How to Lift a Dog With Arthritis

puppy image by Karol Grzegorek from

When dogs age, they often develop health problems that threaten their quality of life. Naturally, owners want to treat any conditions and make their pets as comfortable as possible. Arthritis is a degenerative affliction that produces stiffness and pain in joints and muscles. This disease can make it difficult for dogs to get around. You also must take it into account when you want to move your pet. To lift a dog with arthritis, use methods that ensure your four-legged friend's safety and comfort.

Buy a harness. Arthritis has the potential to weaken some muscles and joints more than others. Because of this, your dog can become off-balance, which complicates its efforts to move. To counteract this phenomenon, buy a harness that helps distribute its body weight evenly. Make sure the harness has comfortable padding so the straps do not rub against its skin. Some harnesses go around the belly, while others are made to support the hind legs. Consult your veterinarian to see which harness is appropriate for your pet.

Secure the harness. Strap the device around your dog's belly and/or hind and front legs. Make sure it is snug without being too tight. Make sure the pads are lined up underneath your dog to prevent grating on its skin.

Support the dog as it moves. Grab onto the handles of the harness and pull until you meet some resistance. Find a comfortable position where you can hold your hand, then move with your dog. As it walks, make sure its body is supported by constantly monitoring the resistance. When you are on uneven surfaces like stairs, adjust your hand position so that the dog's body is supported at the angle. Otherwise, depending on if you're going up or down, its front or hind legs may come off the ground.

Lift the dog after gauging its weight and your strength. Raise smaller dogs using the harness itself or by squatting, putting your arms under the animal and lifting. To get a larger dog into a car or onto a bed, take out all the slack from the harness but still keep a firm grip on the handles. Help the dog get its front paws up, then lift with a clean motion so that it can get onto the surface with its back legs.

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