dog arthritis symptoms

Discover 9 Common Dog Arthritis Symptoms: Don’t Miss This Vital Information!

‘Why is my dog acting off? Is it arthritis?  OMG, what am I gonna do now?’ Oh, I know those questions have been keeping you up at night, but fear not! You’ve landed in just the right spot.

Arthritis can be worrisome, but we’ve got your back. So, wave goodbye to those anxieties because this article has everything you need – from spotting dog arthritis symptoms to exploring treatment options.

And no, I won’t keep you hanging with an overly long introduction. Let’s dive right in and uncover all you need to know!

9 Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

Interestingly, your dog may appear fine to you, yet still have arthritis. It’s not always obvious, and there are some less conspicuous signs you should pay attention to.

Let me guide you through these arthritis symptoms:

  • Limping

Your pup is strolling around, and suddenly, you notice a subtle limp. Ah, the telltale sign! But here’s the thing- if there’s more than one affected joint, your dog may not exhibit this symptom.

  • Tiredness

If you see your dog being a bit reluctant to get up and move around, it might be time to put on your detective hat.

arthritis in dogs
  • Discomfort When Lying or Getting Up 

You know that adorable way your dog curls up on the couch? Well, if they seem a tad less comfy or experience stiffness when getting up, it might be dealing with the early stages of canine arthritis.

  • Licking of Painful Joints

If your dog starts obsessively licking or chewing the area that is causing it joint pain, it could be a sign!

  • Behavioral Changes

Your dog just got sensitive to touch, a little grumpier and aggressive, innit? Guess what? It might be its way of telling you it’s in pain and discomfort. 

  • Reduced Stamina

Is your dog showing signs of slowing down while walking or engaging in physical activity? Arthritis may have its sneaky sights on it. 

  • Difficulty in Climbing and Jumping 

The sudden hesitation to climb stairs or hop onto the furniture is surely alarming! This degenerative joint disease may be at the root of the problem.

  • Problems With Posturing 

Does your pup struggle to posture while urinating or defecating? Well, guess then arthritis might be the culprit.

  • Muscle Atrophy

Muscle atrophy is one of the main symptoms of arthritis in dogs. It occurs when your dog uses the affected joints less frequently due to pain, leading to a decrease in muscle mass around that area.

Factors Leading to Arthritis in Dogs

You’ve got the symptoms of arthritis down pat, but do you know what sneaky factors might lead to it? Don’t worry; I’m here to spill the beans and break it all down for you.

  • Poor Diet

It’s no secret that a poor diet lacking in nutrients and vitamins can weaken the joints of your dog. And weak joints mean your dog is susceptible to arthritis.

  • Age

Here’s the thing, arthritis often creeps in with age- it’s that wear and tear within the years. So, it’s no surprise that it’s most common in older dogs.

But hey, it can also strike younger pups if their bones and joints haven’t developed properly.

older dog
  • Excess Weight

Dogs with extra pounds might find their joints under added pressure, leading to wear and tear, and end up with more severe arthritis.

  • Injury

What happens in the past can come back to bite, and the same goes for injuries. A past fracture, joint damage, or even a joint infection can pave the way to arthritis down the road.

  • Breed

Some of the large breeds are more prone to arthritis. Why, you ask?

Well, congenital joint disorders like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia play a part in it.

So watch out for giant breeds like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Springer Spaniels, Rottweilers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

x rays, hip dysplasia

Now you know the inside scoop on what can lead to arthritis in dogs. Being aware of these factors can help you take steps to reduce your dog’s joint pain and give them a long and happy life!

Treatment Plan for Dogs With Arthritis

The thing with arthritis is that it can’t be completely cured as there is no definitive treatment. But, that doesn’t mean we leave our dogs hanging with discomfort.

Over time, arthritis may worsen, but we can make a difference by taking effective measures.

So, here’s the action plan we have in mind to handle arthritis:


No doubt, a healthy weight is the key to your dog’s health, and exercise plays a vital role in achieving that! You wouldn’t want your pup facing the consequences of extra weight, right?

Hence, make sure to keep your dog active. It’s essential for maintaining muscle strength, which, in turn, supports their joints. And it’s a win-win situation!

