- If your older dog is suffering from arthritis, you should take your pet to the veterinarian for a thorough physical examination. There are many prescription pain medications available for canines and these will give your dog a better quality of life during his senior year. Common pain medications prescribed for canines with arthritis include Rimadyl, Adequan and Palaprin.
- If your dog is overweight, you should work with your veterinarian to come up with a weight-loss plan for her. Carrying extra pounds is especially difficult for an arthritic senior dog. Not only does it make pain from the condition worse, it speeds the progression of the arthritis---constantly putting even more pressure on her joints. If your dog is at a healthy weight, work with your veterinarian on an exercise plan to help her maintain that weight. Dogs with arthritis are less likely to get the exercise they need because of the pain associated with the condition.
- There are several natural treatments that have shown some evidence of assistance in alleviating the pain of arthritis in older dogs. Adding alfalfa tea to your dog's regular meals may help to sooth swelling in the joints. Other herbs commonly prescribed for dogs with arthritis include yucca, stinging nettles and comfrey. Seafood and particularly mussels may help restore damaged connective tissues when fed to your pet on a regular basis.
- There are several ways you can offer comfort to an older dog suffering from arthritis. Give him a cushioned, soft bed on which to sleep. The bed should be in a warm location and near family members so he doesn't feel lonely. Also consider adding raised food bowls and water bowls, as well as ramps to his favorite places---such as the couch or your bed. You can rub his inflamed limbs with herbal oils or even sunflower oil or olive oil to ease some of his discomfort.