It can be extremely distressing to see a beloved dog in discomfort due to aching joints caused by arthritis. Many senior dogs suffer from this malady and there is nothing easy about having a pet with this disease. Thankfully though, there are a few home remedies and supplements that could come to a pet owner’s rescue. So in this guide, we will study some tips to make an arthritic dog’s life slightly more comfortable.
1. Get a proper diagnosis
It is very difficult to know for sure what is ailing a dog. Your dog might suddenly become lame, sleep too much, or refuse to run or walk as he did before. There may be a difference in his gait and he might even howl, whine, or whimper all the time. The first thing you must do is get a definite diagnosis. Many vets, unfortunately, simply assume that older lame pets usually suffer from arthritis; after all, it is a lot easier to prescribe corticosteroids and NSAIDs to reduce their pain. But these medicines can have negative side effects over the long term. So seek the help of an experienced vet who can give holistic or natural medicines, and more importantly, carry out the right diagnostic testing to ensure dog arthritis symptoms.
2. Manage your dog’s weight
In many cases, what might seem to be arthritis could only be painful joints caused due to obesity. Simply switching your dog to a ‘weight management’ or ‘obesity prevention’ diet program can show positive results. Your dog could also have a thyroid issue which may be causing his weight gain. So get his blood work done. As stated before, it all comes down to an accurate diagnosis. Before administering any dog arthritis natural remedy or pain relief medicines, get your dog to lose some weight as that can solve many issues. Gentle exercise like swimming and daily walks can also help. Your dog will also feel lighter and more energetic simply by losing a bit of weight. Here are some suggestions as to what to feed an obese dog.
3. Herbal remedies and natural medicines
As with any medicine, natural or otherwise, it is best to consult a holistic vet before administering any supplements. In general, the following remedies can help your arthritic dog with gentle pain relief:
- Rhus Tox – This remedy is given to dogs in which the arthritis symptoms worsen in the cold, damp weather.
- Byronia – Byronia works for dogs that appear better at rest and worse with movement.
- Calc Fluorica – Bony deposits seen in x-rays and when joints make crackling sound.
- Actae racemosa – For dogs with arthritis of the hips and lower vertebrae
- Lithium carbonicum – this dog arthritis natural remedy can be give to dogs with pain in hips and those who demonstrate difficulty in climbing the stairs.
The conventional home remedy for dog joint pain is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. No dog is the same and what suits one may not suit another. Your vet will adjust the dose of the NSAID based on the severity of your dog’s arthritis symptoms. These medicines usually help improve the quality of life in older pets. Discuss the long term side effects of the drugs with your vet and work with him to come up with the best solution. Never give acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen meant for humans to dogs. These can be toxic to your pet.
5. Dietary supplements
Glucosamine, chondroitin, and Omega 3 or fish oil supplements have all been known to relieve joint pain in canines. Always speak to a vet before administering these supplements.
6. Heating pads and compresses
Dog arthritis heat pads or warming pads can provide gentle heat to painful joints and enable him sleep better. However, you must always watch your pet when using these pads. Adjust the temperature and cord so that your dog is not harmed in any way. Heating pads have been known to cause burns, so speak to your vet about the right ones to use. Young pets have also been known to chew the cords. These days, there are heating pads with chew-resistant, stainless steel cords available too. Alternate hot and cold compresses can also be used for relieving pet’s joint pain at home.
7. Light therapy and massage devices
Vets, physical therapists, and trainers recommend these devices as an excellent ‘dog arthritis joint pain home remedy’. While these devices may be on the expensive side, they can greatly improve your pet’s quality of life. Many of these devices also facilitate wound healing. They give out a therapeutic red light of wavelength 660 nm. This gives easy, fast, safe, and painless therapy. The devices can also be used on dogs, cats, horses, and many other domestic pets.
8. Dietary changes
Many prescription and non-prescription dog food brands manufacture their food with oils and supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. These help dogs with joint aches and improve their mobility. You can also discuss with your vet about homemade dog food for arthritis. Feed your dog large, raw bone marrow as he will receive a natural form of joint support. Bone broth works very well for dog arthritis prevention. Apples are also anti-inflammatory so feed your pet some apples (without the seeds) to help your dog combat arthritis.
9. General hygiene
Always pay special attention to your pet’s general hygiene. Trim his nails and the hair between his paws as these can cause strain on his joints. Make sure your pet does not have any pests or parasites. If he scratches himself while standing, it could put undue pressure on his joints. If your arthritic dog sleeps a lot, make sure he does not get bed sores.
In general, a healthy diet and gentle exercise can help your arthritic pet. Be in touch with your vet and report any changes you notice in your pet’s physical and emotional health. Adjust your dog’s medicines from time to time. Spend plenty of time with your pet and shower him with love. Be committed to his general health and well-being to assure safe and effective arthritis pain management and treatment.