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Protecting the joints of your working dog
Working dogs are those that were originally bred for some job – the Bernese mountain dog was bred to pull carts, while the Portuguese water dog was bred as a gun dog. Even if you do not plan on using these canines for their original jobs, you should still expect them to be incredibly active. You will also want to get educated about joint health, as working breeds tend to suffer the most from conditions like hip displaysia and arthritis.
Over the course of a working dog's life, the wear and tear on the joints can cause arthritis. A veterinarian may recommend giving arthritis dogs a joint supplement like Glyco-Flexx III with glucosamine for dogs. This supplement is recommended for older dogs who need some joint support or for working dogs to keep their cartilage healthy.
Joint supplements are also important for working dogs to help prevent injury during their job. Keeping a dog on a chrondoprotective like Cosequin or Dasuquin, or even a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids like Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil may help prevent injuries from happening.
If your working breed does suffer an injury, there are certain steps owners should take to make sure the injury does not turn into long-term joint damage. First, use the typical ice, elevation and rest technique, then give pet drugs like Excel Aspirin or an anti-inflammatory like Previcox. If the dog is given an anti-inflammatory medication right away, it may protect the joints from damage by preventing white blood cells from migrating there. Remember never to give your pooch more than one nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pet medication (NSAID) at a time, and always use the lowest effective dose. However, you can give your pooch homeopathic supplements on top of NSAIDs.
You can also give your pooch a homeopathic medicine like Traumeel to promote normal inflammatory response. Giving your dog another natural supplement like Yucca Intensive will help control inflammation, while a supplement that contains lots of antioxidants like The Missing Link for Dogs will also prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Whether your working dog is simply older or has been injured, it is also important to promote rest at home. Invest in pet products like Soft Dog Steps with 2 Steps to help your pooch climb up and down from the couch or bed, and get a ramp like Dog Ramps for Cars, SUVs and Trucks to help it get into the car.