4 Signs Your Senior Dog Is Struggling With Mobility Issues Learn How to Help Your Aging Furball Deal with Physical Difficulties

4 Signs Your Senior Dog Is Struggling With Mobility Issues

Is your senior dog having issues with mobility? In that case, this article will help you understand the obvious signs of mobility issues and their solutions.

Like humans, dogs also age in a similar manner. However, reports show that dogs age seven years for every year humans do. 

Even so, they can develop physical and mental ailments like arthritis, depression, cancer, etc. A dog in their senior and geriatric years will have changes in dietary, medical, and activity requirements. 

Have you noticed your aging furball is moving less or limping? PetMD notes that these are obvious signs that your dog is facing mobility challenges. Their behavior can become gentle whispers to help you address the issues in the dog’s joints and meet evolving needs. Hence, they’ll need extra care and attention during their golden years, especially to support joint health. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the common cues your dog shows if they have developed mobility issues. You’ll also learn how to offer the care and support your senior dog needs to address these.

#1. Having Difficulty Standing Up

Have you seen your senior dog having difficulty getting up from where they are sitting? In that case, they might be experiencing joint structure pain that reduces their agility. You should look out for signs of reluctance and discomfort when getting up.

According to Richard Logan, a retired DVM, older dogs have difficulty standing up because of spinal problems and arthritis. He notes that pet parents should take their furball for a vet checkup to determine the pain-producing problems. 

How Can You Help?

First, you need to determine the reason behind your dog’s mobility issue. Based on that, the vet will recommend the right joint supplements for dogs. Some of these products might cause your furball to have side effects like allergic reactions and gastrointestinal upsets.

The joint supplement market was valued at USD 544.10 million in 2023. That means pet parents will have a wide range of options to choose from. However, only a few can help with your dog’s specific mobility issues.

The Nutramax Dasuquin Joint Health Supplement Soft Chews is one such product. Such vet-recommended soft chews have unsaponifiable (ASU), chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine. It’s perfect for senior furballs under 60 pounds.

#2. Limping or Favoring One Leg

There was a time when your dog was sure-footed and agile. However, as they age, you might notice imbalances while they walk and exhibit visible discomfort. This can be a potential sign of joint disease or arthritis. 

Jennifer Coates, DVM, states that there are four types of limping. These include chronic, mild, acute, and severe dog limps. That’s why pet parents must assess the severity of the condition before finding a solution.

Is There Any Solution for This?

As a pet parent, you must recognize the mobility issues early to tailor a solution. For instance, gentle exercise and joint supplements can help. 

You’ll need your dog to perform short and low-impact exercises like swimming, stretching, walking, etc. Doing so will increase joint flexibility and maintain muscle strength in senior dogs. 

As for supplements, you’ll need something that specifically targets bone and joint health. The Ultimate Pet Nutrition Juve Flex Hip and Joint Care is a good joint supplement that can help. This product eases joint stiffness and strengthens the connective tissues to promote mobility and vitality.  

It comes with a 100% naturally occurring compound called Boswellia Serrata. The product also contains HydroCurc Curcumin, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin Sulfate.

#3. Reluctance to Climb Stairs

In recent news, Filbert, a 3-month-old puppy, found stairs to be his mortal enemy. His legs were so small that he couldn’t jump or climb the steps. While having issues when climbing stairs is common in puppies, it should be concerning if your senior dog faces the same problem.

Reluctance, or the sheer inability to climb stairs, is a notable sign of mobility issues. It can be due to joint pain and stiffness. Ensure to consult a vet to rule out serious issues like osteochondrosis, hip dysplasia, etc.

How Can Pet Parents Help?

As mentioned, you can alleviate pain in your senior dog by offering the right supplements. However, in some serious cases, they might require medical interventions. 

Rimadyl is considered the #1 medication for dogs to give them relief from joint and arthritic pain. It contains Carprofen and is considered one of the best anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce the effects expressed by COX enzymes. Remember to get this medication use approved by a vet to understand the dosage and side effects.

You can also motivate them to climb the stairs using their favorite toys or treats. Also, try to install ramps to support them when they want to climb the staircase.

#4. Lagging Behind on Walks

When dogs were younger, pet owners probably had to pull them back as they went for a walk. A report by Newsweek shows a Husky getting impatient because of his owner’s slow walking pace. Maybe you’ve seen your dog make the same cute reactions out of excitement when they were young.

However, now you’ve noticed they are usually lagging behind. This is a clear sign that your senior furball is going through mobility challenges. That doesn’t mean you should stop taking your dog out on walks altogether. 

The Washington Post highlights the importance of dog walking, irrespective of the pet’s age. If your dog is having trouble walking around the neighborhood, there’s a high possibility they have joint stiffness, muscle fatigue, or arthritis.

Tips to Help Match Their Slow Pace

The dog’s age, mobility, mental stimulation, and health status will determine the duration and type of walk you take them on. But how can you accommodate their slower pace? For that, you can follow these tips:

  • Shortening the duration of their walk will help them exercise without feeling pain.

  • Routes with flat terrain can reduce strain on their muscles and joints, making them enjoyable.

  • Getting the right harness or leash can act as supportive gear to make your senior furball comfortable during walks.

Ensure you get a leash that’s flexible enough to meet their pace changes based on their energy levels. The Flexi New Comfort LG Retractable Tape Leash could be a good choice. This 26-foot product is perfect for dogs weighing up to 110 pounds. It comes with a short-stroke braking system, a soft grip, and handle adjustments to make it easy for pet owners.

In summary, your senior dog will have to rely on you to recognize and respond to their challenging requirements. During their golden years, maintaining healthy joints and ensuring optimal joint function are pertinent. 

You can enhance their well-being by providing the right joint supplements for dogs and pain relief medications. Pet parents can also buy products to decrease pain in the dog’s body. 

Remember to be patient, understanding, and committed to their care. You’ll have to embrace the journey ahead and cherish each moment by showering them with extra love, support, and attention. That’s the only way your dog’s quality of life will improve during their senior and geriatric years.

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