Animal Massage Therapists
Body work and massage is a great way to relieve arthritis in humans, and yes you read the headline right—dogs. There are massage therapists that specialize in animals and their specific needs, and why not? By applying gentle, specific pressure, pain can be eased and treated. The practice isn’t an alternative to veterinary care, but using the therapy can be beneficial! Luckily, living in New York City offers a lot of resources, and you can search the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork (IAAMB) website to find a care giver in the area.
Swimming and Water Therapy
Swimming is another great way to exercise your dog, but without the harsh impacts of taking a run or a long walk. Movement can help with joint stiffness! But where in New York City can your dog swim? It’s not like we can jump in Central Park’s Turtle Pond or visit the pool at the gym. Luckily, there are options!
If you’re near Prospect Park, you’re in luck! The Prospect Park Dog Beach is a small watering hole made specifically for dogs to enjoy. Now, it may not be an ideal spot for a dog with advanced arthritis with all the other dogs jumping and playing around, but for a pup who may just need a little bit of water time, it’s a great resource in the city.
What about something a little more personal? Water4Dogs is located in downtown Manhattan, and specializes in canine rehabilitation. They have both dry and water-based rehab, as well as other services, but they offer their facilities to non-patients, too! You and your dog can enjoy their heated pool, a great way to exercise and relax without painful stress on your pups bod.
Water4Dogs also offers water therapy, which may be needed in special cases. The IAAMB has teamed with Association of Canine Water Therapy, and their site has great resources. Check it out!
Yup, Veterinary Acupuncture is an option to help! First step would be to ask your vet about the pros and cons of this treatment, and if he/she thinks your dog can benefit. Like massage, the practice helps release pressure and pain, and helps with inflammation of joints. It’s important to know that there aren’t many studies on the medical effectiveness of animal acupuncture, but the American Veterinary Medical Association does recognize it under alternative medicines. Because it is a physical treatment, it wont interfere with medications. Of course, talking to your veterinarian to make sure it wont complicate other care is highly encourage!
A Comfortable Walk
There’s nothing more important than giving your arthritic dog a comfortable day to day. Simple tasks can be harder for him, like eating or even taking his daily walks. In New York, walking your dog is important! Not everyone has a yard, or a park where your pup can take his time. Controlling the speed and monitoring your dog’s energy is the best way to make sure he’s still going strong.
Avoid running on hard surfaces if your dog’s arthritis is advanced! You want to keep impact on the joints to a minimum, and if you can take advantage of parks, walking on lawns and resting under trees is a great way to enjoy exercise!