Traveling – yet you don’t want to leave your arthritic best friend behind!
Tips for Traveling with Your Arthritic Dog. You’re driving somewhere for the holidays, and you don’t want to leave your four-legged best friend behind, but the question is, how do you get her to your in-law’s house without causing her more pain? Here are some tips on driving, transporting, and reducing your arthritic dog’s pain.
Help Your Dog in and out of the Car
One of the first steps of driving anywhere with your dog is to get her in the car. When your dog is young, or if you have a small dog, this step is relatively easy to get past. Young or adult dogs can often jump into cars with no problem. Small dogs are relatively easy to pick up and put in the car, but what about the rest of the dogs that don’t fit into these two categories. What about your arthritic dog? Well, you obviously don’t want her to jump in the car, and you only want to lift her in the car if it doesn’t cause you or her pain, so what do you do if she can’t jump or be lifted? You should look into dog ramps. There are many varieties of dog ramps available, but the main function of such ramps are to allow your dog to get into and out of your car on her own and without hurting herself or you. These ramps are designed to fold and fit easily into your car so you can bring it with you wherever you go. Such ramps not only provide your dog a safe way to get into your car, but they also help bolster her confidence. If your dog is used to being able to get into the car on her own, and now you have to lift her, she might be upset about this. Giving her an option to still get into the car on her own helps her mentally as well as physically.
Give Her Space
Your arthritic dog can no longer move and curl up like she used to. Also, staying in the same spot for extended periods of time can potentially cause her a great amount of pain. To help her find a comfortable position in your car, give her enough room to lie down and potentially stretch out. Depending on the size of your dog this might require a lot of room, but trust me it is worth it. You don’t want to squeeze your dog into the last remaining corner of your car only to have her hurt herself as she tries to find a comfortable way to lie. Not only that but when your dog can’t stretch out or change positions for long periods of time she can develop pressure points. Pressure points form when your dog lies in the same place for such a long time that her weight compresses her blood vessels enough to stop the blood flow. In other words, her legs fall asleep. When this happens your dog’s body is not getting all of the blood and nutrients it needs and this is a particular problem for arthritic dogs. Arthritic dog’s joints need all of the nutrients they can get to fight of getting stiff and painful. Cramping your arthritic dog in the car will result in her pain levels rising.