Lintbells, manufacturer of leading dog hip/joint supplement, YuMOVE, preps pet parents with helpful veterinarian-approved tips to safely encourage outdoor activity this spring and summer.
With warmer weather upon us, it’s time to get our canine companions safely ready for outdoor exercise. Before including four-legged best friends on a strenuous jaunt, it’s important to thoughtfully work up to it. Veterinarian Dr. Craig Prior, B.V.Sc., C.V.J., member of YuMOVE veterinary advisory board has some simple but important advice for dog owners to minimize injuries and maximize health benefits for you and your dog.
- Start with a general health checkup – Dogs can’t talk so veterinary expertise is key. A simple wellness check can help to spot issues and address changes that may have taken place over the winter, the pandemic and all of our inactive time at home.
- Slow and steady wins the race – Be thoughtful about how much you are asking of your dog if they haven’t been that active. Start with short 15-minute neighborhood walks before more strenuous activity. Work your way up to lengthier and more vigorous play and exercise.
- Look for signs of stiff joints – Walking differently, struggling to stand after lying down or resting, or a reduced desire to play can be signs of stiffness which is common especially as dogs age. A quality supplement can help, but it’s important to do your homework as there are many options out there. Choose one that is clinically proven, offers a money-back guarantee, has quality ingredients and is backed by real science. In addition to glucosamine and chondroitin, look for green-lipped mussels as recent research supports how effective they are for joint health.
- Be realistic about your dog’s weight –More than half of dogs in the US are obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Most owners don’t recognize that a healthy dog can look “skinny”. That extra weight makes it more difficult for dogs to get the exercise they need and puts extra strain on their joints. Consult with your veterinarian for a weigh-in and any changes you may need to make in their diet, so exercise doesn’t damage joints. A carefully planned exercise/play routine is crucial to helping get your pets weight back down, especially as we emerge from lockdown.
- Age matters- As dogs age, they are more at risk for joint problems. This is especially prevalent among larger breeds. This can also be caused by repetitive stress or prior injuries. Be careful about jumping in and out of cars and consider ramps or stairs. Early signs can be hard to notice so it’s important to get your dog checked regularly by a veterinarian.
- Be patient – Getting back into shape doesn’t happen overnight! Just like humans, each dog will vary in response to losing some unnecessary pounds or getting back into a more vigorous routine.
Interviews, additional veterinarian advice and supporting documentation available upon request. For more information on hip/joint health, senior dogs, and keeping pets active for life, please visit https://yumove.com/blogs/health-guides.