Healthy hips are an integral part of helping your dog maintain a long, active and happy lifestyle throughout his later years.Our pets are subject to the same conditions we are when it comes to aging, including arthritis and injury, which is why it’s important to take good care of this part of the body, even when they’re young.
Body MassageHumans aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a good massage. Dogs can certainly benefit from this relaxing experience too; and performing regular massages on their hips can help keep them in great shape. Older, arthritic dogs especially can benefit from the extra blood flow to the muscles garnered by a good massage. There are certified canine massage therapists throughout the country or you can learn to do it at home.
Ramps and GatesOne of the worst adversaries of a dog’s hips are endless staircases around the house. You can’t exactly cut off the top floor if you live in a multi-level home, but you can make things safer by blocking off your dog’s access to certain areas. Place gates at the bottom of the steps leading upstairs and consider placing a ramp on any steps off the front porch to help him get around with less strain on his legs.
Warm the HouseCold weather can wreak havoc on a dog’s hips and other muscles in the body, so be sure to keep your home at a warm temperature throughout the chilly months. It’s especially important to keep his bedding area warm at night as that’s when the cold can really dig in deep inside his body. Use a heated pad or place his bed next to a heater to help him out.
Healthy DietA healthy diet is one of the most effective ways of combatting failing hips. Not only can you reduce stress on the joints by helping your dog maintain a healthy weight, but you can also help strengthen his hips by providing proper nutrition. Check the labels and ensure you’re feeding your pup a diet that’s high in easily digestible carbs and protein along with other necessary nutrients. Avoid the cheap stuff whenever possible.