What’s your favorite thing to do with your pup? A game of fetch? A nice long walk? Chances are high that it involves movement, even if it’s just jumping up onto the couch to nap together. Playing tug-of-war, running, swimming—it all requires your dog to be happily active.
Your canine’s ability to move directly impacts his or her quality of life, so it’s crucial to support mobility and joint health from the get-go. With proper care and attention, dogs can retain range of movement well into their golden years. Here are a few tips for keeping your furry friend in great shape while supporting mobility and strength.
Make Regular Exercise a Priority
A lack of exercise can lead to weakened muscles, nervous energy, and an unhappy pup. Give your dog some solid exercise or playtime each day—a short walk to go to the bathroom won’t cut it. If your dog is overweight and can’t walk very far without getting tired, take this as an opportunity to reap double the reward: getting his weight down lessen the stress on his joints, and increasing the length and frequency of his walks will help to strengthen his muscles! Depending on the shape your dog is in, you may have to start out quite slow. Over time, you can begin to take longer walks and increase his endurance.
Protect Against Injury
But while most dogs love a good walk or run, be careful not to push them too far—active canines, like agility, hunting, or sporting dogs are at particular risk of injury from overworking. It seems obvious, but dogs who exercise regularly are more likely to tear a muscle or ligament than a lap dog that doesn’t make a habit of running around. Whatever your dog’s activity level, consider introducing a supplement like Wapiti’s Strength to help maintain healthy cartilage and joint function.
Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
To ensure maximum joint health, your dog needs a diet with the right mix of protein, fats, carbs, and fiber. Be sure to feed according to your pup’s exercise level. If she’s happy and healthy with minimal exercise, she likely doesn’t need the recommended amount. On the other hand, dogs regularly engaging in vigorous exercise will need to eat more to get the calories they require. Connect with your vet to work out a diet that will meet your dog’s unique needs.
See a Vet for Checkups
Exercise and a healthy diet are essential parts of preventative care, but so are regular checkups. A veterinarian can examine your dog for issues that you aren’t equipped to notice, like heart disease or cancer. Make at least yearly visits to your vet to keep your dog up to date on any necessary shots and physical examinations. Of course, you should make more frequent visits if your dog is dealing with any existing health problems or is injured.
Watch for Signs of Trouble
While your vet is a pro at diagnosing medical issues, you know your dog best. You see him every day—the way he moves, interacts, and eats—so you’re the one most likely to notice any changes in his behavior. What looks like a single weird movement may actually be a subtle sign of a major mobility issue. If caught early enough, the issue can be treated or managed to keep your pup comfortable.
Here are a few signs that might indicate your canine companion is experiencing joint pain:
- Stiff, slow movement
- Holding a limb off the ground
- Reluctance or refusal to climb stairs
- Difficulty laying down or standing back up
Natural supplements for dog’s joints can provide a needed boost to dogs at any stage of life, encouraging joint flexibility, mobility, connective tissue health, and endurance. Wapiti’s Strength and Mobility supplements can be taken separately, but together they provide powerful support for your dog’s overall ability to move. Powerhouse ingredients like elk velvet antler and glucosamine help joints stay lubricated and your dog stay mobile—making him one happy pup!
Address the Needs of Senior Dogs
Would you want to climb up a flight of stairs if your hips hurt and you could easily snooze downstairs? Of course not! Make things easier on your aging dog by adjusting your home and routine to better fit his health needs. Set up a few steps to help him get up to his favorite spot on the couch. If he’s having trouble climbing a short set of stairs, consider building a small ramp. Lastly, provide additional support with Wapiti’s Senior Mobility, specially formulated for dogs in the second stage of life.
Keep Pets Moving with Wapiti Labs
Is there anything better than being greeted by your sweet pup or cuddly kitty when you walk in the door? We don’t think so, and that’s why we set out to create science-based, natural supplements that can maintain healthy bodily functions in pets at all stages of life. Have questions about how Wapiti’s supplements can help your furry friend stay in peak physical condition? Contact us today!