Puppies are generally very active and it is essential to go through new puppy checklist. Whether zooming around the lawn, playing with their toys, going for walks, diving into the water, or playing a vigorous round of fetch, they find their energy outlets with your help. Of course, pet owners understand that dogs of different ages have varying levels of energy and exercise needed. There’s nothing quite like manic puppy energy, but young dogs stay spry and exuberant. Once dogs enter their senior years their energy levels tend to significantly drop, but even around the three to four year mark most dogs start to calm down and take more breaks from activity.
While a degree of slowing energy is normal in dogs as they age, there can be another cause for why your dog is less active. Unfortunately, joint and muscle pain is common in dogs of all breeds and ages, but large dogs in their senior years are especially susceptible. Your dog can’t simply tell you he’s experiencing joint pain, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the indicators he does give.
If you’ve learned that your dog is having joint pain, you should first consult with your vet and follow their recommendations. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can help your pup find relief from his joint pain so he can play, or sleep, in sweet comfort. Let’s go over three ways to love your dog during this health concern.
Help Your Dog Regulate His Temperature
Dogs are able to regulate their body temperature to a certain degree, like humans, but the process looks a bit different for them. Because dogs can only minimally sweat around their noses and in their paw pads, they pant to cool themselves down when they’re warm, along with looking for shade, drinking water, and finding a breeze. But how do dogs heat themselves when they’re cold?
Their coat of fur helps to keep them warm because of its insulating effect. Double coated dogs, especially, have an extra layer of fluff to heat them by trapping the warmth by the skin. Their paw pads are also filled with blood vessels that aid in circulation to keep their temperatures up, similar to the effect wooly socks have on humans. But as your dog gets older, he’ll probably have a more difficult time staying warm. If your senior dog struggles to retain heat, there’s a greater chance of him experiencing painful stiffness in his muscles and joints.
The weather doesn’t even have to be particularly cold for your senior dog to begin to feel the shivers. There’s a reason why older dogs like to burrow into the covers on your bed—they like the cozy warmth (and your smell comforts them). A few ways you can help your dog stay warm are dressing him snugly for the outdoors, placing his bed in a temperate location, and providing lots of blankets for him to burrow in.
Consider CBD for Joint Pain
Did you know that hemp CBD is safe for dogs and can provide relief for multiple problems they may face, such as stress, itching, cognition, shaking, and joint pain? Because your dog’s Endocannabinoid System is responsible for regulating joint health, targeting it has great results for your pup. There are simple but effective ways to provide your dog with CBD in the right dosage for his concerns, age, and size. Some common ways to administer your dose of pet cbd are liquid, capsules, chews, and paste. The CDB itself is tasteless but can be paired with delicious flavors your dog loves for easy dosage.
Make Movement Easier and Pain Free
Knowing what your pet is experiencing, you have the opportunity to help him in exactly the ways he needs. Your mission is to help relieve his muscle pain and prevent any additional strain on his joints, which comes down a lot to movement. Firstly, you can get your dog ramps so he doesn’t have to jump up and down, landing on sore limbs. Think of common places your dog used to jump to reach, like the bed, the couch, the car, or the porch, and give him a hand whenever you can. Try to also add soft flooring or padding wherever possible, like on slippery surfaces or that spot on the floor he likes to rest.
And because your dog still needs exercise to stimulate his mind and body, provide gentle movement options. Instead of taking a long hike that your pup was able to handle in the past, short walks throughout the day are a better option. You may notice your pup wanting to stop and sniff frequently, so be sure you go at his pace (even mental stimulation can get his energy out!). Your dog can also benefit from other low impact exercise, like swimming, little play sessions, or teaching him new tricks.
As a dog owner, you take your job as caretaker seriously, and watching your dog experience new pain due to age is hard. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to provide your pup with relief so that both of you can focus on quality time together!