• Chris Eldridge

Hip Dysplasia 101

Have you noticed your pet slowing down recently? Or losing interest in activities that require movement?

If so it could be a sign of hip dysplasia, a common orthopedic health condition of the hip that can start developing in a pet's youth and affects any size breed of cat or dog, but most often occurs with larger breeds.

Keep reading to see how you can make sure this condition doesn’t keep your pet off its paws!

Seeing your furry friend lose its interest in their favorite activities like hiking and swimming is really difficult, that’s why taking proactive steps to reduce your pets chance of being affected by this disease can go a long way for giving them a healthy and happy life full of any activities they want! Parents of large or giant breed dogs should be especially careful with their diet as a puppy because hip dysplasia most commonly affects dogs over 50 lbs and their diet has a direct effect on how prone they may be to this disease.

Hip dysplasia occurs when one part of the hip grows at a faster rate than others, leading to instability and lameness, which affects your pets ability to get up, walk/run and exercise in general. This condition can have a very negative effect on your pets quality of life and overall comfort, this is why pet owners should educate themselves on this condition and any preventative care methods to keep your furry friend happy, healthy, mobile and comfortable!

Hip Dysplasia Causes

While hip dysplasia is a genetic condition there are a number of factors that can influence the speed and intensity of its development. You may know early on whether or not your pet has hip dysplasia due to genetics, but your pets’ diet and nutrition starting as a puppy also play a major role. Some other factors that affect this disease are:

  • Diet. A diet that is high in calories or calcium can cause excessive growth, which contributes to hip dysplasia.

  • Excessive exercise. Over-exertion puts unnecessary stress on your pets joints.

  • Growth speed. Many larger breeds have excessive growth rate hormones which can result in uneven growth rates.

  • Muscle mass. A decrease in muscle mass of the hind leg can worsen this condition.

  • Obesity. Extra weight adds more stress to their joints.

Dog owners of all breeds should be especially careful about their exercise rate, diet and weight levels.

Recommended reading: 3 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe this Summer!

Ways to Prevent Hip Dysplasia

The earlier that you detect and treat hip dysplasia the better chance your pet has of living a long healthy life with minimal interruptions and pain as a result of the condition. Once the condition has developed there are less treatment options, which often include surgery. This is why practicing preventive care is the best option for avoiding hip dysplasia so your best friend can keep running and jumping worry free! We strongly recommend introducing the Happy Bond Hip and Joint Supplement to your dog's daily routine as early as possible, a product with one of the highest collagen contents on the market that supports healthy hips and joints for dogs of any age!

Here are some of our tips for preventing hip dysplasia from developing in your pet.

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight level. Reducing the weight load on joints helps improve comfort and mobility.

  • Always avoid overfeeding. Especially in early stages of life, keeping your pet at a healthy weight significantly reduces their chance of developing the condition.

  • Restrict certain exercise. Running on hard surfaces or over-exerting while exercising should be avoided to avoid joint-friction.

  • Physical therapy. Massaging your pets hip muscles or hiring a professional in pet physiotherapy can help to reduce swelling.

  • Keep an eye on bigger breeds. Large breed dogs should be kept at a lean weight level during their youth and never overfeed.

  • Supplements. Find supplements that support your dogs' joints and hips and promotes healthy energy and digestion!

Hip dysplasia is a disease that can have a very negative effect on your pets quality of life, causing pain and limiting their physical ability, something no pet parent wants to see! Being wary of your pet's breed, size and level of mobility in addition to early preventative care methods all play a role in identifying and treating hip dysplasia in your furry friend. Follow our tips on hip dysplasia for ensuring that your pets live a long, happy and healthy life without this disease holding them back from the things they love!

Visit our shop to check out our collagen supplements for all stages of your dog’s life, Happy Again, a preventive care product that builds healthy hips and joints in your dog!

Now that you know how to be the best pawrent around, go out there and go for a hike with your furry friend, just make sure to take it easy!

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