Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain | Natural Senior Dog Care

Old Dogs and Special Needs Dogs

Natural Dog Care for Joints and Arthritis

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Natural Senior Dog Care

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by GingerLead and also has affiliate links. However, I will always try to offer my readers great product selections. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter

Please note, I am not a veterinarian. Please speak in detail with your holistic veterinarian about your dog’s care and support. They will always be your best resource.

If you have old dogs, dogs with arthritis, dogs with mobility issues, or even young healthy dogs, you should be proactive in their joint and mobility care. Often people wait until their dog is in pain, has arthritis, or even has trouble getting up from the ground before they take action. We all do it—I even fell in this category myself with Dexter.

If you’ve been following Dexter’s story, you may recall that he was diagnosed with Chiari-like Malformation (CM) and syringomyelia in 2012. CM is basically when the skull is too small to hold the brain, causing pressure on the cerebellum and medulla, and obstructing normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. You can compare this to holding your finger over half of the opening of a hose; that pressure then causes fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord, SM.

We’ve had our ups and downs with his disease. I’m happy to report he’s been doing well and he’s just as spunky and fun-loving as a young pup. However, just over a year ago, Dexter was getting a bit more “wobbly and bobbly” and losing his balance. It’s then that he started seeing his rehab vet, Dr. Mary L. Cardeccia, for regular physical rehabilitation to work on building his core strength and proprioception. You can read about our canine rehab in this article.

Strength Training for All Ages of Dogs

I regret that I was not more proactive in keeping Dexter strong and mobile, prior to his wobbles and weakness. Dexter and I always had regular daily exercise through walks and play, but I never actively focused on his strength and core. Strong core muscles help dogs with their movement, keep their balance, and help them get up and down. For Dexter, it’s also very important in strengthening his spine and allowing him the strength to “catch” himself and recover from a wobble.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Core strength exercises for dogs

Daily Exercise and Movement for Dogs

Have you ever heard the phrase, “use it or lose it”? This is so true when it comes to exercising with our dogs and keeping them moving. According to an article published on the John Hopkins website, “While rest is important, especially during flare-ups, lack of physical activity is associated with increased muscle weakness, joint stiffness, reduced range of motion, fatigue and general deconditioning.” As with every exercise program, it is important to know your dog’s limits and yours, start slowly, and build over time.

Canine Water Therapy / Hydrotherapy for Dogs

There are two traditional forms of dog water therapy: pool therapy and water treadmill therapy. Water therapy has a low impact on a dog’s joints. This is a great solution for dogs with a variety of joint problems and mobility issues. Water therapy also provides resistance, making this a great workout for your dog. Dexter goes to monthly underwater treadmill therapy not only to build his strength, but also to help with his proprioception. During the summer months, I also walk Dexter in shallow streams and ponds between our sessions.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Water Treadmill Therapy for Dogs

Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs

Cold laser therapy uses light beams that stimulate the cells in the body and can reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, relieve pain, and repair tissue damage. Cold laser therapy uses a laser that does not produce heat. Depending on your dog’s condition, your holistic veterinarian may recommend cold laser therapy. Dexter’s neurological condition relates to inflammation along his spine, so Dexter receives treatment on his spine about once a month. If he’s having a rough day with pain, we schedule an impromptu laser treatment, which usually gets him back on track and feeling better.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Laser Therapy for Dogs

Acupuncture for Mobility

Acupuncture is another natural option for assisting with a dog’s mobility and a lot of other canine ailments, even behavioral issues. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that disease is caused by a disruption of the flow of QI, or energy. Acupuncture is applied in target points to stimulate the flow of QI, allowing the body to become balanced. For dogs with mobility concerns, the practitioner is generally focused on stimulating circulation and reducing inflammation.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Acupuncture for Dogs

Dog Chiropractic Adjustments for Mobility and Range of Motion

First, I want to stress that if you are thinking of taking your dog in for chiropractic care, you see a veterinarian, not a human chiropractor—they are NOT the same. Canine chiropractic care helps realign your dog’s joints and spine, helps with range of motion and flexibility, and can relieve pain.

Veterinarian chiropractors may solely use their hands during a dog’s adjustment, a chiropractic adjustment tool, called the Activator®, or a combination of both. Dexter has had both procedures, and responds better during and after with a hands-on approach instead of the tool. Some veterinarians will actually provide adjustment in the pool, for even a gentler approach.

