows that a long walk will come at the end of the day when you return, she'll expect it and look forward to it.

🐾 Plan weekend outings with your pup. It doesn't have to be a 5 mile hike every weekend. It can be a Starbucks coffee in the morning or a Dairy Queen ice cream in late afternoon. 

My dogs love our Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts outings! They jump in the car and start getting excited, knowing we're going somewhere fun together. 

We bring along chew sticks for them. They lay on the concrete enjoying their chew sticks, the open air breezes, and friendly people coming over to say hello. Starbucks will even give them a Puppuccino, which is whipped cream in a small cup or lid. Boy do they LOVE Puppuccinos! 

🐾 A family walk in a dog friendly park or hiking trail is a great way to remind your pup she’s still an important part of the family - her pack! It burns lots of energy too.

🐾 Get a new toy, preferably something a little different like a puzzle toy. A puzzle toy or other interactive toy such as a squirrel nesting toy, is challenging play and a great distraction for dogs.

Puzzle toys not only challenge a dog's brain, but the mental stimulation can tire them out almost as much as physical activity.  Puzzle toys can be a great early morning activity for your dog while you get ready for work. As you can see in this video, Icy and Phoebe love them! This one is the Dog Tornado, from Outward Hound



🐾 If you have the budget for it, you can enroll your dog in Doggie Daycamp 2 or 3 days a week. You’d be shocked at how much energy dogs burn in doggie daycamp! This supervised play with other dogs can be tons of fun and will really tire them out. You know how the saying goes, A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!  

Keeping your dog well exercised throughout the week can help avoid dog anxiety and destructive dog behaviors in the house while you’re away at work.

🐾 Another alternative is to hire a pet sitter or dog walker a couple of days a week. You might be able to convince a family member or trusted neighbor kid to visit with your dog or take him for a walk mid day. 

The dog gets a friendly visit from a familiar human, and either a walk or some playtime. These visits can relax your dog and help avert a dog's loneliness and boredom.

🐾 Even something as simple as giving your dog an extra special treat just as you leave the house can be really helpful. It’s something the dog can look forward to each morning, rather than getting stressed and anxious watching you prepare to leave the house. She'll focus on enjoying her special treat or toy while you quietly leave the house. Don't make a fuss about leaving, just go! Big goodbyes and a lot of fuss will get your dog excited and may create stress.

Be careful though, don’t make the treat something that will cause your dog to need to potty right afterwards!  Something simple like a tasty chew stick that will last a few minutes, or a special toy you only bring out when you’re heading to work.  Something that will occupy them for maybe 5 minutes after you’ve left the house. It interrupts their anxiety and gives them something positive and enjoyable to focus on.

When we were crate training Icy as a puppy, on the (not so good) advice of a trainer I left a Kong stuffed with peanut butter in the crate with her and left the house for 30 minutes. Oh man, what a mistake! I won't get into the gross details, but when we returned her crate was a mess and Icy was extremely distressed at having messed up her crate. I never left a dog unattended with a treat stuffed toy again. Lesson Learned! I still feel guilty about that, 12 years later.

🐾 Enrolling in a fun dog training class together puts all the attention on her and lets your dog know how special she still is. A dog agility class or a tricks training class can be a lot of fun for the whole family. And it helps re-enforce basic training commands, it's a win-win!

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Ease Dogs Anxiety as you Head Back To Work

However, if your dog is still extremely anxious when you leave the house or is being destructive, get back to basics. The act of you leaving the house, and him building up to the moment you will actually walk out the door is probably what's causing extreme anxiety. The dog's tension increases as he picks up on the cues that you are getting ready to leave him.

🐾 On your days off, practice the act of you leaving the house and work to create positive associations with you leaving. Try this exercise: Get ready to leave the house, just as you would each workday. But before you walk out the door, give your dog a chew stick or toy. As he starts getting engaged with his special treat or toy, quietly leave the house without making a fuss. Wait about 2 minutes and walk back inside.  

Do this numerous times, getting your dog used to you leaving but coming right back in. You want him to realize that you leaving means he'll get a special chew stick or toy, something he'll look forward to. Don't make a big deal out of leaving the house, just do it quietly and swiftly as your dog is enjoying his treat.  

When you come back in don't make a fuss either, just walk right in past your dog. When your dog is calm, not excited at your return, you can give the hugs & kisses!

I still do this with Phoebe when we take Icy somewhere but need to leave Phoebe behind. John and Icy go out to the car. Just before I walk out the door I give Phoebe one of her favorite chew sticks. As she starts enjoying her treat, I quietly leave the house. She's so focused on the chew stick she barely realizes I'm leaving. She used to get anxious when we would leave her alone, but I've paired something positive with her being left home alone, and it works!


