Have you ever wondered what causes arthritis in dogs, how long dogs can live with arthritis or the natural remedies for dog arthritis pain? This article will provide you with everything you need to know about arthritis pain in dogs.
Table of Contents
I will discuss the following in this post:
What is Dog Arthritis Pain?
As your dog grows older, the cartilage on the surface of its joint can become thinner, causing it more susceptible to developing arthritis.
Arthritis is common among bigger and older dogs. Dogs that suffer from the condition often have damaged joints that do not have proper cushioning. Due to this, your dog’s bones begin to rub directly against each other, which can be both painful and uncomfortable. In addition, the constant bone-on-bone friction could result in the formation of a new bone, giving your dog more difficulty in movement.
Arthritis in dogs is a progressive disease without a known cure. However, there are natural remedies for dog arthritis pain that can help your dog manage the condition.
What are the Causes of Dog Arthritis?
Various factors can cause damaged cartilage and joints in your dog. These factors include the following:
Arthritis is common in older dogs because their joints begin to wear out and weaken.
Injuries like ruptured ligaments and fractures can increase the chance of damaged cartilage and joints.
- Size and Weight
Dogs that are heavy and large are more prone to arthritis. The extra size and weight put more stress and pressure on the joints, which fastens their deterioration.
Arthritis is more common among some breeds of dogs due to their structure and body development.
- Joint Deformities
Increased friction from joints that do not align properly can lead to arthritis, for instance, deformities in the elbow, knee, or hip.
- Everyday Wear and Tear
Very active dogs are more prone to dysplasia (the presence of abnormal cells within an organ or tissue, e.g. cancer).
Cooler temperatures can worsen sore joints in dogs.
What are the Signs and Symptoms that Your Dog Has Arthritis?
If you are concerned that your dog might be suffering from arthritis, here are the symptoms and signs you should look out for:
- Pain when being patted or touched
- Lethargic or stiff movement
- Loss of energy
- Having difficulty getting up
- Changes in behavior, such as irritability
- Sudden weight gain
If you notice these clear signs and symptoms in your dog, the first thing you should do is consult your veterinarian to provide the proper treatment for arthritis. Unfortunately, you may have to talk to your veterinarian before attempting the natural remedies for dog arthritis pain.
How to Help Your Dog Deal with Arthritis
If a diagnosis shows that your dog is suffering from arthritis, there are non-invasive and natural remedies that can help alleviate your dog’s discomfort and pain. These remedies include the following:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight plays a very active role in your dog’s joints. If your pet is overweight, the joints are prone to more stress which can worsen arthritis. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight will help your dog reduce the unnecessary stress and pressure on the joints.
Ensure Proper Nutrition
Avoid giving your dog processed food that can result in inflammation of the joints. Instead of processed foods, go for fruits and whole grains. You can also include vegetables that contain rich nutrients, such as antioxidants that can help fight against inflammation in your dog’s diet. Fatty oils like omega-3 fatty acids available in sardines and salmon are also great for your dog.
A dog suffering from arthritis may not want to move, but this does not mean that the dog should avoid getting proper exercise. Moderate and light exercises like hide-and-seek, walking, and swimming are excellent activities that can help your pet’s joint movement.
Make Your Home Pet-friendly
Making proper adjustments to your home can assist your dog in coping with its arthritis. This may include giving them a warm, cushioned place to sleep. Placing your dog’s meal and water where they can easily reach them can also help.
Use Ramps Wherever Possible
While getting off the couch, and stairs, and into bed may not place any challenges on you, dogs’ legs are shorter than humans’. To help your dog with more effortless movements, you can make use of dog stairs or ramps wherever possible. This is especially important for a breed of dog with short legs. Each time a dog suffering from arthritis lands on a hard surface, its joints feel the impact which can cause the dog excruciating pain. If landing and jumping are a regular part of your dog’s everyday life, your dog will be at a high risk of arthritis over the years due to the wear down of the cartilage protecting the joints. Because of this, bones will begin to rub painfully against each other.
Give Your Dog Gentle Massage Everyday
The best times to massage your dog are when they are just waking up, before and after playtime, and the moment before bed.
Keep Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed
Nails naturally wear down through friction with the ground as your dog moves around. However, if your dog is suffering from arthritis, it begins to move around less than usual, and because of this, its nails will not wear down as quickly as they used to be. If they become overgrown, they can make your dog’s feet stand at an unnatural angle, and this can give them excruciating pain. This is why you have to trim your arthritic dog’s nails constantly.
