5 Ways To Help Your Arthritic Pet.

Dog sitting with owners

Let’s talk arthritis, it is heartbreaking to watch your fur baby struggle to get up in the morning or resist jumping in the car for their daily outing. keep scrolling to see my 5 Ways to help your arthritic pet.

After spending 5 years in the physiotherapy and rehabilitation for small animals I’m here to give you some tips on how to help your best friend with their sore joints.

So first of all let’s talk about arthritis what is it? What causes it? How does it present itself in my pet? And lastly, how can I help them?

Arthritis is a disease-causing painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints.

Arthritis simply means ‘inflammation of the joints‘ and is a common problem for many dogs. … In dogs with arthritis, the cartilage within the joint undergoes change or damage, becoming less smooth and resulting in the bone surfaces rubbing together. This causes discomfort to your dog, as well as further damage to the cartilage.

5 Ways to help your arthritic pet.

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Possible causes may include:

Injury, leading to degenerative arthritis

Hip displaysia

Elbow displaysia

Abnormal metabolism, leading to gout and pseudogout

inheritance, such as in osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD)


immune system dysfunction

Women massaging dogs skin

Signs of Arthritis

Pain, swelling and stiffness in one or multiple joints

Morning stiffness in and around the affected joints lasting at least one hour.Reduced range of motion


Swollen joints

Licking of the joint area

Slow to rise up from a resting position

Unwillingness to walk, jump, or climb stairs

Accidents in the house

Whining, panting, or whimpering

Depression or irritation

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Now that we’ve determined the how, why and how it presents itself. How can you help your pet with their arthritis?

Ways your vet can help

1. If your pet is struggling with arthritis your Vet can help by Prescribing medications to help decrease the inflammation in the joint and control the pain. Please if you suspect your animal is struggling or showing signs of Arthritis make them an appointment.

2. Dietary management, if your dog is overweight getting that weight off will help. Talk to your vet clinic staff about the diet options available, there are many options for tailored pet foods to make losing weight easy.

See my post on overfeeding in animals to get more information:

3. Nutritional supplements proven to help lubricate the joint and help rebuild joint cartilage. Your vet can advise you which supplements are best for your pet.

4. Referral to a certified animal physio/rehabilitation clinic.

5. Surgery for the various dysplasias, as outlined earlier.

Dalmatian hug

Ways you can help your pet at home.

1. Book an appointment with your vet first, please if your animal is struggling pain management is of the utmost importance first.

2. Swimming! This is especially effective for dogs. It allows the animal to exercise without putting force through their sore joints. This means they can maintain muscle mass and even gain some overtime.

You can choose to take your pet to a pool facility or swim them locally.
However, avoid the beach as soft sand and gravel is hard for them to walk on and can cause more harm than good.

3. Heat – keeping your pet warm at night especially in the winter can make a big difference. You can buy specially designed heat discs, blankets and beds to help.

However, just making sure they have a comfy bed inside with a nice blanket makes a difference.
Use wheat packs over a sore joint, we do it for ourselves when we are uncomfortable and stiff, so why not your fur baby too.

4. Short walks rather than long – If swimming isn’t an option then short more frequent walks are better than long.

5. Massage – The same as we all enjoy a nice rub for our aches and pains it works for animals too. If your animal is particularly sore of has had a big swim that day consider giving them a heat treatment (with a wheat pack) followed by and nice massage on their sore limbs.

See my post on how to massage your dog:

That concludes ‘5 Ways to help your arthritic pet’.

As always Thanks for reading.

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New Puppy? What you need to know.

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So you’re looking at getting a new puppy or have just recently brought your new bundle of cuteness home.
What are the first things you should be thinking about setting up for the new love of your life?
Check out these 6 Things to consider when getting a new puppy.

New Puppy? What you need to know.

Still deciding on what breed? Check out these posts to help with your decision.
Best dog for your star sign:
2020’s Most Popular Dog Breeds:

French bulldog puppy

1. Nutrition

What will you be feeding your puppy? What you choose to feed them now will lay the foundations for their health.
Their diet from now to 24 months old will determine how their muscle-skeletal development forms, so it is an important decision to make.
Please consider a science-based veterinary recommended puppy/growth food.
Contacting your chosen vet clinic for advice on this is a great idea.
Even before you get your new puppy.

