Just like humans, dogs benefit from regular exercise. Taking your canine pal out for a daily workout will keep her weight under control, her muscles strong and joints limber. If she has osteoarthritis, you may need to take shorter walks, or skip the Frisbee®. But as long as you’re both having fun, she’ll want to do it and she’ll reap the benefits.

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Make it fun. Even older dogs love to play, so take them out for the activities you know they cherish. Just avoid jarring ones like Frisbee® or jogging on concrete.

Find dog parks. Many towns have designated fenced parks that allow dogs to romp with friends or follow a scent to their heart’s content. Check online to find a park near you.

Watch your dog closely. Dogs are people-pleasers and may try to conceal exhaustion or pain. Have fun, but pay close attention to subtle signs that your dog may need a break, such as rapid breathing or bright red gums.

Avoid extreme temperatures. If it’s exceptionally hot or cold, keep the exercise to a minimum.

Water is a good thing. Your dog may not ask for it, so keep in mind how long it’s been since she had a cool drink. Be sure to provide plenty of hydration—especially on hot days.

Check with your veterinarian. He or she knows not only the extent of your dog’s condition, but also the treatment they prescribed to help alleviate the problem. Ask your vet for an exercise regimen appropriate to your particular dog.

 

Stages of Canine Osteoarthritis: Know What to Look For.

Early Stage
Moderate stage
Advanced Stage
 

Click an exercise below to see illustrations and details:

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Physical Rehabilitation:

Your veterinarian can guide you with rehabilitation techniques that can relieve pain, improve muscle strength, and promote cartilage, tendon and ligament health.

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Diet:

Research shows that the right diet can help reduce inflammation and limit damage to cartilage.

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