How to Promote Good Joint Health in Your Life (and your Dog’s!)
This post was sponsored by Just Right by Purina. All opinions are my own.
It was only 77 degrees today in Utah (and slightly breezy) and I KNOW that means fall is around the corner and will be here soon – albeit, not soon enough. It got pretty stinking hot here in Utah for a few weeks, so we had to hunker down in the one room in our house that has air conditioning to stay cool. Now that the temperature is looking to be in the high 70’s/low 80’s for the next few weeks, I’m whipping out my list of things to do with your dog this summer and checking the last few things off the list, like going for a hike up in the canyon and taking them to go swimming at Dog Lake.
We had a bit of a scare with Teddy at the beginning of the summer, so we’ve had to take it easy on the summer adventures while we worked through it. We took Teddy and Rosie to Tanner Park, in South Salt Lake City. It’s a huge 13-acre off-leash dog park, filled with lots of trails and several swimming holes just for pups! We had never taken Teddy on such a big adventure before and although he had the time of his life running and playing and swimming for the first time, he could barely move the next morning. I mean, Dustin had to carry him downstairs to take him potty and after he peed, he sat down in it because he was too sore to come back inside. It was awful. Dustin took him to the vet that afternoon and we were told that he had strained and pulled all of the muscles in his hips and knees and that his wrist hadn’t developed properly and would need lots of extra love and conditioning to help strengthen it. Dustin and I both felt horrible that our afternoon adventure turned out to be so painful for our buggy boy and spent the next few days carrying him everywhere and snuggling in the bed.
Joint health for my dogs is something I’ve learned to take so, so seriously, especially since Teddy is still a growing pup and because Rosie is considered a large-breed dog. I mean, it’s kind of been built into me since I’ve got an artificial knee and have been dealing with chronic joint pain for 12 years now. For the longest time, I thought that suffering from joint pain was just my lot in life. It wasn’t until I got more serious about changing my mindset from “I can’t be healthy” to “I CAN be healthy” that I realized that I was suffering unnecessarily. Yes, I will always deal with joint pain, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as it has been. Getting over the initial hump of working out and finding activities to strengthen the muscles I have left in my left leg was hard, but now that I’ve consistently done 8 miles on the stationary bike 3 days a week, my pain has decreased and my endurance has increased.
One of the biggest pros to working on my own joint health is that I’ve been able to take Rosie and Teddy for longer walks to help them keep their joints healthy, too! Golden retrievers can be prone to sore or painful joints (as evident in Teddy) so keeping them active and giving them a reason to strengthen the muscles around their joints is super important for both them and me. I’ve loved being able to take them for walks recently without worrying about how far I would be able to go before my knee pain got too bad. I now can walk them all the way around our neighborhood without crossing my pain threshold and I love being able to take them outside of the backyard for adventures on a regular basis.
Another way we help keep our doggos’ joints healthy is by making sure their kibble has good food and nutrients that support good joint health. Teddy and Rosie have been on Just Right by Purina kibble for almost 8 months now and we have nothing but good things to say about our experience with it. Just Right recently put together several Built by Ingredients articles that share the specifics on how their food affects each area of their well-being. This article shares what ingredients contribute to good health joint in my dogs, which is super helpful since the Just Right website allows me to change their kibble formulas. This helps me make sure that their food is personalized to their joint needs. Since getting the news about Teddy’s wrist, we went into our Just Right account and tweaked his formula to a salmon base and to make sure it included fish oil. Between adjusting his kibble and doing a lot of “physical therapy,” Teddy has made a lot of improvements and we’re ready to take him for an “end of summer” hike this week.
I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to make some progress in taking care of my joints over the last year, and I’m even more grateful that it’s allowed me to spend more time with my dogs. Joint health is something I never would have thought of before cancer, but now I’ve learned to never take it for granted!
What last minute summer adventures are you squeezing in with you doggos this month?