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Is arthritis inevitable in your dog?
If you recently bought or adopted a large breed puppy, you are probably aware of its high risk of developing arthritis later on. Large, working breeds like Bernese Mountain dogs, St. Bernards, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers are more likely than other dogs to suffer from this painful joint condition simply because of their size and high activity level. However, there are a few things you can do to position your pooch for the healthiest life possible.
There is not much you can do to stop a jubilant puppy from exerting its seemingly boundless energy. However, it is important that dogs under age 1 do not jump or engage in high impact activity. This could mean rough play with other dogs, or even jumping down from the trunk of your SUV. Before age 1, dogs' bones are still developing, so damage done at this time could lead to arthritis down the line. You can help your dog avoid this by preventing play from being too rough with other dogs, and by investing in pet products like dog steps for your home. Soft Dog Steps with 2 Steps can prevent your pooch from making a large leap off your bed or couch, while a Dog Ramp for Cars, SUVs and Trucks can make getting in and out of the car gentler on the joints.
Another important lifestyle consideration to make is your puppies growth and weight. It is crucial that you don't overfeed your puppy, because too-rapid weight gain can strain the developing joints. Plus, overfeeding it as a pup means you will likely continue to overfeed it as an adult, and obesity is a large factor in many cases of arthritis. Make sure you follow the instructions on the bag or those given by your veterinarian when you feed your pup pet food like Halo Spot's Stew Puppy Dry Dog Food. Daily exercise can also go a long way in preventing arthritis.
Some owners give their dogs joint supplements once they have arthritis, but these pet drugs can potentially stave off the condition by supporting healthy joints from the beginning. Talk to your veterinarian about giving your young dog a supplement like Super Joint Enhancer or Dasuquin. These both have glucosamine for dogs, which is a natural compound already found in healthy joint cartilage that will keep the joints hydrated and healthy so your dog can keep its playful attitude all throughout life.