Owning a pet can be therapeutic and may provide several health benefits. According to studies, about 57% of American homes have at least one pet. The right pet can offer an opportunity to exercise, socialize, and even get out of your comfort zone. Playing with pets or having some few hours of your day walking around with your pet may lower cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, boost your moods, etc.
Studies suggest that a pet may help manage and alleviate mental health disorders. A healthy bond between a dog and its owner may help reduce depression, anxiety, and loneliness. But with these benefits comes significant responsibilities. You will have to take good care of your pet by providing food, grooming them, taking them for vaccinations, and comforting them when in pain even if you think my dog loves me unconditionally. How do you comfort your dog when they experience pain?
Chronic Pain in Dogs
A dog may experience pain for several reasons. Besides aging, other predisposing factors may make it a challenge to determine if a dog is in pain. Unlike humans, a dog cannot convey pain. You will need to analyze behavioral changes and specific responses to natural stimuli. Here are subtle signs to identify when your dog is in pain:
- A change in breathing patterns, for example, panting or shallow breaths than usual.
- Poor or loss of appetite.
- An increase in heart rate.
- Snapping when you want to pet them.
- Lack of energy to be socially active.
- A sudden change in mobility
When you notice that your dog appears socially withdrawn or exhibits any of these signs of pain, you might need to make an appointment with a veterinarian. A vet can identify the source of distress or discomfort and prescribe a proper treatment. Common ailments causing pain could include:
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Ear infections
- Sensitive stomachs
- Kidney stones
- Sliding kneecaps
Caring for a Dog Suffering from Arthritis
Studies reveal that arthritis is a common ailment in senior dogs. About one in five dogs suffer from canine arthritis. The dog may experience pain in the legs, back, hips, limiting their mobility.
Relieving a dog’s pain goes beyond providing comfort alone. Even though conventional NSAIDs are to relieve the pain, you may want to try natural treatment options such as CBD oil. It is a naturally-occurring compound in the hemp and cannabis plant. Anecdotal research and studies suggest that CBD oil can help alleviate or treat pain in dogs. Several CBD products for pets include CBD edibles, chewable oils, and tinctures. However, you should consult with your vet to analyze the potential benefits of a pain reliever
Go for walks with your dog
Walking your dog is a perfect opportunity for their exercise. It might also help the dog to drift away from focusing on the pain. Walking is low impact and therapeutic. Simple exercises can provide dogs with comfort as it helps to limit pain. This way, you can limit the distress and negative thought patterns. Even though it might seem less noble owing to their grief, lack of physical activity could worsen the condition. Stroll through a few blocks, and your dog will come back home feeling relieved and motivated.
Take your dog for a swimming session
Swimming is suitable for dogs suffering from arthritis. This low-intensity activity will ensure the joints are working well and the muscles are relaxed. The buoyancy of the water helps to relieve aching joints, as the dog works to regain and increase their strength.
It can be an opportunity to play fetch with your dog. Swimming offers almost the same benefits to your dog as it does in humans. Next time when your dog is in pain, toss a few of their toys in water and let him enjoy the session.
Massage your dog
Although your dog may be less friendly when in pain, a massage can be helpful to numb the pain. A massage could improve blood circulation and improve your canine’s mobility. Besides, it can be an opportunity to increase a sense of well-being and relaxation.
If you have concerns about hurting your dog, especially one who has arthritis, consider the services of a professional pet massage therapist.
Adjust your canine’s diet
A good diet is beneficial to your dog besides helping them with pain management. The right diet will prevent excessive weight gain, fat buildups, and other adverse effects. Some canine foods are rich in natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. A good dietary choice could be blueberries, fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, papaya, etc. Take caution if your dog has a sensitive stomach. Sudden nutritional changes may aggravate their discomfort.
Consider some medications
Depending on the source of pain, your vet may prescribe several anti-inflammatory and pain relievers. These drugs work in an almost similar manner to our iBuprofen. Some of the medications may also reduce swelling, joint discomfort, stiffness, and arthritis pain. With this in mind, it is wise to proceed with caution as some of these drugs can be toxic to your canine.
According to the FDA, some NSAIDs for dogs include Carprofen, Deracoxib, Meloxicam, Firocoxib, and others. Before you can administer any drugs to your canine, it is essential to consult with your vet.
Seeing your dog in distress and discomfort from pain can be demotivating and frightening. With the help of your vet, you can comfort your dog. Each of the pointers above may be a better opportunity to treat and manage pain. Especially for dogs suffering from chronic or arthritis pain, some tips may help decelerate the symptoms.