Apply Heat to Affected Areas
Heat increases the circulation of blood, lessens pain, and stimulates muscles. You can make use of Jacuzzi-style warm bath or heating pads for your pet. However, always remember to test the temperature first by holding the heating pad on your wrist. You can also carefully immerse your hand in the water to ensure the temperature is bearable. The soothing effect on the affected part will last for a couple of hours even after the heat is removed. You can purchase chew-resistant and waterproof heated pads for your dog.
12 Natural Remedies for Dog Arthritis Pain
You can easily find an array of natural remedies that can help tackle pain and inflammation in dogs. Still, by approaching your dog’s overall lifestyle and health, you will help them improve their battle against arthritis. The following natural remedies for dog arthritis pain are pretty effective in helping our dog manage the symptoms:
- Coconut Oil
Comfrey contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relief properties. You can add about half to 1 teaspoon to your dog’s food. If you can find comfrey in dried form, you can add the herb to a warm compress as pain relief.
Frankincense is a perfect, all-around herbal remedy. It contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense is a remedy used all over the world for all kinds of ailments. You can add dried frankincense herb or essential oil to your dog’s food.
Yucca is an excellent remedy for arthritis. You can use it as a medication for both animals and humans alike. You can easily find yucca in any health food store. You can add yucca to your dog’s diet as either a dried herb or in a capsule form.
Turmeric is another natural remedy commonly used. You can easily add turmeric to your dog’s food to help your pet reduce inflammation and pain. Turmeric also contains antioxidant properties that can help fight diseases.
Even though there is not enough peer-reviewed research to prove its efficacy, cinnamon can still help relieve conditions like stomach cramps, irritable bowel disease, diarrhea, and inflammation and pain related to joints. In addition, cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties that can slow down the wear and tear of joint tissues. Cinnamon and some other natural anti-inflammatory elements are combined in dog supplements such as Phycox.
The dosage of cinnamon is variable depending on the age and size of your dog. For a dog of about 50 pounds, a quarter teaspoon of powdered cinnamon added to your dog’s diet two times each day for two weeks is safe.
Hawthorn is one of the essential natural remedies for dog arthritis pain. You can alleviate joint pains that result from arthritis by using Hawthorn due to its cleansing properties. In addition, Hawthorn helps decrease pain in animals by moving the blood and improving circulation. However, you should exercise great care when using Hawthorn because it can interact with many prescription drugs for heart disease in pets.
There is a further advantage to using Hawthorn. When you use it alongside medication for high blood pressure, Hawthorn can make the blood pressure drop. It will be wise to speak to your veterinarian before using Hawthorn on your dog to prevent complications that may be unknown to you.
7. Boswellia Serrata
The resin of the Boswellia serrata tree is a traditional medicine used for years. It has excellent effects on pain conditions. So if your dog is feeling uncomfortable pain due to arthritis, Boswellia serrata might be what it needs. The herb works by inhibiting the production of a certain kind of leukotriene, which modulates the immune response to inflammation.
There is no visible side effect from making use of Boswellia serrata. You can treat your dog safely with this compound if you are not mixing it with other compounds. The dosage depends on the age and size of the dog. Give 300 mg of Boswellia serrata to a dog of about 50 pounds. You should give it to your dog by mouth two times daily for about two weeks. After two weeks, you can reduce the dosage by half for ongoing maintenance.
Feeding your dog such berries as cranberries, goji berries, and blueberries will offer them great antioxidant support. These berries contain high Vitamin E, lycopene, lutein, flavonoids, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and so contains similar benefits. If you cannot find turmeric, you can make use of ginger to achieve the same result. Ginger acts as a pain-relieving anti-inflammatory. It contains gingerol, a compound that helps in relieving pain associated with arthritis.
Like a lot of other fruits, papaya contains antioxidant properties that keep the cell from damage. In addition, papayas are also high in vitamin C. Besides that, they also have lower citric acid than other fruits containing antioxidants because these benefits are easier on the stomach and allow your dog to digest them easily.
Celery also contains anti-inflammatory properties; it is also low in calories – this will help keep your dog’s weight in balance and prevent further strain on the joints. In addition, celery is high in fiber and antioxidants, important in fighting arthritis and obesity that can worsen pain.
12. Coconut Oil
Coconut contains anti-inflammatory properties that help in lubricating the joints. In addition, coconut contains essential fatty acids that can help fight fungal, bacterial, and viral infections which may contribute to the pain associated with arthritis.
The oil from coconut can give your pet an energy boost which will help with moderate exercise to keep it fit and allow it to deal with the pain better. In addition, you can mix coconut oil in your dog’s diet to help your pet cope a lot better with arthritis.
Even though you may not be capable of entirely keeping your dog from developing arthritis altogether, you can help the pet cope better with it in various other ways. Besides the natural remedies for dog arthritis pain already discussed above, you can also talk to your vet to recommend quality supplements, a treatment plan, and a rehabilitation specialist.