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a game changer for arthritic dogs! With moderate exercises, hydrotherapy, and gentle massages, your dog can be flexible again. Amazing, isn’t it?

Hydrotherapy is hands down the best thing for your dog. It not only helps with weight loss but also motivates your dog to move, easing pressure off their joints.

You know what’s fascinating? Just like humans, pets feel weightless in the water! The underwater treadmill allows dogs to walk without carrying their body weight. Plus, the warm water’s pressure reduces swelling and builds muscles.

And don’t forget the power of massages! They relieve stiffness, reduce pain, and improve mobility by supporting the surrounding muscles.

In a nutshell, physical therapy is a surefire way to help your dog feel better and get back in action.

Nutritious Diet

You know what’s smart? Consulting a veterinarian for a custom diet plan! It’ll help your pup build those strong muscles to support its joints. But remember, consistency is key.

Prescription Medications

When it comes to arthritis pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the go-to prescription medications. They provide significant improvement and reduce inflammation, relieving your dog of pain and discomfort.

But hey, here’s the golden rule- never give any pain medications to your dog without talking to a veterinarian first. They’re the experts, and they’ll figure out the perfect pain medication based on your pup’s needs and condition.

Orthopedic Support

Looking to pamper your arthritic dog? Time for an orthopedic treat! It’s surely one of the best ways to reduce pain and discomfort of your dog.

An orthopedic bed or a ramp will take the pressure off your dog’s joints and make every movement a breeze.


Last but not least is the surgery. However, keep in mind that this option is only for the most extreme cases of joint disease when your dog’s joints are severely damaged or the pain becomes unbearable.

When things get tough, surgical procedures can step in and work their magic, providing much-needed relief from your dog’s pain.

How to Enhance Comfort for Arthritic Dogs

For pet owners, their pet’s pain tugs at their heartstrings more than anything else, and I can very much relate!

dogs arthritis

In moments like these, when your dog is dealing with a degenerative joint disease, providing comfort has to be your utmost priority.

So, here are my helpful tips on how you can ensure your dog feels as cozy and content as can be:

  • Keep your dog in a place with a moderate temperature 

Make sure it’s not too cold or too hot, as extreme temperatures can worsen their pain. And I’m sure you want to keep your dog as comfortable as possible. So, find that perfect, cozy spot!

  • Raise the food and water bowl for your dog 

To make mealtime more comfortable for your dog, raise their food and water bowls. By doing so, you can prevent your dog from lowering down and putting unnecessary pressure on their joints.

  • Provide your dog with a comfortable bed 

Ensuring your dog gets a good night’s sleep is essential for their health, just like it is for us. So, treat your dog to soft, padded bedding that offers comfort, especially for their joints.

  • Keep your dog on a non-skid surface

When your dog is dealing with arthritis, the last thing you want is for them to slip and hurt themselves even more.

So, it’s a wise move to ensure they spend time on a non-skid surface. This way, they can move around safely, without any worries of accidental slips.


If this article helped you spot dog arthritis symptoms, it’s crucial to take action right away. Waste no time and get in touch with a vet to sort things out for your dog.

Being vigilant about your dog’s joint health is the key to ensuring their well-being. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and, with our care and timely intervention, make sure our dogs live their best lives!

FAQs on Dog Arthritis Symptoms

How do vets check for arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis in dogs is most commonly checked through x rays, which provide valuable insights into their condition.

However, there are other alternatives like blood tests and ultrasound too. With these options, you can get a full picture of your dog’s well-being and make informed decisions for their care.

At what age do dogs get arthritis?

As dogs age, they become more susceptible to arthritis, with the condition commonly starting around the age of 8.

But, younger ones can also be affected, especially if they have certain joint conditions or injuries.

What can you give a dog with arthritis?

Dogs with arthritis can benefit from prescribed Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Additionally, prescribed supplements like Chondroitin Sulfate and Omega fatty acids can help relieve pain too.

How long can a dog with arthritis live?

Arthritis is a progressive condition, and its impact can vary based on how well it’s managed. With proper care, a dog with arthritis can lead a good life for several years.

However, if necessary measures aren’t taken, arthritis can indeed worsen and pose risks to your dog’s well-being.

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