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OLD AGE AND RELATED CONDITIONS: OSTEOPOROSIS AND ARTHRITIS

As time goes by, your dog’s bones become more fragile and its muscle mass begins to diminish. This is why dogs walk more slowly, even limp, when they grow old. Osteoporosis and arthritis are two problems that many senior canines suffer from, but there are remedies that help slow and lessen the effects of these illnesses.

Just like humans, fatigue and reluctance to move about come with old age in dogs too. As they age, their bones lose minerals, especially such vital ones as calcium and phosphorus. These minerals leave the bones to meet needs elsewhere and the first symptoms of osteoporosis soon become evident. And, much in the same way, the cartilage that protects the bones at the joints deteriorates and arthritis sets in as time goes by.

Osteoporosis is nothing more than a condition that makes bones dangerously fragile, while arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints. These two illnesses affect all types of dogs, regardless of breed or size, although some are more at risk – like Bulldogs and Labradors – than others.

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Here are some tips on how to help your old dog deal with these health issues.

1) PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Even though your dog may not be able to jump and run like he once did, he still needs to move around to effectively fight stiffness. This is why it is important to take him for walks or even swimming! Remember, all he needs are short but regular walks!

2) SUNBATHING. The sun provides a series of health benefits, and, as long as it is not too hot, you can let your dog out to enjoy it as often as he likes. The sun is one of the most efficient natural allies we have, it helps strengthen bones and joints as it improves the animal’s ability to absorb Vitamin D, which helps bones absorb calcium and other minerals, and generally relieves pain in joints.

3) IDEAL CONDITIONS. Regardless of the season, your four-legged friend needs a warm and dry environment with a relatively constant temperature. Pets that suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis should also have an easy to access, soft cushion on which to sleep. Ferplast’s Galette model is ideally suited to this task, available in a classic oval shape, covered in cotton and with inner padding that makes sure the dog has all the comfort he needs.

4) HEALTHY NUTRITION. Make sure your dog gets a balanced diet. Proper nutrition will help lubricate joints and strengthen bones. A diet rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, trace elements and substances like Omega3 is permitted.

5) MASSAGES AND CUDDLES. Short massages and gentle rubbing of the joints is another treatment that helps dogs with arthritis and osteoporosis. It relaxes the muscles and give the poor dog some relief. It is even better if a competent, expert person gives these massages.

It is easy to help your dog feel much better with a little of care and plenty of love!

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