Like people, dogs can suffer from painful arthritis. When you need to leave your dog at a boarding facility or kennels, your arthritic pet will need some special care and attention. You can make sure that your dog will be comfortable with some simple planning ahead:
A Look at the Arthritic Dog
Your dog cannot alert you to joint pain, but you can pick up on certain clues. For example, you will notice that your pet has a stiffened gait and a loss of flexibility. Your pet may not be as active as before, and might avoid certain activities, like jumping on furniture or climbing stairs.
In extreme cases, your dog might even yelp in pain if touched in certain places. Arthritis is frequently the result of old age, obesity, immune disorders, or some kind of trauma or injury. Inherited disorders, like hip dysplasia, can also cause arthritis.
Caring for the Arthritic Dog
If you suspect that your dog has arthritis, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Radiographs and x-rays will help your veterinarian determine whether or not your dog has arthritis.
With a positive diagnosis, your veterinarian might prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications can help your dog live comfortably with this condition, and will minimize the pain that your pet is experiencing. Your veterinarian might also recommend that you give your dog certain supplements, like glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, which will also relieve pain and joint inflammation.
Tips for Boarding a Dog With Arthritis
Leaving your aching pet at a boarding facility can trouble your mind, but there are things you can do to minimize your dog's pain in your absence. First and foremost, alert the boarding kennel staff to your dog's condition, and leave the phone number of the veterinarian who is managing your dog's care. If your pet's pain is exacerbated with activity, the staff can also make sure that your dog is segregated from young, boisterous pets that can cause further injury.
If your dog is taking any anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers, give the staff more than enough doses, just in case your pet must stay longer than you expected. Leave dosing instructions as well. If your pet will only take the medications if disguised in food, like a cheese cube, for example, leave some servings with the staff members. This both ensures that your pet will take the medications, and will prevent staff from having to make a special trip to find your dog's preferred pill vehicle.
Also, leave your dog's soft, therapeutic bedding with the kennel staff. Your dog will me much more comfortable with bedding that you know does not irritate your pet's joints or cause additional pain.
If you plan ahead, you can ensure that your arthritic pet will remain healthy in your absence. Boarding facilities are more than accustomed to special-needs guests, and as long as you keep staff members informed about and prepared for your dog's condition, you can rest assured that your dog will be well taken care of.