Take the Strain out of Traveling with your Furry Friend!

Whether it be by train, plane or automobile, traveling with our furry friends can be a fun experience but it can also be stressful and dangerous!So here are some top travel tips to help make holidaying with your hound easier and safer for you both!

Expect the Unexpected

You may be one of the lucky people that have never had a car accident but please still read on, as most people will have a couple of scrapes at some point in their lives. No matter how good a driver you are, you can’t always foresee hazards on the road, whether that be flood water, an animal or person running out in front of you or other irresponsible drivers on the road.

Even stopping suddenly at 10 M.P.H. your beloved pet is at risk of injury-but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are a number of easy and inexpensive precautions to significantly reduce the risks and help keep both you and your furry traveling companion safe.

Top 10 Tips for Safe & Happy Canine Car Journeys  

#1 Don’t let your dog roam around the inside of the car. They can impede your driving and distract you – just like kids! If you have to stop or swerve suddenly, they can immediately become a high velocity projectile (just like a bullet from a gun!) and thrown into the dashboard, windshield, the back of a seat or the head of the person in front. At the very least your pet will suffer emotional distress, worsened by cuts, bruises and broken bones from blunt force trauma. 

#2 Never let them sit in your lap or on the edge of your set next to an open window. Not only does this impede your driving, if you stop short or have a head-on impact, they can be crushed between you and the steering wheel, injured by airbags or ejected from the car into moving traffic. 

#3 Don’t let your dog roam unsecured in the back of a truck. Secure a crate to the bed of the truck and keep your dog inside of it. The risks posed to those furry friends are 100 times greater than those loose inside of a vehicle. 

#4 Dogs should stay restrained in the backseat or cargo area of your vehicle.  A metal separator is not enough to keep your pet safe; that really only prevents them from jumping into the seat in front and hitting the dashboard in a sudden stop or accident. It won’t prevent injury if your vehicle rolls or is impacted and if the window is open in their space, they can still be ejected. 

There are many good safety harnesses and crates available today which prevent this kind of injury to your pets. 

Safety Harnesses – These come in a range of price and quality but try to invest in one that is sturdy, padded for comfort and designed for automobile use. And remember to use it on even the shortest of journeys as, sadly, most accidents occur close to home. The harness should be on a short enough tether to anchor them in the event of an accident or sudden stop, but long enough to allow your dog room to stand up, turn around, move a bit from side to side and lay down when they want. 

Crates  Many dogs, especially nervous or new travelers are often more at ease in crates. Buy the sturdiest crate you can, preferably crash-tested and approved. Place it in the car with the long side against the seat back, to avoid extreme impact on one part- possibly the head- of the animal in case of a crash. Then secure it not only with the seatbelt but also with a couple of wide, heavy-duty luggage straps. You might have a mechanic install anchors for these.

In the case of small dogs, placing the crate behind the front seats on the floor is reasonably safe but somehow anchoring it there is even better. This may require having bolts put in the car specifically for this purpose, like you would in the back of a truck.

Finally, fit it with their favorite blanket and favorite toy, so it feels more like home.

#5 Opening car windows is great for ventilation and feeling the wind through their fur but make sure your pooch can’t jump out if they see something they’d like to chase. 

Avoid letting your dog stick their head or paws out of the car. Just like humans on a motorcycle, their    head and eyes exposed to high speeds and wind without protection are at risk to dangerous highway debris or obstacles. Remind yourself of a time when a stone was kicked up from the road and hit your windscreen, when a bush or tree branch scratched the side of your car, when you’ve had to pass a wide truck and only had a hair’s breadth between your wing mirrors, or when a motorcyclist has come speeding up between you and the other lane… then imagine your beloved pet’s face sticking out and being hit by one of those things… Seriously, I know it makes for a great photo but your beloved pet doesn’t know the dangers. They rely on you to keep them safe and it’s just not worth the risk! 

So, keep the air conditioning on, or just crack the windows, to let the air flow instead and let your dog get some fresh air on your regular pit stops – store up the fun for your vacation together!

#6 Keep their collar and tags on. It might seem more comfortable for your pup to have his collar off in the car, but if you crash and your dog panics, he may run away. Not everyone checks for microchips, so that little tag is still the best way to ensure their safe return. 

