As dogs age, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle with walking. This can be due to several issues, including arthritis, muscle weakness, etc. If you notice your dog is having trouble walking, taking action is essential. The sooner you address the issue, the better your chance of helping your dog feel better and regain mobility. Below is what you can do when your dog starts to struggle walking:
Signs Of A Dog Struggling to Walk
If your dog struggles to walk, it is important to take notice of the signs and seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Common signs that your dog may be struggling to walk:
- Limping or favoring one leg
- Unwillingness to put weight on a leg
- Reluctance to move
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Whimpering or crying
If you notice any of these signs, you must take your dog to the vet for an examination as soon as possible. There are a variety of conditions that can cause these symptoms, and only a veterinarian can properly diagnose and treat the problem.
Causes Of Dog Walking Struggles
There are many potential causes of a dog struggling to walk. It could be something as simple as an injury or strain that will heal with time and rest, or it could signify a more serious health condition. Potential causes of a dog struggling to walk:
Injury or strain: If your dog has recently been in an accident or had a fall, it may be injured and need time to heal. Rest and pain relief medication can help them feel better and get back on their feet.
Arthritis: Dogs with arthritis often struggle to walk because of joint pain and inflammation. Treatment options include weight management, exercise, physical therapy, and medications.
Neurological conditions: Conditions like hip dysplasia, disc disease, and spinal cord injuries can all cause mobility issues. Treatment depends on the underlying condition but may include surgery, medication, and WiggleLess braces.
How To Help Your Dog Walk Better
If your dog is having difficulty walking, there are some things you can do to help.
Look at their diet and ensure they get the proper nutrition. If they are overweight, consider putting them on a diet.
Make sure they are getting enough exercise. If they are not used to walking long distances, start slowly and build up their endurance.
Consult a veterinarian to rule out any health problems that could be causing the difficulty walking. Once you have ruled out any medical causes, you can begin working on training your dog to walk better.
Use positive reinforcement. Whenever they walk without struggling, please give them a treat or praise them. This will teach them that good things happen when they walk correctly.
Use a harness instead of a collar. This will distribute the weight more evenly and make it easier for them to walk.
Be patient with your dog, and don’t get frustrated if they struggle at first. Walking takes time and practice for dogs, just like humans. With some patience and perseverance, you’ll eventually have your dog walking like a pro.
As your dog starts to age, you may notice that they start to struggle walking. This is a common sign of aging in dogs and is nothing to be alarmed about. However, there are some things you can do to help your dog stay mobile and prevent them from struggling. Here are some prevention tips:
Keep your dog active. Regular exercise will help keep your dog’s muscles and joints healthy and prevent them from weakening.
Feed your dog a nutritious diet. A healthy diet will help support your dog’s overall health and prevent age-related health problems.
Give your dog supplements. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can help support your dog’s joint health and prevent pain and inflammation.
Take your dog to the vet regularly. Regular check-ups with the vet can help catch any health problems early on and allow for treatment before it becomes serious.
When To See The Vet About Your Dog’s Walking Struggles
If you’ve noticed your dog struggling to walk, it’s essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible. This is especially true if they struggle to walk on one leg or are yelping in pain when walking. Only a certified veterinarian can give you a definitive diagnosis and recommend the best treatment.
As your dog ages, it will inevitably start to struggle with mobility. It can be heartbreaking to see your furry friend in pain and unable to do the things they love. However, there are things you can do to help make their life more comfortable. From changing their diet to supplements and even physical therapy, you can help your dog live a happy and healthy life despite their age-related issues.