Arthritis Canine Weight : Triple Trouble

Image: Maja Czerniawska

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs can be controlled with a combination of weight, exercise and medical management.

Ensuring that animals are in their healthy weight range and get regular low-impact exercise is the first step. Treatments such as natural joint supplements and veterinary prescription pain-relief medication can be added to ensure your dog is comfortable and has a good quality of life.

Arthritis can be a very painful condition for your dog. Whilst it cannot be cured, in many cases osteoarthritis can be managed so your dog can have a good quality of life.

Excess weight puts more strain on joints, so overweight animals are at a greater risk of developing arthritis. Obesity is also a contributing factor to other diseases, such as diabetes even more reason to ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight!

"A dog at its ideal weight should have palpable ribs without an excess covering of fat, a visible waist behind the ribs and a slight abdominal tuck1"

For obese dogs with arthritis, weight loss can improve comfort and mobility levels. Weight management involves both dietary changes and an appropriate exercise
program.

Doggy dieting
  • Reduce the amount the animal is fed each day.
  • Feed it a special low-calorie commercial dog food (high in fiber, low in fat).
  • Stop feeding your dog table scraps and other treats. These are often very high in fat. Ensure that all family members stick to this rule!
  • If it enjoys a homemade diet, add extra fiber to your dog's diet (such as extra vegetables), so it will feel full but will have consumed a lower number of calories.

A dog at its ideal weight should have palpable ribs without an excess covering of fat, a visible waist behind the ribs and a slight abdominal tuck1.

A pear-shaped dog is not an ideal weight! Your veterinarian can advise you on an appropriate goalweight for your dog, based on breed, sex and other factors.

The goal of dietary management is to reduce your dog's daily calorie intake. This can be achieved in several ways.

If your dog isn't losing weight despite an appropriate diet and exercise regime, consult your veterinarian. There may be another underlying problem, such as an inactive thyroid gland.

 

 

 

References
1. Purina Body Condition System. http://www.purina.com