8 Natural Ways to Ease Your Dog’s Arthritis!
18 April, 2017
Arthritis is the most common health issue in our older dogs. It’s understandable since our dogs are constantly on the move and just like us, their joints degenerate over time. The obvious and most telling sign of arthritis in middle aged or older dogs is a change in your dog’s gait or a reluctance to walk or move (so hard for us to see). But, not to worry. There are many ways to treat your dog’s arthritis naturally.
1. Supplements to your dog’s diet can help manage the arthritis
Supplements to your dog’s diet, such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate (see below), Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Tumeric and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) all help decrease inflammation and improve your dog’s own ability to repair and strengthen tissues. Supplements will not reverse the structural changes in a joint such as torn cartilage, calcium deposits, and advanced scar tissue.2.
2. Diet and Arthritis Pain
Diet is a crucial role in decreasing the symptoms of arthritis. There have been studies that have shown that wheat can exacerbate pain and cause inflammation. Many commercial dog foods and treats contain wheat and wheat by-products. Make sure to choose a dog food that is organic and contains free-range meat. Your dog’s food should also be wheat, corn and soy free. Treats should be free of wheat, corn and soy, especially if your dog is overweight, as this puts more pressure on already weakened joints.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound composed of a sugar and an amino acid. It is produced in your dog’s joint cartilage and is one of the major components of critical lubricants and shock absorbers that are necessary to maintain and restore healthy joint performance. Glucosamine sulfate is also one of the building blocks of articular cartilage and aids in the rebuilding of damaged cartilage. Make sure to consult your veterinarian and ask which kind is best for your dog.
4. Chondroitin Sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate has proven to be helpful in preventing stress injuries to joints as well as aiding in the repair of damaged connective tissue. Unlike pain killers, which only serve to dull the pain, chondroitin sulfate addresses the disease itself. Chondroitin sulfate may actually help your dog’s body repair damaged cartilage and help restore joint movement. It might also protect cartilage from premature breakdown as well as keep cartilage tissue hydrated and help cushion impact stress.
Turmeric is another commonly prescribed herbal remedy for dogs suffering with arthritis because it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the liver and protects against other diseases too!
6. Exercising your dogs is just as important now!
Dogs who have exercised their entire lives (but not to extreme degrees) usually develop arthritis later in life. It is important to provide a moderate amount of daily exercise, like taking walks and interactive play-time, to help delay arthritis. If your dog sleeps all day long, his joints become inactive and they need to be moving to help the joints mobility.
7. Whirlpool, heat treatments and hydrotherapy can help arthritic dogs
Hot tubs, whirlpools and controlled swimming are great for dogs with arthritis. Short periods of increased warmth, interspersed with cold, can help decrease your dog’s aches and pains. Added heat from heating pads and when your dogs are dispersed in warm water, it can help increase circulation in the affected areas and lessen pain. Jump in a Jacuzzi with your dog!
8. Arthritic dogs love a warm, comfy bed
All older dogs love a warm bed. Or even a safe heating pad can help ease the aches and pains that come with arthritis. Make sure to purchase one that doesn’t rise above 102 F. Make sure that your dog can get in and out of his bed with ease and can move away from the pad if your dog gets too hot. There are also specific dog beds on the market that are more comfy and designed specifically for older dogs.
If you have a a cat, they can get arthritis too, but sometimes it is hard to tell. This article explains how you can tell if your cat has arthritis.