MORE HELP FOR A DOG WITH ANXIETY WHEN LEFT ALONE


If none of these ideas work for your dog and she's still experiencing extreme anxiety, you can try one of these methods for Calming a dog's anxiety:

✦ Give your dog some calming treats like Therabis Calm and Quiet dog treats. I give them to Icy to get her through thunderstorms and fireworks. Some folks successfully use a dog anxiety vest to calm their dog's anxiety.

✦ Work with a dog trainer. A few one on one sessions can often help dogs conquer separation anxiety.

These are just a few ideas to help ease dogs anxiety as you head back to work.  What other ideas can you suggest to reduce a dog's anxiety?  Please leave a comment and share your dog anxiety relief success stories! 


ARTHRITIS IN DOGS; CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT

Arthritis in dogs is a common problem, especially in senior dogs 8 years old +, as well as larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and Mastiffs. In addition, obese dogs of any breed are also at greater risk of developing Arthritis.

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS IN DOGS?


Arthritis in dogs is also known as Osteoarthritis in dogs, Dejenerative Joint Disease in dogs, or 
Canine arthritis. But whatever you call it, it's a progressive inflammation of the joints caused by deterioration of cartilage. Wear and tear of the cartilage around the joints causes this deterioration and subsequent inflammation.

A dog's cartilage is the cushioning that allows their joints to move easily and enables dogs to have full range of motion.  When cartilage starts breaking down it causes inflammation, pain, and a decrease in range of motion for the dog.

Most often, Arthritis effects a dog's limbs and lower spine.  It is a progressive condition for which there is No cure. However, if you identify and address it early, your dog can stay active and maintain very good quality of life for years to come!

CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS IN DOGS


The main causes of Arthritis in dogs are;


🐾 Age: 80% of dogs 8 years old or older develop arthritis. 20% of dogs show signs by the time they are only 1 year old. However, most younger dogs with arthritis get the condition due to inherited, or congenital, traits

🐾 Congenital joint disorders such as elbow or hip dysplasia. These may result in arthritis in much younger dogs

🐾 Old injuries. Just like us humans, old injuries often cause arthritis in the joints

🐾 Repetitive stress on the dog's joints or spine. This is often caused by high exertion dog athletic activities such as dock diving, sled racing, skijoring, flyball, disc catching, or agility.

🐾 A dog being overweight (Obesity). Excess weight puts added stress on a dog's joints, which can cause damage to joints that results in Canine Arthritis

🐾 Diseases such as Diabetes, which causes changes in the musculoskeletal system, and Cushing's disease which causes inflammation that can exacerbate dogs joint degeneration.



The below visual from Parnell Living Science shows Osteoarthritis risk factors by dog breed. The chart shows which dog breeds are at Low, Medium, High, and Very High risk for arthritis.  

Dog Breeds At Risk For Arthritis: Arthritis Breed List Chart provided with permission from Parnell Living Science

According to this chart, my dogs Icy (a Siberian Husky) and Phoebe (Havanese/Maltese mix) are both at Medium risk for Osteoarthritis - Whew! I was so worried that Icy would be on the very high end, being a Husky. They are senior dogs now, so I'm becoming more focused on their mobility.


COMMON SIGNS OF DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS


Some of the symptoms dogs exhibit that may indicate arthritis are;


🐾 Your dog is limping, appears stiff in the legs or back, has difficulty getting up or climbing stairs, or seems to be in pain when attempting to get in position to potty.

🐾 Your normally energetic dog suddenly seems Lethargic

🐾 Your dog no longer wants to run, jump, take the walks she normally enjoys, or play.

🐾 Changes in your dog's behavior, or suddenly experiences pain when touched on the spine area or limbs. Your normally gentle dog may actually growl or snap when touched in areas impacted by painful arthritis!

It's important to visit your Veterinarian regularly and have your dog checked for early signs of Osteoarthritis, especially as she ages.

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Arthritis in Dogs; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


ARTHRITIS IN DOGS TREATMENT


There are several ways to treat arthritis in dogs.  There are a number of non-medical options, as well as medical approaches your Veterinarian can recommend. I like to try non-medical methods first if I can, opting for medications or other therapies after I've exhausted more natural methods.

Let's talk about natural ways to treat arthritis in dogs first;


πŸ‘‰ Supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin are natural compounds found in healthy cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions joints. These supplements are made in a lab, using the cartilage of animals such as pigs, cows, even the shells of shellfish. These supplements can help slow the loss of cartilage in dogs, relieving a dog's arthritis.

