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Protecting Your Dog's Joints
By Janet Ridgeway

With the beautiful summer weather, we are finally able to enjoy the outdoors. We take our dogs on longer walks, play fetch, or take them swimming in the lake. While we all enjoy these special times with our dogs, at the end of the day, they may be walking at a slower pace, limping, crying, or have difficulty getting in and out of vehicles or up onto furniture. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, decreased joint mobility, and pain are chronic problems for many of our furry family members and can become worse with age or even daily activities they once enjoyed. In fact, approximately 80 percent of older dogs suffer from joint-related conditions.

What causes these conditions and what can we do about them? Certain breeds of dogs have a genetic predisposition to joint problems, such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Dachshunds. However, arthritis can also be caused or exacerbated by environmental toxins such as commercial pet foods, vaccines, flea and tick medications, and even Lyme disease, all of which can create inflammation and pain in the joints.

Traditional western veterinary care tends to treat the symptoms of inflammation and pain with cortisones or NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin and Rimadyl, all of which have serious side effects from long-term use, such as liver damage.

A holistic approach begins with the proper diet, which includes food that doesn't contain animal by-products, soy, corn, and even grains. There are also some natural products that help lubricate and repair the joints. Renew Life Healthy Joints is made and approved by veterinarians; along with flower essences and herbs, it contains glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin, all of which help to lubricate and repair the joints. This product can be used both as a preventative measure and as support for dogs that are already experiencing chronic problems. A great complement is Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil for Dogs & Cats, which promotes and helps maintain kidney health and healthy joints. In addition, acupuncture is an excellent complementary therapy, which provides fast relief for dogs in pain.

Dogs experiencing arthritis and joint problems don't need a reduced quality of life. Simple, inexpensive supplements, in addition to good quality food, can make a world of difference in their overall health and wellbeing.

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Pet Cod Liver Oil for Dogs & Cats