From those playful puppy days right through to growing old gracefully, our pooches have different health needs at each of their different life stages, and it’s up to us to keep on top of these.
To help understand your dog’s joint needs at different stages of their life, YuMOVE have put together some top tips to keep your four-legged friend’s joints happy and healthy, including how and when to add dog joint supplements for extra support.
Life stage one: Puppy
Few things in life are as heart-warming as bringing a new puppy home. In those early days, especially, you’ll be firmly in the can’t-get-enough-of-your-new-furry-friend stage. It’s when cuddles are non-stop, playtime is never-ending, and every first is very exciting.
Your puppy’s joints are still developing, so be careful not over-do it. Too much exercise, rough play, jumping or unrestricted play with larger or older dogs could cause damage, so it’s best to restrict this to avoid accidents or injuries.
Remember that different breeds develop and grow at different rates, so check with your vet for the best approach for your puppy’s joints.
Joint supplements for puppies
Joint supplements aren’t just for older dogs. Proactive joint care means they’ll be less likely to develop problems with stiffness and mobility as they grow older. Look for a product designed especially for growing bones that supports joint development, rather than an older dog joint supplement.
Quick Puppy Tips:
- Monitor play and don’t overdo it – your puppy’s joints and still developing
- Stay up to date with your vet’s general health advice
- Give supplements specifically designed for your puppy’s needs
Life stage two: Adolescent
Dogs become teenagers too, and when they lose those baby teeth and become an adolescent they can be a bit of a handful!
As your dog becomes more independent, they may be less responsive or obedient, and more likely to engage in naughty or boisterous behaviour. Dedicating time to stimulating them mentally using brain games, positive training and play during this stage helps develop your bond with them and supports their joint development.
Dog breeds grow at different rates, generally the larger the breed, the longer it takes for their bones, muscles, joints and tendons to develop. Even though they are bigger, they are still a growing pooch. While it may be tempting to step up the exercise regime to burn off all that extra energy, it’s important not to overdo things.
Joint supplements for adolescents
Maintaining a joint supplement at this age helps support joint growth while they are still developing.
Quick Adolescent Tips:
- Know your dog’s physical age based on their breed – they may be developing for longer than you think!
- Play brain games and keep an eye on activity levels
- Keep up the supplements from puppyhood over this transitioning period
Life stage three: Adult
For an adult dog maintenance is key! Making sure your dog stays at a healthy weight, gets enough exercise and is on the right nutritional supplement helps them age gracefully. It’s also important to keep an eye out for and changes in their physical activity.
The signs of ageing aren’t always easy to spot. Lots of dogs are good at hiding them.
Signs your dog might be getting stiff with age:
- Sleeping more
- Difficulty rising after rest
- Lagging behind on walks
- Struggling to climb the stairs or jump up
- Becoming more irritable or wanting to play less
It’s important that if you spot these signs to clarify them with your vet to figure out the best way to support through joint supplements, medication, acupuncture or hydrotherapy. Often a combination of these is recommended depending on your grown-up pup’s age and stage.
Joint supplements for adults
Now’s a good time to introduce joint supplements that are made specifically for adult dogs. You might be surprised at just how quickly your pooch feels the benefits!
Quick Adult Tips:
- Exercise consistently and stay at a healthy weight
- Upgrade to adult specific supplements
- Keep an eye on early signs of stiffness and discuss these with your vet
Life stage four: Senior
It’ll come as no surprise that, just like us, dogs slow down as they grow older. Their health problems are similar to the ones we experience, too.
In older age, your dog’s joints will start to need extra support, and there is plenty you can do to make sure your old pal is getting the most from life. Although your dog may be taking it easy, it is vital that you maintain daily exercise to help give them a good quality of life and stay at a healthy weight.
Shorter but more frequent walks on easier terrain could help do this and taking supplements is a great benefit for joint care for older dogs.
Joint supplements for seniors
Ideally, you need an older dog joint supplement – one that’s especially designed for stiffer golden oldies and clinically proven to soothe the joints and aid mobility. If your dog has a diagnosed joint problem under veterinary care then you could try a vet-only formula on their recommendation.
Quick Senior Tips:
- Adapt exercise to be easier on the joints
- Try a high-strength senior joint supplement
- Agree a care plan with your vet to optimise their golden years
Using this guide you’ll be able to support your dog and spot any signs of joint stiffness, whatever their age.
Want to find out more about keeping your pooch happy and healthy for longer? Contact YuMOVE’s friendly Customer Services team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 01462 416866.
For more information, please our website www.yumove.co.uk