#7 For longer car rides, remember your pup needs food, water and breaks too. Feed your dog a small meal a few hours before your trip, then make regular stops for water/food every hour or two, or when Fido gets overly restless; this will give you both a chance to stretch your legs. When travelling in high temperatures, you’ll need to stop more often, about every 30 minutes to offer your pooch water. These breaks are especially important if it’s your pet’s first car trip, or they don’t like cars because a stressed and nervous dog runs a higher risk of dehydration than a calm pet.

#8 Not all dogs like the car; some associate it with trips to the vet or groomer and others are simply of a nervous disposition. Newly adopted pets may become car sick or nervous due to a previous unknown trauma. Exercise them prior to the journey, so they get rid of excess energy and are ready for a rest. 

Have a batch of specific treats your pooch really loves and use them ONLY for car journeys, so that it builds a positive association with the car. 

Weather permitting, rolling down the window a little closest to your dog will help distract them by smelling the air around them and also assists with limiting nausea. Better still, for their first journey, get another person to hold and comfort them, especially if they’re not in a secured crate. 

Nervous dogs often prefer being enclosed in a crate as it feels like a den and covering it with a dark blanket reduces the motion they can see through the windows and makes them feel more snug, safe & secure.

#9 If you can’t afford a safety harness or crate, you can always loop a strong, thick leash through the seatbelt to restrict your dog from moving around and while it may not be 100% effective, it lessens the risk significantly and something is better than nothing! 

#10 Put down a towel or sheet on your back seat, to protect it from muddy paws, hair and toenail snagging. Also, if your dog is prone to car sickness, you won’t be distracted or worried if they vomit and you can just pull over at your earliest opportunity.

Flying With Your Furry Friend? 

 Learn the airline’s pet policy. There are often fees associated with flying your pup and certain breeds are almost never allowed to fly or only allowed to fly seasonally. Some airlines have a strict ‘No canine passengers’ policy. 

 The ideal is to travel with your pet in the cabin but if your furry friend won’t fit under your seat, a crate is be the best option. But make sure you select a specially approved travel carrier to ensure your best friend’s safety and comfort. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around comfortably.

 Prepare your dog for hours alone in a crate. Practice with your dog and the crate several weeks before the flight date, so that they associate their crate with positive experiences and seem happy to spend some time in their crate alone with you nearby.  Leave the crate out in your home with the door open and with their usual comfortable bedding and favorite toy in it. Feed your dog with the crate door open and work your way up to feeding with the door closed. Keep the same blanket & toy in the crate, to provide warmth and comfort for the duration of the flight. 

• If your pooch has to be checked into the belly of the plane, consider freezing a bowl of water. This way, it won’t spill when you’re transporting it, but will have melted by the time the dog gets thirsty. It’s also worth taping a small pouch, preferably made of cloth, of dried food outside the crate, so that airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.

Camping 

• Camping is one of the most popular vacation activities for furry families but don’t let your pooch run loose unsupervised. With so many new smells to explore in the great outdoors, it can be exciting for a dog, but there are also dangers to be aware of, from wild animals, to steep drops, to poisonous plants. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so keep your dog on a leash during a camping trip. 

• Stay close at night. Though it may not be appealing to have a dirty pup that’s been playing in the woods all day asleep beside you, a dog tied up outside risks weather and wild animal hazards (for you both!), so keep them in the tent, cabin or RV with you. 

Hotels /Lodgings 

• Check the hotel/motel policy on pets before booking. If you are bringing your dog to a hotel, do some planning. Nothing is worse than trying to check into a hotel after an exhausting journey, only to discover that your extra-large pooch does not meet their size or breed restrictions. 

• Bring your dog’s crate or a dog bed from home if it’s practical, as it will be familiar to your dog and will help make them feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. By having a crate, your dog has a piece of home, and a place to stay when you aren’t in the room. Make sure to train your dog before the trip, so it will be used to the crate. 

• If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff and the property. I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone loves dogs!

• Keep your dog as quiet as possible and do not leave them unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place. 

• Ask the management where you should walk your dog and ensure you pick up their poop. 

• Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may result in the hotel management asking them to leave and potentially refuse to allow any dogs in the future. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds as you found them. 

Health and Safety 

• Arrange a check-up with your veterinarian before going on an extended trip. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and bring the shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel. 

• To keep your dog healthy as you travel and help get them settled in to unfamiliar surroundings, bring along a supply of their regular food and treats. Be sure to bring any medications they need and usual supplements to keep them in tip top condition. 

Identification 

In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of a safe and swift recovery by making sure they can be properly identified: 

• Be sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your telephone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. Remember to attach a temporary tag with details of your vacation address and contact number too.

• Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip.

• Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.

Additional Things to Pack 

• Paper towels, stain and odor remover and anything else you need to clean up after any accidents. 

• Plenty of poop bags. 

• A bowl, plenty of water, and some treats. 

• Seat covers (an old towel or blanket with plastic bags underneath works) if you want to protect your car from stains, hair and toenail scratches. 

• Make sure you have at least 3 days’ worth of food and any medication your pet needs, a warm blanket, towels, a pet first-aid kit and toys, in case you get stuck on the road due to adverse weather, major traffic incidents or if your vehicle breaks down.  

 

Wishing you and your canine companions happy travels!

Helen & The FidoActive Team
About the Author:

Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions. Helen has been surrounded by dogs since her childhood and been a dog parent all her adult life – from pedigrees to mutts – but she loves them all the same! 

She regularly volunteers at animal shelters, often having that as her main vacation activity. FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.  

The FidoActive team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life. 

Fidomeans faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally 

Activeis what we want every dog to be! 

 

 

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Doggie Dental Hygiene – The Root of Many Evils

Your furry friend relies on you to provide the dental care that they need. The good news is that your dog will not suffer with a similar number of cavities like we do. The bad news is  that they do suffer with similar dental problems such as gingivitis and plaque.  

In fact, The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease. 

If these dental problems are not treated, then this can lead to far worse problems, such as kidney disease, liver and heart problems. So, it is essential that you take care of your dog’s teeth and this article will provide the tips and advice that you need to do just that. 

Clean your Dog’s Teeth Properly 

If you have never cleaned your furry friend’s teeth before then you are in for a treat! They will not be excited about it at all and you need to be a bit cunning to get the job done. It is best to go for teeth cleaning when your pooch is tired – say after a long walk. They will be a lot happier to sit and let you wield the toothbrush. 

Start the teeth cleaning process slowly and speak soothingly to your pet as you make each attempt. If you do not manage an effective clean the first time around don’t worry – keep practicing every day until you get it right. Honestly, they will get used to it eventually if you persevere and like any training, remember to use positive reinforcement. I know it sounds strange to give them a treat after cleaning their teeth, but it’s not like giving your kid a sweet after they’ve cleaned theirs. Alternatively, you can give them their favorite toy to play with.  

The earlier you start teeth cleaning the better. If your dog is older then they will take to it eventually. If you have a puppy then start straight away.  

CARE: NEVER use human toothpaste for the job as it will contain fluoride which is dangerous for dogs. Be sure to buy special dog tooth paste for the job – and if you get a particularly stubborn hound who doesn’t like fresh minty breath, you can even get flavored toothpaste, so they think they’re actually getting something tasty whilst you’re doing the dreaded deed! 

How eating and chewing benefits doggie dentures 

It is even more important to clean your dog’s teeth regularly if they eat wet food rather than dry food. The reason is that wet food can stick to their teeth and cause decay more easily. 

Your dog can clean their teeth through the act of chewing hard dental and hard rubber or nylon chew toys also massage their gums and exercise their oral structures. A nice bone to chew on will also help get rid of tartar build up and strengthen your dog’s teeth.  

Look out for these possible dental problems 

If you are brushing the teeth and you notice blood or your pooch cries out in pain then this is a sure sign they probably have a problem that needs professional attention. 

Try to check inside your dog’s mouth regularly – like once every week. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate dental hygiene problems and these include: 

  • Your canine has suddenly changed their eating habits 
  • They are drooling excessively 
  • You can see that they have a tooth missing 
  • Their gums look swollen, overly red or there are signs of bleeding 
  • You can see growths in their mouth 
  • They have really bad breath 
  • They have started to paw at their mouth 

If you spot any of these then it is time to take your pet for a check-up with the doggie dentist! You should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for an overall health check-up anyway and this will include an oral check, but please don’t delay until the annual appointment, if your pooch displays any of the above signs.  

Us humans clean our teeth twice a day, so it should be no surprise that it’s recommended we clean our dog’s teeth once a day. But, in case you do skip it now and again, the daily addition of a dental hygiene chew to a regimen of tooth brushing every other day has been proven to reduce the risk of gingivitis and accumulation of dental deposits (plaque, calculus and stain). There are lots of suitable chews available on the market in various shapes and sizes – my dog loves getting his teeth into Dentastix or Greenies and they certainly seem to do the trick. 

