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Dear community,

I have recently moved in with my boyfriend. He has a 12 year old border collie and I am a bit concerned about her health and the way she is being kept. Since I have never had a dog before, I would appreciate advice on the topic. So the dog has arthritis in it's back legs and thus hasn't been taken for walks in over a year, because apparently it's just "too strenuous" on her. After me complaining about the dog just getting worse if it's not moved we started taking her on walks, and now we've even had a few walks over 1h and the dog seems perfectly happy with going out. Does anybody have experience with dogs with arthritis and can tell me their excercise needs? I'm aware that it probably differs greatly from dog to dog, at the moment we're taking her out about 3 times a week (which i already consider a massive improvement). Personally I still think this is too little, especially since the dog is coping well when we do go on walks. Since I'm inexperienced though I would love a bit of advice.

We've even taken her out on her first play-visit to the park and she seemed really excited about playing fetch and tug :)

Also in terms of dogcare and older dogs what do I need to keep an eye on? There is no healthroutine for the dog at all besides taking it to a vet every 6 months. But what about oral hygene and things like that? What usually needs to be done? I'm just a bit concerned, because the dog is very loved in the household, but at the same time I personally feel it is a bit neglected. Which changes would be important and what advice could you give me on keeping a dog?

I'm completely out of my field of knowledge here.help?!

Thanks in advance.
 

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There are dog toothbrushes and paste. If you can get in the mouth, not a bad idea.
If he is taking the dog to the vet every six months, I wouldn't worry.
If the dog is coping well with the walks, a daily walk would probably be best
Also watch out for slippery spots in the house. I put a lot of rubber-backed mats down with my arthritic dog in key locations (like jumping in the one step into the kitchen onto the slippery tile, that kind of thing) I also bought a lot of inexpensive beds so he always had a soft spot in a room to lie down
I wouldn't worry too much if she is 12 and seems happy and is getting vet care
Older dogs do start to get a haggard look about them and that can make you think they are worse off than they are sometimes
That's great that you are taking an interest in her and she is responding :) Senior dogs are awesome, enjoy her
 

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For elderly dogs, and especially those with arthritis, I would also highly suggest a good joint supplement. Please keep in mind that not all supplements are going to work for all dogs, so you might be trying out a few of them in your search.

Because all three of my dogs have varying conditions that require it, I've got them on Platinum Performance complete joint, which goes in their supper in the evenings. This is a top of the line supplement and is priced accordingly, but for us has been worth every penny. They are extremely quick to ship too, so you can get this quickly. I also have them on a morning supplement from "Zesty Paws", also an excellent supplement, price per pill (chewables too).

If you don't want to wait (and I urge you not to), you can pick up some glucosamine/chondroitin tablets at Walmart and give them to her, as the human formulation is no different than that for dogs. Get the TRIPLE strength. Just pop them in some cream cheese or something, and let her have them. It'll take a week or so for any noticeable improvement, but these truly will help.

I've also got my youngest on a supplement called microlactin, as she's got a luxating patella, and it has helped her tremendously. This and other things are discussed in a thread I started here. Also suggested for joints is Cetyl-M (the Platinum Performance supplement contains this, but in small a small amount), which is next on the docket if the microlactin doesn't work in the long term.

You cannot go wrong with a good joint supplement(s) in an middle aged/elderly dog, and in a great deal of cases, they spring back miraculously. What's more, is with water-based supplements like these, you can give them in quantity until they work, as it's virtually impossible to overdose; unless of course you're supplying bucket sized or other absurd quantities.
 
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