Dogs are our furbabies. They are part of our families. They sit with us on the couch after a long day and they keep us company when we mow the yard on the weekends. Unfortunately, our dogs aren’t going to be around as long as we would like for them to be, so it’s up to us to ensure they are as happy and as healthy as possible throughout their lives. This means we have to make sure they get a proper day to daycare, a proper diet, adequate veterinary care, and that we look after their physical well-being. If you have a big dog that means looking out for signs of joint pain and preventing joint problems from robbing your dog of his mobility at the end of his life.
What Problems Could Your Dog Be Hiding?
Your dog could be in pain and could be instinctively hiding it. Not all dogs make it known when they aren’t feeling their best, while others could be playing up the tiniest problem for attention. You know your dog’s personality better than anyone, and you should be able to tell when he isn’t feeling his best. Some of the most common problems found in big dogs include:
- Hip or Elbow Dysplasia
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Cruciate Disease
- Wobbler’s Disease
The warning signs of these problems include excessively licking one spot, limping, crying, getting up slowly, not meeting you at the door, walking gingerly, swelling in joints, and more.
Keeping Your Dog In His Best Physical Condition
Starting when your dog is a puppy, you need to manage his growth. Large and giant breed dogs tend to grow very quickly, so puppy food formulated to slow their growth rate can prevent them from having problems later on. Regular exercise is also important, not only for weight management but also for bone and muscle health – and walking your dog regularly is great for you, too! Finally, making sure he has optimal space and support when he sleeps – because some breeds do sleep a lot – is crucial to ensure he isn’t incurring musculoskeletal damage while he sleeps, a big concern for big dogs.
There Are More Dogs Than There Are Children In The United States
In the United States, there are approximately 74 million children, while there are an estimated 90 million dogs owned by 60 million households. They are the most common household pet – 48% of Americans have dogs, while only 38% have cats. Dogs easily become members of our family who are there for us through thick and thin no matter what. Sometimes our own relatives can’t even claim that. Loyalty to dogs means ensuring they have the best life possible. That’s why nearly half of dog owners buy their dogs’ holiday presents and 37% name a caretaker for their dog in their wills.
Love For Your Dogs Is Forever
You won’t get to keep your furry best friend as long as you would like, but you can ensure he has the best life possible. Big dogs need specific care and they tend to cost more over a lifetime, but those years will pay back in spades in the love you receive. Learn more about spotting the signs of joint pain in big dogs from this infographic and what to do if you think your dog might be having mobility issues.
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