Friday, November 9, 2012

Bone and Joint Health: A Major Issue for Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets

While more commonly associated with afflictions like osteoporosis and arthritis in humans, joint health is actually a much larger concern for household pets and animals in general. In the same way that it's easy for humans to suddenly find themselves less flexible and mobile, pets can easily begin to feel the effects of age when their joints become a bit painful, less flexible, and more of a burden. Their activity levels may suffer, and the problem may compound itself as they gain weight and place more stress on their joints. There are a few common causes of joint problems in pets, and a number of great remedies for those problems in most cases.

The Common Causes: Why Do Pets' Joints Suffer Health Problems?

One of the most common conditions to affect dogs and cats that have been domesticated is arthritis. This largely genetic disease causes joints to become increasingly less flexible and mobile, and the cat or dog will show a noticeable decrease in activity. Arthritis can also have a rather negative impact on the pet's quality of life, inflicting near constant pain as their joints become less and less healthy.

Other issues that can have a negative impact on the joint health of domesticated pets include frequent exercise and overeating. These might sound as though they run counter to each other, but both, in fact, can become problematic depending on the animal’s lifestyle. In cases of excessive exercise, repetitive stress can actually weaken joints or make them more susceptible to the effects of arthritis.

Overeating has a number of negative side effects, not the least of which is a form of diabetes that uniquely affects pets. Diabetes can seriously weaken joints, and it can lead to arthritis in many pets. Furthermore, overeating leads to pets that are overweight, and that means placing more stress on joints during every movement.

Treating the Problem: Choosing the Right Supplements and Treatments for Joint Issues

Just like their human owners, pets have access to a number of great treatments and supplements that can help get rid of joint problems - or stave off future issues with joint health. For cats, a number of soft chews are available to help promote joint health and strength. Best of all, they're basically treats. That makes it a great way to promote great health and a great relationship with the cat. Other supplements are available, too, like GlycoFlex nutritional supplements and NaturVet joint support gel.

Dogs can also avoid joint problems by being fed a few simple treats and supplements. PhyCox Small Bites for Dogs allows man's best friend to enjoy a treat while supplementing the vitamins and minerals that promote healthy joints. NaturVet and Greenies both make extensive lines of pills, treats, and other supplements, that can ensure the integrity of a dog's joints from their youngest days right through old age.

Owners of large animals can also help their pets from experiencing the pain resulting from decreasing bone and joint health. Horses and other large animals can be treated with LubriSyn, a joint supplement that helps flexibility and overall health. Kinetic Conquer and OsteoChon both produce joint care and cartilage health options that keep larger animals in good health throughout their lives. And a number of other companies offer extensive lines of gels, powders, and treats, to keep large animals like horses in great health throughout their lives.

Great Care Can Avoid Great Pain

Paying attention to a pet's activities and diet, as well as their likelihood to develop arthritis, can make all the difference in attempting to these health problems. With the right activities, diet, treats, and supplements, good bone and joint health will come easily to pets of all types and sizes.