Part I


Unusual Behavior

Your dog just seems “off”- If your older dog doesn’t seem like their old self, talk to your family vet. The cause of your dog’s unusual behavior could be arthritis pain or another medical condition.

Unusual Eating Habits

Your dog isn’t eating as much- one of the most common signs of a dog with arthritis is a decreased appetite. Pets in pain often don’t feel like eating.

Difficulty Getting Comfortable

Your dog can’t get comfortable- If your dog shifts around a lot and doesn’t seem to be able to get in a comfy position. Walks around in a circle and seem concerned about laying down. They may be suffering from canine arthritis.

Difficulty Moving

Your dog seems to have a difficulty moving well- Dogs who limp, tremble or seem to move slowly when they first get up, might be experiencing stiff joints and arthritis pain.


Your dog cries out- The is an obvious sign of discomfort. If they cry out or whimpers when moving around or when you pet them, they could be suffering from arthritis.

Part II


Consult Your Vet

Ask your family Vet about dog arthritis medication or supplements- your vet can recommend a joint supplement- such as glucosamine, chondroitin or MSM or prescribe a daily pain medication to keep them comfortable- Always talk with your vet before giving your dog any new supplement.

Watch the Weight

Keep your dog at a healthy weight- Arthritis can be one of the first symptoms of a dog carrying excess pounds with their joints becoming overstressed in supporting the extra weight. Excess weight puts extra strain on joints and ligaments, contributing to arthritis pain for your dog.


Make sure your dog with arthritis gets exercise- exercise is important for arthritic dogs but should be low impact to avoid further stress on damaged joints- walking or controlled jogging, and some swimming for effective exercise for arthritic dogs


Try heat therapy, especially in cold months- there are heating pads on the market specifically made for dogs, with pet-friendly filling, you may want to talk with your family vet for their recommendations.

While your dog’s arthritis diagnosis may bring some pain and discomfort. It doesn’t mean they have to stop doing all the things they enjoy. With treatment, your senior dog can still live a Happy, Healthy and Active life. Be sure to take steps to adjust his environment at home. Some things that can help your dog are providing soft supportive bedding, using ramps to help your dog get in and out of your car or on the bed, putting down carpeting or rugs to help them get traction as they walk.
Remember: Low-stress environment, plenty of affection and supportive care can help your dog feel better.

Treating Senior Dogs for Arthritis

by Bill and Elizabeth Cooper