2. Insurance

Is always a good idea, especially for puppies. Veterinary care can be expensive and a good insurance plan can make all the difference.
Especially when deciding what your potentially sick pet might need.
I strongly recommend getting insurance for a new puppy, as they might develop a health condition you wish you had insurance for!
Here is a good company I strongly recommend if you haven’t already found one at the price you can afford! Pet Assure makes it easy. Learn More

3. Toilet Training

How, when? Toilet training can be frustrating, here is a good video on how to get started with your new furball.

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4. Crate Training

Having a crate trained puppy is very handy. Puppies tend to be mischievous so when your leaving them in the house, being able to secure them in a safe place is ideal.
See this video on crate training to help you get started.

5. Vaccinations

100% puppies need to be vaccinated! There is nothing worse than watching a puppy die from a preventable disease. Please, don’t hesitate in taking your new puppy for all its vaccinations.
If you need more information contact your vet about when and what is best for your area.

6. Puppy School

Consider signing up for your local puppy preschool. Once your pup has had all of its vaccinations, you can book them in for their first class.
Not only are these sessions adorable, but they are great for socialization and basic training!
They are a great starting foundation for, behaviour and training for your new fur baby.

Here are some of my posts related to training.

Train your new puppy to sit in easy steps:

Want to stop your dog barking at guests?


Last but not least, Love! Give that puppy endless cuddles and kisses.
They’re only this small once so take endless selfies, videos and snuggles!
That concludes 6 Things to consider when getting a new puppy.
As always thanks for reading.

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Are you feeding your pet too much? See my tips on how to prevent it.

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Overfeeding! Or as I like to call it, killing your pet with kindness.
That may sound harsh but it couldn’t be more true.
A lot of owners are over-feeding their pets, and this is leading to high numbers of obese pets across the globe.
Are you overfeeding your pet? See my tips on how to prevent it.

Are you feeding your pet too much? See my tips on how to prevent it.

As a vet nurse, this is a battle we face on a daily basis.
The hours spent educating what a healthy pet should look like, and then trying to convince, or motivate owners to help their pet lose weight.
It can be a very sensitive subject for owners, and needs a gentle approach.
All of which can be time-consuming.

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How do we fall into an overfeeding trap?

Owners love spoiling their pets with the latest chewy toys, and delicious treats.
However, they also fall into the trap of over humanising their fur babies and feeding them foods they like to eat themselves. We do this without thinking about how many calories we are allowing our pets to consume.
Of course, most pets are more than willing to gobble up whatever you offer them and they are adorably unaware of the consequences of overeating.
In-fact they will do everything possible to convince you otherwise.
This is how we fall into “killing with kindness”. We feel kind for feeding them what they want, however, the overeating is slowly killing them.

What are the consequences of overfeeding my pet?

An obese animal is more susceptible to so many health issues.
For example diabetes, Heart issues and arthritis are just some of the many conditions that can be caused by or made worse by excess fat on an animal.

How will I know if I’m overfeeding my pet?

We feel good for treating our pets with the various food items that we enjoy. However, our pets don’t need these foods and the consequences of these treats is much higher for our beloved best friends.
If you’re wanting more detail on the calorie needs for your dog or cat.
I have provided links for a dog calories per day calculator. These give you an idea of how many calories your dog or cat should be having per day. https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Calorie-Needs-for-Healthy-Adult-Dogs.pdf
Cat- https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Calorie-Needs-for-Healthy-Adult-Cats.pdf

Please also be aware most vet recommended diets will have a how much food should I feed my dog chart on the back of the bag. This is also the same for cat and other pet foods too.

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For example, if an average-sized dog is fed a small biscuit, that is equal to a human eating a whole cheeseburger! So you can see how easy it is to overfeed.

There are so many great vet recommended dog foods on the market.
Veterinary clinic staff are your best dog food advisor, not only can they point you in the direction of great diets, they can teach you which dog food brands to avoid and of course all other household pets too.
Veterinary recommended science-based pet food is designed to give your pet everything they need, in the right amounts, and its the healthiest way to feed your dog or pet.
Please talk to your vet about diets available for your fur child = )

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How can I prevent overfeeding?

