Dogs have always been our best friends. From the days where they helped us hunt in the wild, they have come to have an important place in many households today. In fact, there are almost 90 million dogs living with us in the United States- a number that is only expected to grow.
Although dogs can be a lifeline for us, there will be times in your dog’s life where they experience pain and health complications. This can be a difficult time for everyone, especially your dog. This is why it’s best to find out the best ways to ease your dog’s pain and keep their tail wagging.
#1 Recognize the signs
When a human is ill, it’s not always easy to spot the physical signs that something isn’t right. Though it’s never nice seeing your best friend in pain, dogs are much easier to recognize the signs in. Even so, it’s wise to brush up on your knowledge, so you can take action at the earliest stage.
These signs can begin with subtle behavior changes, such as when your dog has stopped barking, or they are more aggressive than usual. These mood changes often mean your dog is in severe pain. Other signs are more physical. For example, your dog will likely limp if they have an issue with their leg, or they may be prone to fits if there is a problem in their brain. For skin conditions and tumors, these are usually noticeable just by looking.
#2 Visit the vet regularly
When you realize your dog is in pain, the first step is to get to the root of the problem. Without the expertise of a professional, you will struggle to identify the problem and bring immediate relief to your best friend. As soon as you can, book an appointment at a nearby vet to get your dog checked out and on the mend. Aside from giving medical treatment, your vet will also be able to give you some helpful tips to take home with you.
The thing with vets is that some dogs can become nervous before they visit. Make sure to be your usual calming presence, or bring with you their favorite toy to keep their mind at ease. For those who are struggling with money, don’t let that stop you from taking care of your dog. While vets can charge high fees for visits, if you use dog insurance to visit a vet, you’ll be covered without the upfront costs.
#3 Give your dog the right support
Giving your dog the right support isn’t always as easy as giving them cuddles; it also means investing in the right things to minimize their pain. This support will differ depending on the health complication your dog may have.
For dogs with bone pain, this could mean buying a dog bed that offers orthopedic support. For those with ill eye health, giving them a range of soft toys to play with helps them to stay occupied. A cone will stop your dog from itching after an operation, while those in high levels of pain will need appropriate levels of pain relief. Whatever the issue, this time is all about doing what is best for your dog.
#4 Stay active
One of the first pieces of advice your vet will give you is to limit physical activity with your dog. This is especially true if they have had a recent operation, or have some broken bones. While you should always listen to this advice, it’s still key to keep your dog active- even if this is just for a few minutes every day.
This is your time to be imaginative in how you can keep your dog on the move. Shorter walks may be enough for most dogs, but some won’t even have the luxury of doing that. In times like these, your dog will still need fresh air, so take them to your local park and sit with them while they look around. If your dog is more limited with their movement, consider making everyday activities easier for them by offering additional support.
#5 Look into natural pain relief
Dogs are not the same as humans, and that is a huge part of why we love them so much. Unfortunately, this can make is more difficult to determine the kinds of pain medication they need to have. Those we know like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs, so it’s essential to take the pain medication your vet may offer you at each appointment.
If your dog is still experiencing some signs of pain, it could be worth looking into natural, non-toxic forms of relief. Ginger, Liquorice and even more herbs can bring long-term relief if used correctly. They are all mostly accessible at your local health store.
#6 Be open to treatment
No dog owner ever wants their best friend to be in pain, which is why some forms of treatment can be a tricky step to take. While these treatments offer long-term relief, they can understandably make us feel nervous about the short-term pain of such procedures.
Despite these complicated emotions, you should always be open to treatment if it’s the solution to your dog living a long, healthy life with minimal pain. Just make sure you are right by their side when they need you the most. If you can’t always be around for your dog due to work or other important commitments, find a trusty dog sitter who will be just as supportive when you aren’t there.