Oct 7, 2022

Walk Your Dog to Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis

Happy National Walk Your Dog Week! Each year, we like to bring attention to this very important topic. Walking your dog has many health benefits, both for you and your pup. Walking is a low impact exercise that can provide mental stimulation and also improve joint health. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the benefits of walking to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Approximately 1 in 5 dogs is diagnosed with osteoarthritis. OA is a degenerative disease in which the cartilage within a joint breaks down, causing changes in the surrounding bone. Common symptoms of OA include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. In dogs, the majority of OA cases stem from a developmental orthopedic disease such as joint dysplasia. It can also develop as a result of an injury such as a cruciate ligament tear.

Walking to Improve Joint Health

Since so many dogs develop OA, it is important to take care of their joint health from an early age. One way to do this is by taking regular walks. Though every pet is different, most dogs can handle at least some amount of regular walking. Walking is a relatively easy and low-impact exercise that can help to support joint health in dogs with and without OA.

Walking May Improve OA Symptoms

Like in people, walking can help to reduce the symptoms or delay the onset of osteoarthritis in dogs. Walking regularly can help dogs lose weight, thereby causing less stress on the joints. It can also help strengthen the muscles and supporting soft tissue structures around the joints, promoting increased joint stability. In addition, walking increases joint fluid circulation which is beneficial to maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

It is important to remember that every pet has different capabilities. For instance, some dogs may not be able to handle one long walk per day and instead may benefit from shorter, more frequent walks. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian about your dog so that they recommend an exercise plan tailored to your pet’s specific needs.


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