Instead of giving your pet that crust off your toast in the morning or the sausage off the BBQ, here are some tips to avoid overfeeding.

  • Instead of using higher-calorie foods like meat, sausage and cheese. Try Using, diet biscuits, and small amounts of boiled pumpkin for training.
  • Save some of their daily food allowance in a bag. Every time you feel they need a treat and you can’t bear not giving them something, you now have a stash of, perfectly proportioned, suitable food there and waiting.
  • Tell friends and family not to feed your pet at gatherings like BBQs.
    It’s very easy for someone to slip your pet a cheeky piece from the grill.
    In reality, its just encouraging begging and overfeeding. In my house, it’s a big no-no and I make it clear when my friends and family are around not to feed my fur babies.
  • Lastly, if you really feel your pet needs something else in their day that’s different from their Am + PM meals. You can make your own healthy treats from their regular dry food.

These are all great ways to avoid overfeeding and giving your pet unhealthy foods.

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While we are on this subject.

It can be hard for owners to notice or determine if their pet even has a weight issue let alone if they’re overfeeding.
Here are some links to body condition score videos to help you determine what body score your pet is.
Dogs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7lHRRbmpBQ
Cats – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hfMgyDl44

Frequently asked questions answered

  • What time of day should I feed my dog
    Its recommended to feed your pet twice daily Once in the morning and once in the evening. Generally spacing the meals out 10-12 hours is good.
  • What is the best food to feed my dog
    This is something you need to discuss with your Vet! Every pets needs are different, and depending on their life stage or even breed different diets can be required. Please talk to your Vet clinic staff about which diet they recommend for your pet.
  • How to measure dog food portions
    Most bagged food will come with a measuring cup and have a ‘how much should I feed my dog chart’ on the back. However, if you are struggling the Vet clinic staff will be able to show you how to measure dog food portions, Just ask them = )
  • Home cooked dog food
    Now most of us in the Veterinary industry don’t recommend this. No, it is not because were money-hungry salespeople trying to sell you expensive dog food.
    The reason is 9/10 home-made food just isn’t balanced nutritionally and we see the consequences of this on a daily basis in the clinic. The reason we recommend science-based food is because it truly is balanced for your pets nutritional needs.

  • Can I feed my dog 3 times a day
    Adult dogs generally only need to be feed twice daily. Puppy however often require more meals as they are growing.
    If you are wanting to feed your pet more than the recommended twice daily, please make sure you are splitting their daily allowance by 3 and not adding in an extra meal of its own.

As always, Thanks for reading = )

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When to let your pet go? A detailed guide on pet quality of life scale.

When to let your pet go

When to let your pet go

Over the years I have watched many owners go through the process of euthanizing their pets. I have witnessed the struggle to make that decision.

This has inspired me to help explain ‘When to let your pet go’.

We love our pets however this can cloud our judgment.
When a client asks me how they will know when it’s the right time, I will often refer to the “Pet quality of life scale and daily diary”.

A lot of us in the veterinary industry turn to these guides to evaluate a patient’s quality of life.
If you have an elderly or terminally sick pet its good to ask yourselves these questions when considering euthanasia.

When to let a pet go

Pet Quality Of Life Scale And Daily Diary


Is the animal happy? are they still engaged in the family and their day. Does the pet continue to play, go outside, and do things they normally love to do?
If the pet appears more turned off to life then the quality of life is compromised.


Is the animal’s pain managed well, if they are on pain medication/s and they are still struggling to move or be comfortable then its time to contact your vet and discuss euthanasia?

When to let a pet go


Are they eating? If your pet isn’t eating that is a clear sign something is wrong.

If you are having to hand feed roast chicken every day just to get a few bites in then the animal is not engaged in its meals.


Is the animal able to move freely, can they get up and go outside on their own or are you having to assist your pet on a daily basis?

If you have to help your pet with basic daily movements then their quality of life is compromised.


Is the animal soiling itself and are they able to move away from it?

