Although pet healthcare should be a priority for dog owners no matter how old their pooch is, many of us will notice that our pooches start to require a little more attention as they get older.

And one ailment that affects many animals as they go grey around the muzzle is arthritis - a condition that affects the joints resulting in varying degrees of lameness, stiffness and joint pain.

"In young animals, a smooth protective layer of cartilage normally covers the joint surfaces, which are bathed in fluid," explains PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury.

"Over a pet's lifetime, these joint surfaces can be rubbed away through wear and tear, with running and jumping causing further damage. This can result in inflammation of the joints, stiffness and reduced mobility."

Although the precise treatment your pet requires for the condition will depend on the severity of the condition as well as their age, weight and breed, there are several things owners can do to help manage joint pain in dogs.

And the first step is to ensure that your canine companion is being fed on a balanced diet that controls weight gain and ensures they are receiving all the required nutrients.

Opt for a product such as James Wellbeloved dog food that has been nutritionally balanced for your pet's specific needs, and also speak to your vet about the correct amount to feed your pooch in order to keep their weight in check.

While strenuous physical activity should be avoided, it also may help to ensure that your dog is receiving regular gentle exercise, as this can help loosen up problematic joints.

Elaine adds: "Pets might look like they are happy curled up on the sofa but even a regular short walk to the end of the road will help keep their joints moving and reduce stiffness and keep their weight under control."

Written by: Hannah