πŸ‘‰ Omega3 supplements found in fish oils or fresh fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines can help reduce inflammation and keep your dog's joints healthy. Reducing inflammation can lessen joint damage and the symptoms of a dog's arthritis.  

Icy and Phoebe love salmon and fish oil so as they age I've been adding salmon oil to their food daily. I also feed them salmon when I can. When frozen salmon goes on sale I buy a couple of bags for my dogs.  Fish oils are also excellent antioxidents!

πŸ‘‰ One of the best ways you can start helping dogs with arthritis pain is through weight control, if the dog is overweight. Losing weight can slow further joint damage and lessen the pain of arthritis.

πŸ‘‰ Walking and Non strenuous, lower impact exercise are beneficial types of exercise for dogs with Osteoarthritis. Exercise keeps muscles toned and strong and can assist in keeping a dog's weight under control. It won't help a dog's arthritis if he becomes a couch potato! Every dog is different so consult your Veterinarian on what type and how much exercise your dog can safely engage in.

πŸ‘‰ Your Veterinarian may recommend other treatments such as physical therapy, massage, or acupuncture.

Now for the medical options. Most of the medical methods used as dog arthritis treatment focus on pain management, slowing down joint degeneration, and encouraging cartilage repair. They include;


πŸ‘‰ NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and pain.

πŸ‘‰ Steroids or Cortisone pills or injections to reduce inflammation. These are usually a bit stronger than NSAIDs.

πŸ‘‰ Chondroprotectants, which prevent joint degeneration and help protect joint cartilage as it repairs itself. They inhibit the enzymes that destroy cartilage.

πŸ‘‰ If the degenerative joint damage in dogs is severe, surgery may be recommended. There are a few different types of surgeries that can be done. Your Vet will explain those options if needed.

As you can see, there are quite a few treatment options for dogs with Arthritis. However, the AKC (American Kennel Club) maintains that Diet, Exercise, and Joint Supplements are some of the best ways to prevent the development of Osteoarthritis and keep your dog's joints healthy.  PETMD agrees with that assessment, recommending proper diet and exercise, joint supplements, and routine Veterinary visits.

DISCLAIMERI am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online! I share my own research and what's worked for my dogs and my foster dogs. As always, be sure to check with your Veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet, giving them supplements (even natural ones), or altering their exercise routines. Every dog is different and your Vet knows your pet best.

HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR ARTHRITIC DOG MORE COMFORTABLE 

If your Veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with arthritis, there are things you can do to make her more comfortable right away. As you weigh the various treatment options and wait for any blood work or imaging results for your dog, there are a few things you can implement right now;

🐾 Control your dog's diet and keep her weight at an optimal level. Joints will deteriorate faster if a dog is overweight. Take the strain off your dog's joints and bones by keeping them at the proper weight, or at least start working towards it. Consult your Veterinarian and get some guidance before changing your dog's diet.

🐾 Give her a nice soft bed to relax and sleep on. Personally, I like orthopedic pet beds. Icy and Phoebe are both senior dogs, so I like that orthopedic beds give them better joint and bone support. I can tell that Orthopedic beds for dogs are clearly more comfortable for them!

Arthritis in dogs, Osteoarthritis in dogs legs, Dejenerative Joint Disease in dogs, Canine arthritis
Icy & Phoebe love the comfort of orthopedic beds for dogs


🐾 Install ramps like this one, the CozyUp Steps & Ramp Combo from PetSafe to help arthritic dogs get in the car, and on your bed or sofa easier and safely.  I won this fabulous Ramp/Step on my friend Paula's blog, Sweet Purrfections. It can be a huge help for dogs or cats suffering from arthritis and having trouble getting into the car or up on furniture or your bed.

The CozyUp Steps & Ramp is a combination steps & ramp all in one.  Check out the Sweet Purrfections blog link above to learn more about it. 


🐾 Another thing I find helpful is to ensure the fur between my dogs' paws remains trimmed. When that hair gets long, it causes my dogs' legs to slip on hard surfaces. 

arthritis in dogs, dogs with joint pain, osteoarthritis in dogs, arthritis in dogs legs
Trimming fur on paw pads can help reduce leg strain in dogs with arthritis


The slipping and their constant attempts to regain balance causes strain on their legs. Icy is especially prone to that, I need to trim the hair at the bottom of her paws often. 

There are many ways to help dogs with arthritis live a very full, happy and healthy life. Know the signs of arthritis and the varied options available to address the condition.

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