Are you finding your pet soiled more often than not?
Hygiene is then an issue, no-one wants to find their pet soiled and worse they can develop sores and scald from excrement being left on the skin.

It is much nicer to let your pet go before they get to this stage.

More good days than bad?

When there are too many bad days in a row, quality of life is compromised. Bad days may mean nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, frustration, unrelenting pain/discomfort, or inability to breathe.

Not every day needs to be a bad day to make a call on saying goodbye.
You don’t want to wait until your pet is at the stage that every single day is a struggle.
If you start to notice that more days are seeming harder than they should then its time to make that decision.

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If you are finding yourself answering yes to these questions then please make an appointment with your vet.
Your Vet is there to help you with this and there are many options for Home euthanasia or a peaceful clinic appointment.

We are so lucky to have the option of euthanasia for our pets. Even though it feels impossible its the best gift you can give an animal that is ready to leave this world.

As always thanks for reading.

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Consequences Of Over-Grooming Explained, How to Wash A DogThe Right Way.

how wash dog

How Wash Dog

Owners love caring for their dog’s needs, however, we tend to over humanize our furry friends.

I want to explain Why owners should wash their dogs less and what the consequences of overwashing are.

How often do you wash your dog?
With so many lotions and potions on the market to make dogs smell like all sorts of flavours and treat various skin conditions.

Owners are over grooming their pets!
What I’m about to tell you may sound crazy but washing your dog less is better!

However, before we start, if your animal is under the treatment of a veterinarian and/or an Animal dermatologist then their treatment plan and advice is best.

Certain skin conditions may require regular washing with a prescribed shampoo, please always follow your Vets advice first.

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The information I’m giving is based on my opinion.
Having worked in the veterinary industry for over 10 years, the last 2 of those being in a special interest dermatology clinic.

I’m here to tell you why washing less frequently is better for your best friend.

1. Shampoo and soap/s

Strip away your pets natural oils and skin barrier protection. This leaves the skin dry and more vulnerable to UV damage, atopic skin flares, infections and more

2. If your dog has a skin condition already

washing frequently with the wrong product may cause the skin to get worse and make flares more severe.

3. Human shampoo and soap/s

Are too strong for dogs always use a veterinary recommended shampoo designed for your animal.

4. Drying

Rubbing, towel drying or using a hairdryer irritates the hair follicles.

5. Pet smells bad all the time?

If Your pet is needing to be washed regularly because they smell bad all the time, it could potentially be because they have an underlying skin condition that needs your vet’s attention.

The Itchy Dog Skin Journey:

If Your dog suffers from ongoing skin problems or is itchy all the time, check out my numerous posts on canine skin disease’s and how you can help manage your dogs skin longer term.

The Start – Is Your Dog Consistently Itchy? Heres Where To Start

Food Allergies – Cause Itchy Skin, Heres How To Trial Your Dogs Diet.

Environmental Allergies – One Of The Most Common Causes Of Itch Issues In Dogs

Does Your Dog Only Get Itchy In Winter? – Here Are 5 Reasons Why!

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how wash dog

Washing your dog too frequently with the wrong products can cause skin irritations to develop. This can confuse owners into thinking something is wrong with their dog’s skin when in reality they are just over washing them.

Don’t get me wrong washing your dog less is best but that doesn’t mean you need to leave them covered in mud or smelling up your home!!

Wash your

pet the right way!

1. Less is best

Only wash your fur baby when needed eg: they have rolled in something foul as dog’s love to do occasionally

2. Always use a pet friendly product

Always use a product recommended by your vet or a professional.
Pet shampoos exist and are available at your local pet stores and vet clinics.

3. Rinse well with water

Rinse them well with water
Make sure you rinse all the product off their skin this can take 5-10 mins of rinsing to achieve, Leaving the product on the skin to dry can cause irritations

4. Let them dry all natural

If you can let them air dry naturally, pick a nice warm day to wash your best friend, pat the excess water off using a towel and then leave them to dry all-natural style.

This will be the least irritating way for the skin to dry.
Try to avoid vigorous rubbing and hair dryers.

So there you have it, owners, wash your pet less!
I hope this post can educate and help prevent pets from developing irritations caused by over washing.

As Always,
Thanks for reading

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