How can you spot signs of arthritis in dogs?

Arthritis is a painful type of disease that affects both humans and animals. Dogs can develop arthritis in one or more joints – their hips, knees, or spine just like people can.

If you notice any of the following signs- loss of appetite, limping on one side, difficulty getting up after resting- it might be time to take your dog to a vet for an examination as they may have pain (which can be chronic pain)- and so need some pain relief.


There are many signs that your dog may be suffering from arthritis, but it can be difficult to spot them. This blog post will discuss the main symptoms and causes of arthritis in dogs, as well as how you can help your pup live a more comfortable life.

In addition to looking for these signs, you should also consult with a veterinarian who specialises in animal health if you suspect that your canine friend has arthritis. There’s isn’t much to remove the condition but there’s always help for an arthritic dog to try to prevent severe arthritis and more painful joints.

How to spot arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs and can be difficult to spot, especially the early signs. This blog post will provide you with some tips on how to identify the signs of arthritis in your pet dog, and what you should do if you suspect that your dog has it, or is also experiencing pain or swollen joints.

Did you know that arthritis in dogs can be detected with changes in your dog’s behavior? Watch for these signs: limping, stiffness or reluctance to move, and a change in posture. We’ll tell you how to spot the warning signs of canine arthritis and what you should do about it.

What is arthritis in dogs?

Arthritic joints become gradually thickened and stiff because they produce new bone that isn’t needed. New bone forms around the joints, making it stiffer and more difficult to move.

The extra extra bone causes more pain when your dog moves around. Healthy joints are smooth and smooth, but joints with arthritis are more uncomfortable and painful.

The bones in healthy joints rub against each other causing pain and discomfort. A healthy joint has an uneven and worn surface, which means it rubs, causing swelling and pain.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative disease, is the term used to describe the progressive deterioration of the joints as a result of the inflammation.

What causes arthritis in dogs?

Most commonly, arthritis affects older dogs and is caused by wear and tear. But it can also be the result of an injury such as ligament damage or broken bones. Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the joints often caused by bad breeding.

Under-development of joints is also due to too little or too much exercise during puppyhood. Arthritis can be influenced by other factors including: obesity and poor diet and poor exercise. Arthritis is most common in older dogs but it can be caused at any age, so always try to use weight control to keep your dog at a healthy weight.

What are the signs and symptoms of arthritis?

The first thing you’re likely to notice is your dog starting to slow down. Arthritis is a progressive disease with symptoms that gradually develop and worsen over time.

They may take it easier on walks, be reluctant to play as much or they may no longer go up the stairs or jump on their favourite chair. Booking your dog in for a vet check-up if you notice any of these signs and just keep an eye out for affected parts, any joint cartilage problems or any other pain related issues.

How can arthritis be diagnosed?

Your vet may diagnose this disease based on a history of symptoms and is likely to do a physical examination. Where arthritis is suspected in younger dogs, or if there’s a possibility of joint surgery that could be helpful, X-rays or other scans may be done to establish the underlying cause of the problem.

The pain or stiffness of the joint may be helped with physical rehabilitation, especially in the early stage, which can then help with joint function. A treatment plan may also reduce inflammation and promote repair of joint issues, particularly with an older dog or breeds such as German shepherds or golden retrievers. Regular exercise, albeit light, can help as well.

Can arthritis be cured?

Many dogs cope well without any veterinary intervention at all. Certain animals will require treatment ranging from simple lifestyle changes to complex surgery. But you do not want your dog in constant pain, as if can make them snappy with other dogs.

Some animals are made pain free by appropriate long-term use of medication and sensible management to control further deterioration of the joint.

Many pets can be made pain-free by appropriate treatment and medication and management. More than a million people suffer along with their dogs from various types of arthritis.

Natural Supplements

There are natural supplements available that may help your dog’s arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin can help support joint health and rebuild cartilage.

You should always talk with your veterinarian before giving them to your dog. There are many natural supplements that may be available to help with pain relief for those dogs experiencing joint pain

Weight management

It’s important to monitor how much they weigh, to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your dog’s joints. Some breeds are more prone to weight gain than others, so keep an eye on them. In healthy dogs, obesity can predispose them to early development of osteoarthritis. There are chew sweets that contain a joint supplement with strong scientific backing, containing the unique combination of green-lipped mussel (GLM), glucosamine, and chondroitin. GLM contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


The earlier you identify arthritis, the better. If your dog is displaying any of these signs, consult with a veterinarian to determine next steps.

You can also take action and help relieve some discomfort by following these tips for success:

  • ensuring that they have enough water or food each day;
  • giving them exercise appropriate for their age and weight level;
  • providing them with adequate rest periods which may involve leaving stairs out of playtime or limiting the time spent on hard surfaces like tile or concrete floors;
  • using joint supplements such as fish oil pills (available at most pet stores) which contain omega 3 fatty acids to lubricate joints and promote healthy cartilage growth;
  • spending time outside in fresh air every day even if it’s just 10 minutes.

While there is no cure for arthritis, it’s possible to manage symptoms by following these tips. For instance, you can give your dog a diet that contains omega-3 fatty acids or glucosamine as well as giving them exercises that are low impact like swimming and light walking.

If you have any questions about what signs of arthritis may look like in your canine companion or how to help with the pain, don’t hesitate to speak to the RSPCA or other similar body

Arthritis is a common condition that can affect many different parts of the body, including your dog’s joints. Tell tale signs of arthritis in your dog include stiffness or difficulty moving around, having trouble getting up from lying down (or standing), and reluctance to climb stairs.

Final thoughts

The good news is there are some simple things you can do to help manage this condition without resorting to medication for your pup. 

Some helpful strategies for reducing pain associated with canine arthritis include:

  • provide plenty of rest time in an elevated position;
  • keep food portions small so as not to increase weight on affected limbs;
  • invest in soft mats and blankets instead of hard surfaces like tile floors or wood furniture;
  • limit physical activity such as running after playtime.

Dogs Arthritis – FAQs

How do you know if your dog has arthritis?

The illness is often first noticed when the dog starts to move slower. The condition develops and worsens over time, with symptoms becoming more discernible as it progresses.

They may take it easier on walks, be reluctant to play as much or they may no longer go up the stairs or jump on their favourite chair. Booking your dog in for a vet check-up if you notice any of these signs and just keep an eye out for affected parts, any joint cartilage problems or any other pain related issues.

How do you treat arthritis in dogs?

Dogs deal with the pain of arthritis in different ways. Some animals adjust their lifestyle, while others need more complicated treatments like surgery to be comfortable.

Keeping animals pain-free usually happens by taking the appropriate medicines and following sensible management to decrease joint deterioration.

The symptoms of arthritis in a dog can be managed with appropriate treatment, medication, and home care

At what age do dogs get arthritis?

Acute arthritis can happen with any age of dog, and is typically caused by severe joint wear. Chronic arthritis usually occurs in older pets. One strain of chronic arthritis is hip dysplasia, which cannot be cured but can be helped by supplements and surgery to relieve the loading on the joint.

Can arthritis in dogs come on suddenly?

A dog can suffer from arthritis at any age, but older dogs are most commonly affected. Acute arthritis is most often caused by severe bone wear around joints; chronic conditions are more likely to occur in elderly pets and may be related to hip dysplasia which cannot be cured, but may be helped through supplements or surgery.

Article summary: dog/dog degenerative joint disease/ affected joints for a dog/early stage