Help your pooch by paying particular attention to their dental care – it will avoid painful problems for them and save you a lot of unnecessary expense. That’s a win win in my book! 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team  

 

 

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Household Hazards for your Hound to Avoid!

I’m sure we all agree that prevention is better than cure but unfortunately accidents happen! The important thing is to understand what everyday household substances are harmful to your furry friend and what to do should they consume any of them.

What Items can be Toxic for your Dog?

There are a number of household items that can be toxic to your dog. Dogs are naturally curious and they do not know the difference between things that are good for them and things that are not.These days, many household cleaning products even smell sweet so are easily sniffed out and many packaged in ‘chewable’ containers, so easy for your pooch to pierce.

Some of the most common poisonous things for your furry friend are:

  • Cleaning products
  • Insecticides
  • Toxic plants
  • Antifreeze
  • Chocolate
  • Human drugs & Medication

You may find the inclusion of chocolate surprising. The thing is that some types of chocolate can be really harmful for your pooch even though we can eat them without any problem. Never assume that if something is safe for us it is safe for them.

The amount of harm any poison will do to your dog is dependent on how much your pooch ingested, and how long this poison was in your furry friend’s body before the administration of any treatment.

A poison may not cause an immediate reaction. Sometimes the symptoms can take a few days or even weeks to emerge. So please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking they are OK just because they don’t display any reaction r sickness right away.

DON’T DELAY – if you see them ingesting a potentially poisonous substance then you need to take IMMEDIATE ACTION!

Get in touch with your nearest animal emergency center or your veterinarian right away.

Human Drugs and Medication

Keep your dog away from drugs. If someone in your family is taking prescription drugs then don’t assume that your pooch can’t reach the contents because there is a child proof lid. Your furry friend will be very persistent if they want something and it will not be too much of a problem for them to chew off a child proof lid. Just keep them out of the way.

Don’t be thinking that there is less of a risk with over the counter (OTC) drugs. Did you know that aspirin can be harmful to your pooch? Be sure to keep all medicines in a safe place far away from your furry friend.

Plants

Dogs like being around plants and there is always a temptation for them to eat a plant and destroy it. Most types of grass will not be toxic for your furry friend but the same is not true for many plants – Here’s a list of the most common house and garden plants that are a danger for your dog:

  • Aconitum
  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus fern
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day lilies
  • Delphiniums
  • Foxgloves
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lily of the valley
  • Lupins
  • Morning glory
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

To check how pet-safe your yard, why not click the link below for a full list of TOXIC and NON-TOXIC plants provided by the ASPCA:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list

In addition to plants don’t forget about FERTILIZERS – some are pet-safe but here are some ingredients used in fertilizers that can be FATAL to your furry friend without treatment:

  • Blood meal
  • Disulfoton or other types of organophosphates (OP)
  • Iron
  • Pesticides/Insecticides

Cleaning and other Household Products

A lot of household products contain a cocktail of chemicals that are toxic for your dog. Cleaning products often contain petroleum distillates, detergent, alcohol, soap and acids which are potential hazards for your furry friend. Vomiting and nausea are common with these products, but worse are chemical burns which can damage vital organs.

There are some other household products that are obviously dangerous such as insecticides, rat poison, weed killer, bait stations for insects and antifreeze. If your dog ingests any of these then they can suffer from severe symptoms that can be fatal if they are not treated immediately.

Human Food

We have already mentioned chocolate as a potential poison for your pooch. This is because most chocolate contains theobromine which is a real threat to your furry friend. Be careful with gum and other types of candy as they may contain xylitol which can damage your dog’s kidneys. It is common to find xylitol in grapes and raisons as well.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items that can be poisonous for your furry friend. The best thing any responsible pet owner can do is to be educated on potential toxins both inside the home and out in the yard.

The Animal Poison Control also has an emergency number and useful information on their website

What should you do if you think your Dog has ingested Poison?

If you believe that your pet has ingested something harmful then take action immediately and call your veterinarian or local animal emergency center. Alternatively, you can call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control or Pet Poison Hotline, who both operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

Whoever you call, you need to provide the following ‘information’

  • The name of the poison you suspect your dog has ingested
  • How much they ingested
  • When they ingested it
  • Explain the symptoms your dog is displaying (if any)

Be sure to remove your pooch from the area where the poisoning took place. Check their breathing and don’t be tempted to administer anything such as a home remedy. NEVER induce vomiting UNLESS an expert tells you to do so.

