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  • Verna Lum

Help Your Dog Stay Healthy: Understanding Canine Obesity and Joint Health

Beyond overall health, extra weight puts significant strain on their joints, leading to conditions like arthritis and reduced mobility. The added pressure wears down cartilage and can cause painful inflammation, making it harder for them to move comfortably.

To support joint health and overall well-being:

1. Maintain a Balanced Diet: Ensure your dog's diet is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid overfeeding and limit treats to healthy options. Remember, treats contain calories too, so treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.

2. Regular Exercise: Keep your dog active with daily walks, playtime, and activities that are gentle on joints. Swimming is particularly beneficial as it's low-impact. Walking or hiking on trails instead of concrete can also help ease joint strain. Concrete can also be very hot for their paws. Be mindful of ticks on trails, and a light spray with lemongrass is a great anti-tick repellent.

3. Weight Management: If your dog is overweight, work with your vet to develop a weight loss plan. You should be able to feel the first two ribs; if you cannot, your dog likely needs to trim down. Dogs should have a waistline, just like us! Gradual weight reduction is ideal. Rapid weight loss can trigger other endocrine issues, so it is best to work with your vet to determine an appropriate program.

4. Supplements: Consider joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which can support cartilage health and reduce inflammation. Adding some fish oil or flax oil also provides anti-inflammatory benefits.

5. MyoFascial Release and Acupressure: These gentle techniques can provide pain relief, improve mobility, and reduce stress. This will facilitate weight management because your dog will feel better and be more apt to move instead of lying or sitting still.



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