Arthritis does not just affect humans; it can also occur in canines. If your dog suffers from arthritis, he may have trouble running around outside and even getting up stairs. As a pet owner, you have a duty to help your dog feel better. Here are five tips for helping an arthritic dog:

Put Him on a Diet

If your dog is carrying around extra weight, it can put more pressure on his joints, making the arthritis worse. Putting your pooch on a diet can help relieve some of the pain in his joints. Ask his veterinarian how much kibble you should feed him a day and stick to her guidelines. Also, try to exercise your dog every day for at least 20 minutes. A simple walk around the neighborhood can help your dog burn calories and stay limber.

Buy a Ramp

Your dog probably has trouble climbing stairs and jumping on beds, so it is a wise idea to buy a ramp. For example, if you put the ramp next to the couch, your pooch will not struggle to get on it to take a nap.

Give a Massage

Believe it or not, massages are not just beneficial to people. They can also help arthritic dogs. If your pooch gets a massage, it will increase circulation and flexibility in his joints. If you are not sure how to give a proper massage, take your dog to see a professional animal massage therapist.

Use a Heating Pad

When your dog's joints are bothering him, place a heating pad on the affected area for about 20 minutes. A heating pad reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles, providing relief from the arthritis.

Consider Acupuncture

The idea of acupuncture for your dog might seem silly at first, but it can actually help improve his arthritis symptoms. This ancient practice can stimulate the nervous system, relax the muscles and provide pain relief. The great thing about acupuncture is that there are no side effects to worry about. If you think acupuncture is right for your dog, contact a veterinarian who has special training in acupuncture.

If you follow these helpful tips, you can help your furry family member feel a lot better. However, if your pooch still can't find relief from his arthritis, make an appointment with his veterinarian soon. She can examine your dog's condition and decide if medication is a good option.