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How to protect your agility dog’s joints
A number of breeds are perfect for agility training, and this can be a fun hobby for canine and human alike. However, the breeds that practice agility are also often the ones that suffer most from arthritis. Whether you have a puppy you are planning to train for agility courses or already have a superstar dog, there are a number of things you can do to prevent arthritis pain so it can have a happy and healthy career.
If you are training your dog from a puppy, one way to prevent joint damage and pain is to not start any vigorous physical training until the dog is at least one year old. Until then, the dog's bones are still developing, so any jumping or intense physical activity can cause damage to the bones and joints. Walks are fine and play with other puppies is necessary, but make sure it stays in control. Some jumping is inevitable, but with pet products like Dog Ramps for Cars, SUVs and Trucks, you may be able to prevent some of the most common sources of impact.
Investing in dog steps and ramps for your home can also help keep your pooch's joints limber and strong, since they will prevent sudden jolts that occur when a dog jumps off the couch or off a high bed.
You should also talk to your veterinarian about giving your dog joint supplements from an early age. Giving your pooch a supplement with chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs may help hydrate the joint as it goes through its agility training. The more hydration the cartilage has, the more lubrication the joint will give between the bones, whether at the dog/s knees, elbows, shoulders or hips.
Supplements like Dasuquin are helpful to support healthy joints in dogs young and old, with or without arthritis. A generic variety of this drug, Super Joint Enhancer, has the same active ingredients and helps the pooch walk, run, jump and flip with ease.
If your dog is already experiencing joint pain, your vet may recommend pet drugs to treat the pain. Luckily, many joint supplements can be given along with these medications so your pooch will feel extra limber. Drugs like Rimadyl and Metacam are commonly prescribed to fight inflammation caused by arthritis.