Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, and in the same way humans can develop it as they grow older, pets are also susceptible. Arthritis is just as uncomfortable for animals as it is for humans, and is a common problem for many dogs. In healthy joints the bone surfaces are covered with a smooth layer of cartilage. This cartilage is lubricated with joint fluid, which allows the bone surfaces to glide over each other with minimal friction. In dogs with arthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged creating worn, uneven bone surfaces, this results in them rubbing against each other when moving around. It is this friction which contributes to the pain and swelling in an arthritic joint. Whilst typically seen in older dogs, the condition can develop at any time, and it is commonly worse in overweight & unfit dogs. Physiotherapy and a weight management programme can help to relieve some of the pressure on the joints, by maximising the range of movement and fitness of the muscles.