Our canine companions depend on us to keep them safe – so keep any unavoidable toxins in a pet-proof container and out of their reach.

It may take a little while for you to do a full check on how poison-proof your property is, but please at least ensure you have an emergency telephone number to hand at all times and maybe download the ASPCA’s free Mobile App for Animal Poison Control.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 


Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

 

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Honoring Our Brave and Loyal K9 Veterans

Canine military dogs are worth their weight in gold!

13 March has been annotated as an ‘unofficial’ day in our National calendar, to honor and commemorate all the amazing K9 veterans who have served us and our country well.

These courageous canines don’t volunteer, they are simply drafted, yet their loyalty and bravery knows no bounds, and they gladly put their lives on the line to protect their human service buddies and brothers in arms.

At the time of writing, there are over 2500 of our furry friends in active duty, with around 700 of them deployed in foreign countries.

The roles they perform are as diverse as the breeds that are enlisted for service, ranging from German Shepherds, to Golden Retrievers to Spaniels. But they were not trained to kill; they were trained to save lives, with roles including: transporting medical supplies, search & rescue (on land & sea!), sentries, messengers, clearing buildings, explosives detection, tracking, tunnelling, narcotics inspections, customs and border protection and even pulling telephone wires under airfields and mined tunnels – to name just a few!

So they have duties during periods of both war and peace. What’s more is they do it far more accurately than any other available military equipment! They were an invaluable resource at the Ground Zero search and rescue and these professional pooches are a familiar sight in their “hi-viz” vests at airports and other transport hubs.

Just like normal dog training, these specialized skills are acquired through a reward-based program. However, it made me chuckle when Army Col. David Rolfe (Director of the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Program) said “We learned long ago that food works only so long. What the dog really wants you to do is play with it.”

So, for these canines “their positive rewards are generally a ball or rubber toy rather than food”, while treat-filled puzzle toys provide comfort after “aggression” training exercises and stimulation for their incredibly active minds.

A fully trained military dog has a “worth” over $150,000 – but these four-legged brothers and sisters in arms are valuable not just for their service. They provide peace of mind for their fellow troops and bravely put their life on the line 24/7 for their human handlers– that’s priceless!

Without a doubt, these dogs are among our most effective counter measures against terrorists and explosives.

I think Rolfe summed it up brilliantly when he said “Dogs possess something a machine probably never will: immense loyalty and a desire to please. A machine doesn’t care if it finds something, but a dog wants to please its handler. A dog will go looking for something on its own where a machine won’t.”

The bottom line, he said, is that “dogs have a heart — something that makes them an invaluable asset to our fighting forces.”

So especially today, our thoughts go out to our wonderful, brave K-9 Military. Thanks for helping keep our great country safe – we owe you a debt beyond words.

What you may be surprised to learn is that many of these special dogs are taken from rescue shelters and it costs more than $15000 to train them for special, and particularly life-threatening duties, all over the world. They have super-human eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, which makes them an invaluable member of any team.

They work 60 hours a week, with on-call shifts of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – but they don’t receive a paycheck, to go towards their retirement or pay for meds to ease the pain of arthritis, a common condition as a result of their intense and physical work demands!

It doesn’t bear thinking about that, until 2000, these military working dogs were simply viewed as “surplus equipment” and it was legal and common practice to abandon or put down military working dogs at the end of their useful service.

Thankfully, the law changed and now there is a requirement to repatriate them and priority for their adoption is given to their previous handler to see out their retirement with their best friend.

Sadly, this isn’t always the case; often their handler is simply unable to take their service buddy home with them.  We can only imagine the desolation and confusion those loyal dogs suffer, being separated from their team and their devoted handlers.

The good news is that many of these special animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. So, if you think you could provide a happy retirement home for one of these loyal 4-legged patriots, you can learn more about it here:

About military working dog adoptions

…and finally

I would just like to say thanks to the late Joe White, founder of the K9 Veteran Day tribute, for bringing this plight to our attention and reminding us that these K9 Veterans “Served to Save, and they deserve to be remembered”.

We salute each and every one of you!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health and keep each other safe!

 

 

Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home. 

You can find out more about FidoActive on their website www.fidoactive.com 

 

 

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally

Active is what we want every dog to be!

 

 

Canine Joint Supplements Are Just That – Supplements!

Just like humans, as our dogs get older, they get to the point where the mind is willing but the body isn’t quite as able! 

