28/05/2019 12:00 AM
Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, causing inflammation in the joints and making movement painful and difficult.
But millions of dog owners could be unaware their pet is suffering from pain and mobility issues, because they don't know what to look out for, a study has found.
Signs that your dog could be struggling with arthritis or other mobility issues include being slow to get to their feet after a rest, or showing difficulty going up and down stairs.
However, just one in five owners are completely confident they know how to spot their dog is suffering, according to a poll of 2,000 dog owners conducted by OnePoll for pet supplements provider Lintbells.
And more than one in ten admitted they don't have any idea what signs to look out for, with three quarters believing their pooch slowing down is nothing more than old age.
As animal welfare charity Blue Cross explains, arthritis is very common in older dogs, as joint function deteriorates with age. But it can also affect younger dogs after an injury or those with joint and bone development problems.
Lintbells suggests that owners use the 'PAWS' system to help identify the signs of joint stiffness and loss of mobility:
Posture -- Seen any changes in your dog's body shape, muscle strength, or simply in the way they walk?
Attitude -- Has your dog unexpectedly changed the way they react to you, your family, or to other dogs?
Willingness -- Is your dog still up for walks, for games, for bouncing in and out of the car and barking at every little thing?
Slowing down -- Has your dog been slowing down lately -- sooner than you hoped they might?
Although there is no cure for arthritis, you can help your dog by making sure they eat a healthy diet, maintain an optimum weight and get the right amount of exercise. Supplements such as YuMove can help to reduce stiffness, promote better joint health and increase mobility. Hydrotherapy and acupuncture can also help, and your vet will be able to advise on the need for medication, such as anti-inflammatories or painkillers.
Your pet's health is always important, make sure they are insured by getting a quote today.