Arthritis in Dogs: A Guide for Pet Parents

Osteoarthritis, or arthritis, is a joint disease that affects dogs as well as people. Arthritis in dogs can be as painful for our fur-babies as it is for us.

What is Arthritis in Dogs?

In healthy joints, the slippery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones in the joints. Unhealthy joints show something different. It is osteoarthritis (OA) or arthritis in dogs, no matter the term, the results are the same: cartilage that breaks down, causes pain and swelling. As it gets worse, bone spurs can form, causing more pain and joint damage.

These illustrations show the difference between healthy and unhealthy cartilage. Healthy and unhealthy joints look like this:

Healthy joint and cartilage
Diseased joint and cartilage

Unfortunately, we cannot see this with our own eye, but rather need some sort of X-Ray or MRI to see it. How would you know if your dog had unhealthy cartilage or healthy cartilage?

Dogs can start to show signs of arthritis as early as 1 year of age. According to the Vet Times (pdf), the degenerative joint condition can be found in 20% of dogs before their first year and 80% of more senior dogs at or over age 8. The key is for early treatment to minimize discomfort and visible appearance of pain that could impact your fur-baby on a daily basis.

Some think the key symptom of dog arthritis is limping, but dogs are pretty good at hiding pain and may never limp. For some dogs, when this happens, your dog may simply become less active or show signs of stiffness when getting up. There may be some visible signs of arthritis in your dog's legs.

Arthritis can be difficult to recognize and your dog may not show any signs.

That’s why it’s important to talk to your veterinarian today about keeping your dog active and youthful. The earlier you start, the better chance you have of bringing out the puppy inside him.

Find out if your dog is at risk for arthritis by taking this quiz.

Take the Arthritis Quiz Now

Risk Factors for Arthritis in Dogs

Unfortunately, our dogs cannot talk to tell you they might have arthritis. In fact, you may not notice the signs they may be showing. There are some contributing factors to arthritis in dogs.

Dog arthritis risk factors

Dog arthritis risk factors include:

  1. Breed: Large dog breeds like Labradors, Goldens and Shepherds are more likely to develop arthritis at a young age. Small to medium-sized dogs can have arthritis as well but it may not be as prevalent.
  2. Age: Many think arthritis in older dogs is part of aging. While 80% of dogs will show signs of arthritis by age 8, 20% of dogs show signs as early as the age of one year. And just like in humans, there are ways to help relieve the symptoms if your dog has arthritis.
  3. Weight: It’s important to know the optimal weight for your dog’s breed. Try to keep him close to that weight to minimize stress on his joints. The more they weigh, the harder it is on your dog's mobility.
  4. Health History and Issues: Consider if your dog has joint issues such as hip dysplasia, knee problems, elbow dysplasia, or ligament injuries. If there has been an accident with your dog or if there has been a joint surgery. These are all health history issues that may contribute to arthritis in your dog.
  5. Mobility: Do you see your dog doing less? Do they have problems climbing stairs, or jumping up where they once jumped before? Do you need to help your dog to get in the car?

Take this dog arthritis quiz to find out if your dog is at risk.

Take the Arthritis Quiz Now

Dog Breeds at Risk for Arthritis

There are many breeds that can have arthritis. We have highlighted a few specific dog breeds at high risk for arthritis.

While many people assume arthritis in dogs happens only to our senior dogs, surprisingly arthritis can happen to any dog at any age. The great news is that now the perfect time to protect your pup's joints is BEFORE the problem arises. Don't let your dog become a statistic.

How do you know if your dog is at risk? The breed has a lot to do with when and how the impacts of arthritis may start to happen to your dog. Here are some breed-specific articles that highlight all the things we love about the breed and health risks, including arthritis. 

Is your dog a little bit of this breed and that breed? They are the most common dog breeds out there: our Mixed Breed Dogs! As you can imagine, when you mix breeds, you could have an increased risk for joint problems, like arthritis in dogs.

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is a painful joint disease. But how do you know if your dog is suffering in silence? Dogs are naturally in tune to be at one with their human. They always put us first. They might be in pain, and you may not even notice it. That's because they don't want you to know. Check out some hints they may be trying to tell you in the article "How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain." Here are some other signs to look for:

  1. Sometimes there are no signs. Dogs are good at hiding pain.
  2. Decreased activity
  3. More licking
  4. Behavior changes

Learn more in the Top 4 Signs of Osteoarthritis in Dogs.

