6 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Joint Pain in Your Dog

Can we do something to prevent chronic joint pain in our best friends? Yes!

Below are 6 easy steps you can take now to prevent joint pain, potential joint conditions, and lessen symptoms of those dogs already suffering.

Pug dog laying in dog bed

Regardless of breed or size most dogs will suffer from some degree of arthritis. This can result in moderate to severe pain, overall stiffness, and reduced mobility. Read on to find out what you can do.

Golden retriever playing with a ball

#1. Avoid Over-Exercise Early in Life

Puppy getting exercise outside

Puppies are rambunctious and full of energy. Since their joints and bones aren’t yet fully developed yet, overdoing it can lead to premature joint pain and arthritis. Help prevent induced chronic joint pain as your dog ages. Take it easy on extended walks, and don’t let your pup to jump too high or run too hard.

#2. Provide a Comfy Spot to Hang or Sleep

dog with joint pain laying in bed

Sleeping in cold, hard, and/or damp conditions can greatly exacerbate joint pain. Have a padded place to sleep; this can make a big difference. Some dog beds now include heating pads to soothe muscles and keep ligaments from stiffening up. If your dog is allowed on the couch or bed, ramps and steps will help them get up and down.  Ramps or steps will also stop them from making damaging leaps.

#3. Watch the Treats

Overweight dog from feeding too many treats

We’re all tempted to give table scraps, or extra treats to our besties. But, extra weight puts a lot of stress on their hip and knee joints.  If you want to include treats for them, and who doesn’t, choose a functional treat.  A treat with joint, dental, or other health benefits is a better choice.

#4. Feed Them Quality Food

Dog getting fed quality food to keep weight down to prevent joint pain

All dog food is not created equally. Don’t fall for cute packaging, read the ingredients to know what you’re really feeding your dog. Notice the ingredients that come first. And remember what sounds good to you may not be the best for your dog. Keeping them on a good diet now can prevent obesity and joint stress in the future.

#5. Daily Mobility Can Help Prevent Joint Pain

Dog getting walked to help prevent joint pain

Daily mobility plays an important role in keeping your dog limber and healthy. Moving joints keeps joints lubricated, with the bonus of keeping down the weight. The key is monitoring their play and walk-time. Walking outdoors on softer surfaces like grass vs concrete, is recommended to reduce impact on bones and joints and help prevent joint pain.

#6. Prevention and Relief with Joint Supplements

Just like in humans, studies show that Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Omega-3 fatty acids work to keep healthy joints in optimal condition, and can lessen or help prevent joint pain. These ingredients DO work better together so choose a supplement that includes a combination or all.

Start your dog on a joint support supplement once they are 12 months and over. If you’re not sure what to choose,  talk to your vet, or try our favorite, WellSyn,  which combines all the above ingredients plus a digestive probiotic and Omega-3 for skin & coat.

Written by Dr. Nicole Trakas, DVM

It has been my life calling to help all creatures great and small. I still remember the day I decided on veterinary medicine as a career. I was 13 and in the 8th grade. I feel extremely blessed to be able to work in a profession that can have such a profound impact on pets and their families. I strive to focus on every concern my pet parents have for their babies and treat them with compassion and empathy. Over the last 15 years in practice, my clients and their pets have become family to me. I am honored to have been able to care for most of my patients from puppy/kittenhood all the way to their senior years.