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Baby it’s cold outside! Caring for canine arthritis.

It’s winter. The days darken, the temperature drops, and getting out of bed is a constant struggle. It’s exactly the same for pets. Arthritis affects around 1 in 5 dogs — more commonly larger breeds — and can make our favourite walks in the colder months a little harder on the hips and joints.

What is arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in dogs, and it’s caused by general wear and tear of a life chasing sticks, jumping in cars and playing with pals in the park.

As our dogs age, the cartilage in their joints starts to erode and their bones can come into direct contact. What starts out as mild can become increasingly painful over time, especially for older dogs.

Reading the signs

The symptoms of arthritis usually come on slowly, but keep on the lookout for:

• Difficulty getting up or laying down

• Struggling the climb stairs

• Reluctance to jump in or out of the car

• Lack of interest in usual activities, like walks

• Changes in behaviour, like irritability caused by pain

• Whining when touched

• Swollen or stiff joints

• Sleeping more

While many of these symptoms can be a natural part of the ageing process, you shouldn’t ignore them. It signals your dog is in pain. But be wary if any of these changes come on suddenly — it could be a sign of injury, so talk to your vet.

What can I do?

Sadly, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are ways to slow its progression and keep your dog comfortable. Joint supplements are a great way to help ease the pain, discomfit and stiffness associated with arthritis.

Ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin found in Fetch provide structural support by promoting the formation and repair of cartilage and reducing inflammation. Collagen — a natural protein found in people and dogs — can help regenerate joints and strengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments to prevent injury. Bio-available turmeric works to reduce inflammation, helping older dogs age gracefully.

Another science-backed option is incorporating omega 3 fatty acids into your dog’s routine. Omega 3s have powerful anti-inflammatory properties to support joint health, with the added benefit of promoting a glossy coat and glowing skin.

Prevention is always better than cure, so adding a joint supplement to your puppy’s daily diet is a simple way to keep them limber for longer. Or for older dogs who are starting to show signs of slowing down, it’s never too late to start.

By Asha Dillon

Leadr Founder

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