If your dog has started having a hard time getting started in the morning and can barely get out of bed, it may be suffering from hip dysplasia – especially if it's a large-breed dog like a Great Dane. Hip dysplasia is common in larger dogs and can become quite painful as they age. While a diagnosis of hip displacement will require some changes for your dog, it doesn't mean that it won't be able to continue on with a productive life. Here are four steps you can take that will help make your dog more comfortable.

Keep it Fit

If your dog has hip dysplasia, extra weight around the middle can be difficult to carry around. You can help take pressure off the hip joints by keeping the weight off. If your pet is overweight, try eliminating the between meal snacks, as well as the bits of human food it might enjoy at dinner time. In addition, try switching your dog to a high fiber dinner, which will help burn calories and improve its digestion.

Continue with the Exercise

Just because your dog has hip dysplasia doesn't mean it should stop exercising. In fact, it means you should encourage your dog to keep active. Walking is a good way to get your dog outside for some exercise. Try heading out for a 20-minute walk once or twice a day. If you have access to a swimming pool, encourage your dog to take the plunge. Swimming will keep your dog's hip joints and muscles active without placing a lot of added wear and tear on it.

Keep it Warm

Hip pain can increase in cold weather. That's why it's important that you try to keep your dog as warm as possible. If it's used to sleeping outdoors, now would be the time to bring it in at night. It's also a good idea for you to provide it with a warm blanket to cuddle up with at night.

Elevate the Feeding Station

Large breed dogs put a lot of strain on their hips when they have to bend down too far to reach their food and water bowls. You can help take the pressure off by elevating their feeding station. By raising their food and water bowls, the pain your dog experiences during feeding time will be alleviated.

If your dog has hip dysplasia, you want to alleviate as much of the discomfort as possible. Use the simple tips provided here to help keep your dog comfortable. If you notice your dog experiencing an increase in hip pain, or having increased mobility issues, be sure to speak to your veterinarian.