Signs of Arthritis in Your Dog

Common Signs of Arthritis in Your Dog

Many pet owners are surprised to learn that their dog can suffer from arthritis just like humans. As your dog ages, the afflicted joint can become very painful which affects your furry friend’s enjoyment of life. 

Arthritis can occur in any of your dog’s joints, but the most common areas are the knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders. It can occur as a result of an injury, genetics, aging and disease.

Signs of Arthritis in Your Dog 

In this article, we will explore the most common signs of arthritis in a dog. 

Sedentary Lifestyle

Have you noticed that your dog lives a more sedentary lifestyle? Does he not want to move as much as he once did? Maybe he is laying around and objecting to going on walks or passes up a game of fetch.

Sometimes, an owner might not at once notice their dog’s reluctance to move because it creeps up slowly as the pet ages and arthritis develops. You might think that because Fido is a little gray around the muzzle that its normal to have a slowdown in activity. However, you’ll need to watch closely to see if your dog is lazier than usual because he is in pain. 

Limping or Difficulty Walking

If your dog’s legs or hips are afflicted with arthritis, then the animal might start to limp or show difficulty moving. Lameness in both or one of the hind legs can occur if the arthritis is in the spine of the pet. 

When your dog first gets up from a nap, he might be stiff walking around but once he has moved, he will start to loosen up.

Crying Out in Pain

Inflamed joints are extremely sensitive to touch. If your dog yelps when you touch a swollen joint, then he might have arthritis in the area. Your dog might also try to move the limb away from your touch or could even growl at you if you try to stroke the swelling. 


Does your dog seem moody? Maybe Fido growls a lot. The dog might snap or bite at you if you touch the inflamed joint. The mood of the pet is changed by the pain the animal is feeling due to the arthritis. 

Behavioral Changes

When a dog is in constant pain his behavior might change. He could seek solitude in the home. Maybe he will no longer follow you from room to room. Some dogs no longer want to go for a walk or play.

Chewing and Licking the Joint

An arthritic dog will often lick the painful, swollen joint or chew on the spot. You might notice hair loss or inflamed skin around the joint. 

Excessive Tiredness

Pain takes a lot out of humans and animals. If your pet is in pain moving around then they will no longer want to walk or play. They might spend more time sleeping. Dogs can also enter a state of depression because of the chronic discomfort coupled with aging.

Muscle Atrophy

An arthritic dog can develop muscle atrophy if he does not remain active. His muscles will deteriorate because he is no longer using them. Sometimes the arthritic leg will even appear thinner than the other three legs. 

Do you believe that your dog is suffering from arthritis? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

There is no cure of arthritis but there are many treatment options that can bring comfort to your pet and restore the spring in the animal’s step.

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