Signs your dog may have arthritis

Could Your Dog Have Arthritis?

An easy way to see if your dog could be at risk for arthritis, or possibly showing symptoms of dog arthritis is to take this short dog arthritis quiz with just a few questions and we will email your personalized results to you.

Take the Arthritis Quiz Now

Arthritis Treatments for Dogs

Arthritis is a common health problem in dogs. As dogs age, arthritis becomes more likely. Talk to your veterinarian for more information about arthritis and how to treat it.

Natural Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs

With more and more people thinking openly about holistic treatments rather than the traditional approaches of the past, the industry of human health care is often a popular topic of conversation. For dogs, it’s no different. Pet parents are often researching how to naturally ease their dog’s sufferings from a specific ailment to not just avoid pain but help them feel as good as possible.

There are many natural remedies for arthritis in dogs you can learn about, including:

  • The right joint supplement will help your dog heal from the inside.
  • People are taking their dogs to a canine chiropractor and getting great results.
  • Similarly, acupuncture can provide tremendous relief.
  • There are massage techniques you can do for your dog at home. 

If your dog is at risk or has arthritis, here are some additional things you can do at home to help.

  • Make sure your dog is still active to help their joints work better. This includes regular walking and playing with your dog. A great opportunity to go to the dog park!
  • Keep the weight down for your dog. The heavier the dog, the more pressure on their joints. Every bit helps to make them more comfortable.
  • Provide more cushion for your pets. This includes a fluffy bed, rugs on the floor to lie on and more. If they are on a hardwood floor most days, that will begin to feel less comfortable.

Ask yourself what makes you more comfortable if your joints were aching? Most likely you would be taking some sort of supplement and trying to stay active with a good diet and exercise. You can do the same for your dog.

Other Treatments

Another treatment option your veterinarian may suggest is Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). This class of treatment is most commonly used to control pain in more severe cases of arthritis. While NSAIDs can reduce pain and decrease inflammation, they also have significant side effects with prolonged use, especially in dogs with known liver and kidney issues.

Joint Supplements for Dogs

Arthritis is a progressive disease in dogs just like humans and there is no known cure. That is why prevention and protection of dog’s joints early on through diet, exercise and the use of different therapies is key to keeping your dog moving like the puppy they are at heart.

Nutritional joint supplements are a natural way to decrease the inflammation in joints and increase joint health and cartilage development which helps keep your dog more active and youthful.

Joint supplements, like Glyde Mobility Chews, are created from nutritional ingredients that are vital to healthy joints. The best part is supplements can be started early on with dogs and be taken for long periods of time without the same risk of side effects as other treatments.

3 Essential Ingredients for Dog Joint Health

There are many joint supplements to choose from. Know what to look for in joint supplements. The key to picking the right supplement is to focus on the ingredients and the proper levels that your dog needs.

Green Lipped Mussel (GLM) for Dogs

Studies have proven whole Green Lipped Mussel contains complex proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glycosaminoglycans, chondroitin sulfate, nucleic acids and essential fatty acids such as Omega-3.

Green lipped mussel is from the pristine waters of New Zealand. GLM is not something new and the immense health benefits associated with them have already been proven in humans. Adults already take advantage of this supplement to help relieve the signs of aging, especially when arthritis and swollen joints are an issue. Pets should have that opportunity as well.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs

Glucosamine is a key ingredient that reduces pain and improves joint function. While Chondroitin Sulfate also reduces pain but also improve joint function and mobility. Together, working with Green Lipped Mussel, this creates a powerfully packed supplement for dogs.

While there are other products with Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the proven levels inside Glyde Mobility Chews packs a powerhouse of goodness for joint mobility.

Learn about these proven ingredients and other points that will make it clear: what makes Glyde different?

Glyde Mobility Chews Joint Supplement for Dogs

Glyde Mobility Chews for Dogs is a powerful joint supplement with strong scientific backing to promote healthy joints. Glyde is the only joint supplement with proven levels of the key ingredients of green-lipped mussel (GLM), glucosamine, and chondroitin which works together to help reduce inflammation and pain, improve function, and slow progression of joint damage and arthritis. With Glyde, protecting your dog’s joints is as easy as giving them a daily chew they think is a treat. 

Happy joints, happy dogs.
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