Proper Weight and A Species-Appropriate Diet and Supplementation

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that excess weight on your dog’s joints and spine will increase pain and inflammation, and decrease mobility. It also leads to strain on your dog’s heart muscles and other vital organs. If there was ever a time to feel your dog’s waistline, it’s now. All dogs should have a slight tuck at the waist.

Feeding your dog a species-appropriate diet is incredibly beneficial in reducing inflammation. Dogs are carnivores, not carbidores. A processed dry dog food is extremely heavy in carbohydrates and has almost no moisture. This combination leads to inflammation, not to mention a lack of fresh vitamins, minerals and enzymes. To help reduce inflammation avoid refined carbohydrates such as sugar, sorghum, flour (wheat, oat, pea, bean, rice, corn), white rice, and potato starch to name a few. Some other foods that increase inflammation include sugar, too many omega-6 fatty acids, and corn. On the other side, there are foods and supplements that help reduce inflammation such as leafy greens, blueberries, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage), bone broth, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, beets, pineapple, glucosamine chondroitin, green-lipped mussels, and CoQ10.

Dog Mobility Aids

If your dog struggles getting up, using stairs, or walking, I would suggest looking at the GingerLead. The GingerLead works by gently lifting a dog’s back legs, enabling him to be in an ideal position. The GingerLead offers a very safe and secure way to help a dog get up, navigate stairs, or go for a walk. You can read my full review in this article.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
GingerLead Dog Support Sling

Don’t wait for your dog’s mobility to decrease. Take action today to improve his movement and longevity.

GingerLead is the No Bunching, Padded Dog Support Sling with Leash and Handle – Quality you can feel – Trusted by veterinarians for improving quality of life for your best friend since 2008 – Proudly made in Colorado, U.S.A. – Adjustable for Height – Easy to Use – Stay on Straps


How are you helping your dog’s mobility? Tell me in the comments.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Moving and Combating Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain. Natural care for your senior or special needs dog. #raisingyourpetsnaturally #seniordogs #olddogs #dogarthritis
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Today is National Walking Day! In 2007, The American Heart Association dedicated this day as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has numerous anti-aging benefits for both you and your dog. By walking your dog daily, you are improving both your and your dog's health, and your mind and connection with your dog as well. So, turn off the television, leash your dog, grab your camera, and head to the park! Learn how to teach your dog not to pull on his leash here.

Happy National Walking Day: Wordless Wednesday Style

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Take Your Dog For Walks Daily

Today is National Walking Day! In 2007, The American Heart Association dedicated this day as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has numerous anti-aging benefits for both you and your dog. By walking your dog daily, you are improving both your and your dog's health, and your mind and connection with your dog as well. So, turn off the television, leash your dog, grab your camera, and head to the park! Learn how to teach your dog not to pull on his leash here.
Walking a dog is great exercise

Today is National Walking Day! In 2007, The American Heart Association dedicated this day as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has numerous anti-aging benefits for both you and your dog. By walking your dog daily, you are improving both your and your dog’s health, and your mind and connection with your dog as well. So, turn off the television, leash your dog, grab your camera, and head to the park! Learn how to teach your dog not to pull on his leash here.


How often do you walk your dog? Tell me in the comments.

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Positive and Natural Dog Training Books
Proactive Puppy Care: Preventing Puppy Problems

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Best New Year's Resolutions

2017 New Year’s Resolutions and 2016 Review

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2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Reviewing Life Goals

What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it's about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren't perfect. Just because I didn't reach my 2016 goals doesn't mean I can't try them again for 2017.
Best New Year’s Resolutions

How did you do with your New Year’s resolutions in 2016?

Sticking to New Year's resolutions can be hard. I mean, if you think about, it it's a goal you find challenging. If it were easy for you, you’d already be doing it, and you wouldn’t have it on a list of things you want to change.Click To Tweet

Personally, I know my challenges and try to work on them regularly. But, like so many others, I did set forth with three goals for 2016.

  1. Work on my 3-year plan
  2. Weight-loss and healthy eating
  3. Stay organized and on track

Number one on my list, working on my 3-year plan, was always at the forefront of my day. I’m in my forties, so it is important for me to stay focused on my career and future goals. This 3-year plan encompasses a lot of things in my life, some professional and some personal. This year for my career, I wanted to branch out with more pet freelance work and speaking at pet expos, write another pet book, and work on my personal pet blog.