Not surprisingly it’s the joints that take the brunt of it, as they have to support the body 24/7, whether at work, play or relaxing. I know that our glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM based supplement for dogs helps alleviate the pain and increases the flexibility in damaged or arthritic joints. 

Unfortunately, many people think they are being kind to their ageing, aching pooch by curbing their exercise and giving them a supplement to help ease the pain, without realizing that they could actually be making things worse for the pet they love so much. Joint supplements MUST go hand in hand (or paw in paw!) with exercise, which is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.

In addition, there are other things you can do to help take the strain off your old faithful’s joints and prevent painful accidents that could worsen their condition.

So, if you’ve got an ageing pooch suffering with stiffness or arthritis, or one that has previously undergone surgery for broken bones or torn ligaments, please check out the top tips below and see if you can help stop your furry best friend suffering in silence.

 

Top Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Painful Joints

● Exercise for shorter periods but at regular intervals
Exercise is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.

Pain reduces mobility, which leads to muscle wastage and weakening of the surrounding ligaments and tendons; the joints then become less stable, leading to more wear & tear, more joint decay and more pain.
Exercise is therefore essential to keep the muscle tone necessary to support the joints, prevent the decay from worsening and lessen their pain.
Keep your fido active but take care not to over exert – your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the length and frequency of exercise based on your furry friend’s condition.

● Provide a cushioned bed and position away from drafts
Most dogs sleep 12 hours a day.  Ease your pet’s pain by adding extra fleece or blankets to their bed, and be sure to keep their bed away from windows and other drafty locations.

● Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day
This relaxes the muscles and also promotes blood circulation for faster healing. You can easily tuck one under their blanket when they go to rest after exercise and believe me, dogs love this comfort just as much as us humans!

● Help them with obstacles and heights 
So they can continue to enjoy their exercise and woodland walks, why not treat them to a harness coat with a strong handle, so you can help them out of water, lift them over obstacles like fallen trees, in and out of vehicles and up steps, without putting pressure on painful joints. Also, attaching the leash to the harness provides more control, helps to stop them pulling and relieves strain on their neck. Another great bonus is the harness will help keep them dry, warm and promote good blood circulation at the same time! 

Jumping up onto porches or even into the car trunk can be even more difficult and painful, as they put more weight on their hind legs. For larger dogs, lifting them up may not be an option if they are too heavy for you (or you may be suffering from aching joints yourself!) In this case a ramp is an ideal solution to provide a gradient they can manage and help you at the same time.

● Provide traction on slippery floors
Dogs, especially those with hip dysplasia, often have a hard time on slippery floors, such as vinyl, polished wood, tile or laminate, so lay carpet down or put a pet gate to keep them out of the area.
If your dog doesn’t travel in a crate, then you can install carpet or a non-slip liner on the back seat or cargo area of larger vehicles, SUVs, station wagons and vans, to provide better stability for your 4-legged friend and prevent them from being thrown around when you’re on the move. 

● Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather
It’s not actually the cold and wet that causes the problem but fluid pressure within the joint. It’s the drop in atmospheric pressure that allows the joint tissues to swell, causing stiffness and discomfort. It’s not always possible to walk your dog at the most favorable times of the day, so just make sure they are kept 
warm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.

● Hydrotherapy
Swimming allows the natural movement of muscles and joints in a buoyant environment and helps to build muscle around diseased joints, which in turn relieves the pressure on them when walking or running. The water’s warmer too so blood vessels can do their job properly, supplying healing nutrients to muscles and skin. It certainly helped my dog’s recovery from a cruciate ligament operation and it’s also a fun way to help a slightly porky pooch lose weight!
Important: Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy, just in case there’s a valid reason why they should not swim arm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.

● Massage
Massage the muscles around your dog’s hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. BUT pay attention to your companion’s response – If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue.

● Healthy Balanced Diet
Weight control is very important as extra weight puts more stress on the joints. A FidoActive supplement nugget can be given as a healthy treat instead of their normal titbits, so your best friend won’t think they’re in the ‘dog house’!

● Positioning of feeding stations
Dog arthritis can be prevalent in any major joint; if your dog has shoulder or neck pain, raise up their water and food dishes so they don’t have to bend over.

● Regular Check-ups
Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian – not all conditions are visible to the eye in the early stages and you could save your best friend a lot of unnecessary pain.

I hope you find some of these tips help you to manage your dog’s pain and help them enjoy a happier and more active life.

 

 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 

 

 

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