You've enjoyed many years with your dog, but as time has passed, his joints have become more and more stiff. The joints may also become inflamed. Running and playing, particularly on chilly days or before a rain, is becoming more and more difficult. Furthermore, walking may even be an issue. Some dogs are more prone to developing osteoarthritis. Large breeds such as the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Great Dane are much more prone to developing osteoarthritis compared to other dog breeds. However, do not allow your dog to become inactive; this is worse for an arthritic dog than encouraging exercise. Some adjustments might need to be made in order to help your dog exercise in comfort, but it is well worth it and can actually help your dog feel better in the long run.
If you notice your older dog having trouble getting up from a prone position, it is always a good idea to have a vet check-up just to confirm diagnosis of osteoarthritis. However, do not worry that your dog has to curtail all his activities! You will merely need to adjust his types of activities. Get him outdoors and walk at a regular pace (not too fast or too slow). Take him swimming if you have a pool or there are facilities near you that allow for this activity. Play gentle games with him that promote activity and calorie burning. Remember, arthritic dogs are often prone to obesity, but that condition will only add to your dog's pain. Keeping him active will allow him to live a happy, long life.