What I didn’t know was that during this process I would end up totally re-branding my company and the focus of my brand-Raising Your Pets Naturally with Tonya Wilhelm. This rebranding was just what I needed. However, with this, I also ended up taking my main website and 3 blogs and merging them to a new website and host. This was—and still is—a HUGE project. I’m still going over 10 years of online pet articles and reformatting, fixing links, and updating images. Then, there is the issue about SEO and getting my new website listed and linked up across the internet. That’s doing well again, but I still have improvements to make.

#1 is doing well, but like with everything I do, I don’t feel like I am where I wanted to be. Maybe my goal is too high.

Next on my list is the notorious weight-loss and healthy eating. I joined a local gym in January and hit the gym almost daily. Things were on track and I was losing some weight. Eating healthy was going okay, but not fantastic. I’m always so busy and I’m single, which makes cooking a healthy meal quite challenging. At one point I told myself, before buying something to eat, I would ask myself “would I feed it to Dexter?” Basically, that meant it needed to be fresh, not from a box or filled with junk.

My #2 goal of losing weight and healthy eating went by the wayside when number #1 kicked in with the rebranding. That felt so central to my life that I didn’t even want to spend the 60-90 minutes away from other parts of my life, like work. I mean, I ALWAYS make my time for my pets and family, so something had to give, right? Since this goal is more personal and is about me, it always gets lost and deprioritized.

Real food for the human in the house. 🙂

A photo posted by Raising Your Pets Naturally (@raisingyourpetsnaturally) on

My final New Year’s resolution was to stay organized and on track. Not being organized has always been funny to me, because I’m a girl who loves drawers, bins, organizational tools, etc. Everything does have a place, but the problem for me has been to get those things back to their place when I’m finished. Maybe it ties in with the second part, staying on track. For me, I have like five projects I’m working on all on my desk, on the table next to me, over there and here. Don’t get me wrong, though—I never miss a deadline, and usually finish early.

This year, I bought a new computer desk, new office chair, a few wall calendars, and a new blogging calendar. I’m even looking at one of those 32-37” professional computer monitors so that I can have two regular-sized windows open at the same time! Keeping my thoughts and tasks in place comes and goes.

This year, I bought a new computer desk, new office chair, a few wall calendars, and a new blogging calendar. I'm even looking at one of those 32-37” professional computer monitors so that I can have two regular-sized windows open at the same time! Keeping my thoughts and tasks in place comes and goes.
Current workstation

The staying on track part for me is to stick with a daily task plan. But that’s always challenging in my line of work. My main source of income is seeing dog training and cat behavior clients in person or via phone/Skype. So I never know what time of day I will end up booking a session, and what time of day will be free for other work. Or an article idea pops into my head and I feel like I need to write it NOW. My goal, is to just keep my ongoing “to write” list going and when my writing day arrives, go down the list. Or if my website optimization day is here, work on that. At least that’s the goal. 😉

What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it’s about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren’t perfect. Just because I didn’t reach my 2016 goals doesn’t mean I can’t try them again for 2017.

My goal this year is to continue on my path. The first thing I will do is to pull out my trusty calendar, and work on scheduling my daily tasks and goals so I can stick to the plan easier. When something actually makes my planner, I am more likely to follow through.

I plan on writing another book this year, this one about kids and dogs, geared toward kids. I am also thinking about writing a cookbook for busy people who are not cooks! That’s me. My theory is if I make healthy eating part of my career (or my now 2-year plan), I will look at it as a necessity to eat better and cook for myself, instead of something to put off to the side.

It was brought to my attention in a blogger group that we must take time for ourselves. I sort of was looking at this part as #2, but if #2 still has a business angle, am I really putting work aside to JUST BE? Even when I’m in bed trying to unwind from the day, I am looking at my phone on how to improve x. So, I think I will add a #4 to my resolution list, to disconnect from anything work related. This may actually be my hardest challenge for the year!

At least those are my 2017 goals for now.


What about you? Do you struggle with New Year’s resolutions? 

Tell me in the comments.

Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.

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What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it's about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren't perfect. Just because I didn't reach my 2016 goals doesn't mean I can't try them again for 2017.