One concern that many dog owners have is that their pets will eventually face joint issues. This problem can be detrimental to your pet's quality of life and could progress to the point that you begin to think about euthanizing the animal simply because it is contending with chronic joint pain. It's important to know that you can do a number of things that can minimize the risk of joint issues plaguing your dog. This is a topic that you should speak about with your local veterinarian, as they offer some useful suggestions on the role you can play in your dog's joint health. You'll want to follow these steps.
Keep The Dog's Weight Healthy
Pet owners play a pivotal role in their dogs' weight. If you're vigilant about feeding your pet the right amount of food, minimizing treats, and encouraging plenty of exercise, there's a good chance that your dog will maintain a healthy weight. A dog that becomes too heavy will often experience joint pain, much in the same way as overweight humans can encounter this issue. Your veterinarian can tell you how much your pet should ideally weigh and then weigh the animal during each visit so that you know if you need to make any changes.
Trim The Dog's Nails Regularly
It's a problem for numerous reasons when you let your dog's nails get too long. A dog with long nails will often have trouble getting traction on the hard floors throughout your home. This can mean that one of its legs occasionally slips out to the side, which could result in a joint injury. Additionally, long nails can cause pain when your pet walks, and it may begin to walk with an unnatural gait in an attempt to minimize this pain — potentially putting extra pressure on the leg joints. If you're not confident about trimming your pet's nails, consider visiting the veterinary clinic regularly to have a vet tech perform this task for you.
Avoid Slippery Surfaces
If your winters are cold and icy, you need to be aware of the risks that ice can present. A dog that slips on an icy driveway or sidewalk could easily hurt one of its joints. It's important for you to keep the dog away from icy surfaces as much as possible. When you're walking your pet, keep it on its leash so that you can direct it away from icy patches. You may also wish to consider high-traction boots that your dog can wear on days where there's lots of ice on the ground. Learn more about caring for your pet by visiting a veterinary clinic like Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.