Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

Did you know that arthritis is very common in older dogs? Arthritis in dogs is essentially the same as arthritis in people. It begins when Fido’s tendons and ligaments wear thin and lose elasticity, causing his bones to rub together. Needless to say, this can be quite painful! Your canine pal can’t tell you if he is sore, so it’s up to you to keep an eye out for symptoms. Here, a Tampa, FL vet lists some common signs of arthritis in dogs.


Limping is one of the earliest signs of arthritis to appear. At first, Fido may only limp for a moment, usually when he is first getting up. Once your canine buddy gets ‘warmed up,’ the limp may disappear. However, as your furry friend’s arthritis progresses, the limp will become more pronounced.

Difficulty Climbing

Arthritis will cause your four-legged buddy to become stiff and sore. This can make day-to-day activities difficult for Fido. Your pup may have trouble going up and down stairs, climbing in and out of the car, or getting on and off beds and couches … assuming that he’s allowed on them, of course.


Dogs often lick or nibble at sore spots. If you notice Fido worrying at a specific place, such as a paw or leg, or the base of his tail, he may have arthritic pain in that area.

Lack of Interest in Play

Fido may not feel very playful if he is dealing with arthritis pain. If your canine friend’s favorite doggy toys are gathering dust, your four-legged pal may be developing arthritis.

Trouble Standing Up/Getting Down

Another common sign of arthritis is difficulty standing up or laying down. Fido may also stand in a stiff position, especially when he first gets up.


If your furry pal is showing any of these red flags, contact your vet right away. Arthritis cannot be cured, but it is manageable. There are many options for treatments that can help soothe Fido’s pain and increase his range of motion. Proper home care is also important. Small touches, like offering supplements, getting your pooch an orthopedic bed and keeping his claws trimmed, can help keep your beloved pet happy and comfortable. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Tampa, FL pet clinic, with any questions about arthritis in dogs. We’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care!

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