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Everything you need to know about joint care for dogs

If you are a dog owner, then you are going to soon realise that they are active creatures. They love nothing more than being out in the fresh air, running and playing. Whilst this is great to see, all this activity can have an impact on their joints. So, it’s important to learn as much about joint care for dogs as early as possible.

As a dog ages it is common that they struggle with their mobility. If you make an effort to care for and understand how best to look after your dog’s joints now, then you can help them in their later life.

The common types of joint problems in dogs

If you have noticed that your dog is having an issue with their mobility, then you are going to want to find out why. One of the most common reasons that you may find that your dog is struggling with their mobility is degenerative joint disease.

This disease is progressive and during the early stages there are not many signs that you can pick up on. However, this can be noticed during routine checks with your vet and then treatment can begin. Another common issue is arthritis, which is not only painful but can get worse over time. This particular joint issue is much more common in larger breeds of dogs and is known to have a big impact on their quality of life.

There are other disorders which can have an impact on your dog’s joints. This includes obesity, mechanical trauma such as an injury whilst jumping, torn ligaments, chronic dislocating patella and hip dysplasia.

Can joint care supplements help your dog?

If you are concerned about your dog’s joints, then you may want to consider trying out joint supplements that you can give your dog. These come in a variety of forms and will contain a mixture of ingredients that are designed to help the joint fluid and cartilage to stay in the tip top condition. Not only this, but the ingredients are also, in the most part, antioxidants which will ensure that any damage caused by free radicals are kept to a minimum.

Is there anything else that you can do?

Whilst joint supplements and treatment for any disorders are going to help your dog if they are suffering from joint and mobility problems, you may wonder if there is anything else that you can do.

Some simple things that you can try is to make sure that their bedding is nice and comfortable and that it is placed away from any damp drafts that could be coming into your home. You should also try to help your dog if they are finding it hard to navigate steps, perhaps by investing in a ramp or making one for your back garden.

It may also be a good idea to try out muscle massages, which are available through certified massage therapists who can work with your dog to help with those aching joints.

As owners, it is our responsibility to take good care of our dogs, which means that we are on the look out for any problems and ready to treat them, improving their quality of life as much as we can.

How to keep cats safe and happy at home

Cats are great pets to have, they can be seen as cute and fluffy, however, if you look deeper then you will see a hunter, a predator, an animal that likes to explore and play. Whilst many cats are able to have some outdoor space to call their own, this isn’t always possible for all cats. Owners of indoor cats may be concerned about their local area not being safe and some may just want to stop their cat from carrying out their natural hunting instincts and bringing in a whole host of prey.

Many owners worry that a fully indoor cat isn’t going to be as happy as one that has the chance to be outside, however, this isn’t always the case. In fact, if you tackle it in the right way, then you can find that your indoor cat is just as happy as your outdoor cat, as well as being a whole lot safer too.

So, how do you make sure that your cat is happy and safe whilst they are indoors?

Keeping an indoor cat happy

The trick to keeping an indoor cat happy is to make sure that they are entertained. If you keep a cat indoors, with nothing for them to do, then you are likely to find that in no time at all they are driving you mad and wrecking your home and furniture.

This means that you need to invest in some toys that are going to keep their attention. Whilst lots of these can come in the form of smaller toys, you may also find that they need larger toys that will keep them active too. If you are short on space, then there are a variety of larger cat toys that take advantage of vertical space. A climbing tree or a cat condo, will both help to keep them active and entertained.

You can also place perches and resting spots near to the windows in your home, which will allow them to look at the wildlife outside whilst they relax.

Of course, if you are really concerned that your cat isn’t getting any fresh air at all, then you can consider building them an outside enclosure. This means that they can be outside in the fresh air, but you are not going to be worried that they are getting themselves into any scrapes or dangerous situations whilst they are outside.

Keeping an indoor cat safe

Whilst cats are significantly safer indoors, there are still some risks that you need to keep in mind. You will need to ensure that washing machines and tumble driers are closed so that they don’t try to sleep in them, and that your toilet lid is also down in case they fall in. There are also a number of household products that can be dangerous to your cat, which means that you should be able to securely shut any cupboards that have them in.

You also need to think about the houseplants that you have, as these can be toxic to cats too.

There are always going to be people who think that keeping a cat indoors is cruel, however, there is plenty of research that shows that cats which are kept indoors have a longer, healthier life than those that go outside. So, if you want to try out having an indoor cat, then why not give it a go? Just make sure that you do your best to keep them happy whilst they are in your home.

How to spot the signs of an anxious dog

The last thing that you will want as a dog owner is for your dog to feel anxious, nervous or less than happy. However, what you should realise is that it is common for dogs to become anxious from time to time. It is important to be able to spot the signs of an anxious dog so that you can be ready to calm them down. If you find that your dog is becoming increasingly anxious or that they are not calming down, then you may want to speak to a vet about ways that you can help them.

But how do you know if your dog is anxious? We have put together our guide to the main signs that you should be looking out for.

Know your dog

Before you even start to think about picking up on whether your dog is feeling anxious, you first need to be able to tell what is normal behaviour in your dog. If you don’t understand this, then how can you tell if they are not themselves? Dogs will show their emotions on their face. If they are relaxed then their eyes are going to be soft and round, or even slightly squinted, the important thing is that you will be able to see the colour of their eyes. If they have straight ears then they will be held semi-erect and their mouth will be relaxed, even pulling into a smile in some dogs.

How a dog shows anxiety in their face

One of the most obvious ways that your dog will show that they are feeling stressed or anxious is within their face. You are likely to find that they are showing more of the whites of their eyes than they normally would, as well as showing an intense and direct stare, or in some circumstances, avoiding eye contact at all.

Their ears are also likely to show how they are feeling. Although this can differ between different dogs. Some dogs may hold their usually relaxed ears completely upright, whereas some may lay them back flat against their head.

Another sign is that they hold their mouth closed or that they pull their lips back into somewhat of a grimace. This is not a good sign and will often show that they are getting ready to snap, growl, snarl of even worse, bite.

How the behaviour of an anxious dog may change

If your dog is feeling anxious, then they are much more likely to whimper, growl, whine or bark. All of which are their own type of distress signal. Your dog will have their own go to distress call, so look out for something that is out of the ordinary for them.

They may also become more active. They could seem on edge, and that they are ready to take action if they need to. However, just as likely is that they will freeze in place and refuse to move anywhere.

The thing to remember is that when your dog is feeling anxious, they won’t be behaving in a way that you are used to. If you notice that your dog is acting out of the ordinary, then it may be time to find out what is stressing them out and change it!