Summer is approaching, and everyone wants to get out and enjoy the warm weather. For many people, that means taking a vacation with their family pet. But what if your dog has arthritis? Data from Canine Arthritis shows that 35% of dogs of all ages have arthritis.
Don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to have fun together while keeping their pain minimal.
Here are some tips for going on vacation with an arthritic dog:
How Arthritis Affects Your Dog’s Physical Movement
When your dog has arthritis, it can be difficult for them to move around and do the things they used to enjoy. They may not be able to run or walk as quickly as they used to. Your dog might have trouble getting up and down from lying, sitting, or standing because of their arthritic joints.
One of the most common types of arthritis affecting dogs is osteoarthritis. It affects around 14 million grown-up dogs in the USA. And according to many pet parents, it is one of their leading health concerns.
Your dog may also show signs of pain when moving around. This could include limping or crying out when trying to get up from resting on one side of their body for too long.
How to Manage Your Dog’s Arthritis for a Smooth Vacation
You can do many things to manage your dog’s arthritis so that you can take him or her with you on vacation. Here are some tips that can help.
Ask Your Vet About Any Medication Your Dog Might Need
When planning a vacation, you must ask your vet about any medications your dog might need while traveling. Your vet can advise which prescription drugs are safe for dogs and how much of each drug should be given at different times during the trip.
Ensure that there is enough medication for the entire duration of your trip and information on how to administer it correctly. One of the most common medications you can use is Metacam (Meloxicam). It is an oral medication that can help with pain and inflammation.
Having Metacam (Meloxicam) with you on the journey will ensure that you have one treatment available with you, in case. This FDA-approved NSAID drug has been used for several years to help dogs with arthritis.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Properly Vaccinated
The first thing you need to do is ensure your dog is up to date on his vaccinations. Vaccinations are essential for your dog’s health and can help prevent him from getting sick or dying from certain diseases.
The next step is deciding which vaccinations suit your pup and how often he should receive them. Some vaccines are given once, while others need multiple doses before they’re considered adequate.
If you have questions about what vaccinations your dog should get or when he needs them, talk with a veterinarian about what would be best for him based on his age, breed, and lifestyle. Vaccination can protect dogs and puppies from diseases like CPV-2, where the efficacy is 98% after the first dose after two weeks of vaccination and 100% after the second dose.
Now, why is this section talking about vaccination for other conditions? The thing is that if your dog is not vaccinated against these common problems, these conditions can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. If your dog is dealing with other health conditions, the chances for proper rest reduce, increasing body pain.
Reduce Strain on Your Dog’s Body
Arthritis, a condition in which joints become inflamed and painful, is common in dogs. It’s estimated that more than half of all dogs over ten years have some form of arthritis. If your dog has this disease, it can make going on vacation with him difficult because he will probably be less willing to move around or play and because you’ll need to take special care when traveling with him.
Here are some tips to reduce strain on his body:
- Avoid jumping or climbing stairs. Instead, use elevators or ramps if available when entering buildings and hotels.
- Avoid long walks through crowded streets or parks where other people may be walking their dogs, who might get excited by seeing another animal nearby. Even if other dogs aren’t around right now, one might appear later in the day as part of its routine walk schedule. It’s best not to take any chances.
Ensure Enough Time to Physically Care for Your Arthritic Dog
Now that you’ve decided to take your arthritic dog on vacation, it’s important to consider the logistics of caring for them during the trip. Your dog will likely need help getting around and getting up and down throughout your stay. You’ll also want to ensure they can get into and out of cars easily and safely.
Once at your destination, help them navigate stairs or steps by carrying them over each one if necessary. And finally, be mindful that some hotels may not have beds large enough or soft enough for older dogs with difficulty lying comfortably.
Use Accessories to Make the Ride Comfortable for Your Dog
If your dog has arthritis, there are a few things you can do to make the ride more comfortable.
- Use a harness instead of a collar. A collar puts pressure on your dog’s neck and shoulders, leading to pain in those areas. It also makes breathing harder if they pull against it when they’re excited or scared about something, like seeing other dogs or people on the street. A harness distributes weight more evenly across their body, so it won’t put as much pressure on any one part of them as collars do.
- Keep him in his crate while traveling by car, or bring along another type of carrier if there isn’t enough room in yours. This will keep him safe from falling out through open windows while driving down highways at high speeds, plus gives him somewhere cozy where he can rest without having anyone else bother him while resting during breaks between stops along the way home from vacation destinations like beaches, parks, museums, etc.
While it may seem like a lot of work to plan a vacation with your arthritic dog, it’s not. We hope you’ve learned some valuable tips on ensuring your dog has an enjoyable time on his next trip.