Zivica-Kerkez/Shutterstock When it hurts to get up, a dog with arthritis won’t exactly be bounding around. They’ll move slower, especially when standing up or sitting down, to avoid some of the pain, says Virginia-based veterinarian Katy Nelson, DVM. If you notice your dog slowing down—or showing any of these other symptoms—bring it to the vet right away. Whether it’s arthritis or another condition, getting a diagnosis means a chance for treatment. “Imagine three years of constant pain and then suddenly getting medication that makes that pain go away,” says Dr. Nelson. And if you aren’t crazy about giving your dog drugs, there are other options like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and massage, she says.
anetapics/Shutterstock Less movement means less arthritis pain. That’s why some dogs—especially smaller breeds—will change their stance to “bunny hop” down the steps, says Dr. Nelson. Instead of moving one leg at a time, they use both legs to push off the stairs. “It’s just a little easier for them to move them in synch than to move those hips individually,” she says. Don’t miss these amazing health benefits of owning a dog.