How to Help Arthritis in Dogs

How to Help Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in dogs can be very debilitating. This is the number one cause of pain in dogs and is very common once a dog reaches the seven year mark. Visible signs of arthritis can be noticed by a dog’s behavior. These early warning signs can be anything from:

  • stiffness in getting up or in laying down
  • limping
  • slowing down when taking them for a walk
  • a reluctance to jump up into a vehicle, a couch, or a bed
  • a dislike of going up or down stairs
  • gravitating towards heat or cold
  • licking the sore joints often

The sooner we recognize the symptoms, the better it is for slowing down the progression of arthritis.  One of the best treatments we can provide is the addition of gluocosamine and chondroitin in their diets. These are a nutraceutical called glycosaminoglycans or known as mucopolysaccharides. These supplements are important because they assist in rebuilding cartilage and restoring the synovial joint fluid. Some experts feel that these possibly act like a preventative as well.

Cartophen is an injectable form and is administered subcutaneously. There has been good results seen with the use of this. Some injectable forms help more than the oral forms, however each dog responds differently. Products designed for people such as glucosamine, chondriotin sulfate and green-lipped sea mussel work well on dogs too.

Various foods can aggravate arthritis and cause even more inflammation. These foods should be eliminated from the diet and include foods such as grains, and members from the nightshade family such as potatoes (excluding sweet potatoes and yams), tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Many pet foods contain grains and if not grains they are based on potatoes instead. Reading labels for all ingredients is a must.

Foods that actually help with arthritis include the following:

  • papaya
  • alfalfa
  • celery
  • ginger
  • goat’s whey

A dog that suffers from arthritis needs to be kept lean and in shape. The less weight that is on their joints, the better it is for them. Any unneccessary stress placed on the joints only leads to greater pain and immobility and wear and tear. Feeding them a diet high in protein is far superior than feeding them a diet high in carbohydrates. Fat in the diet needs to be regulated and should come from a good source.

 They need to exercise regularly and swimming is one of the best methods. This is pain free exercise and zero impact. All of their joints will be gently stretched and mobilized as well as the countless other benefits that go along with hydrotherapy for dogs.

A wonderful natural anti-inflammatory you can give your dog is fish oil. This is a super rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which reduces inflammation and has many other benefits for the body. Use a salmon oil or a white fish oil and not a liver oil. In addition to supplementing with this give your dog vitamin E as well or the body will become depleted of this. For small dogs give 100IU, medium dogs 200IU and large breeds 400IU daily.

Equally, herbal products have also helped cainine arthritis. Boswellia, yucca root, turmeric, nettle and licorice all have reportedly helped. Treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage or hydrotherapy all are highly valuable in the care of arthritis. For really indepth information about all the ways we can help our pets function at their optimum, check out my ebook. It is loaded with so many valuable tips and methods.Download the Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

We need to take preventative measures and be aware of our best friends health. Noticing the subtle changes can help catch it and control it before it becomes really difficult for them. We all want our companions to live a full and rich life and it is amazing how even the smallest of changes can offer a profound difference in the quality of their lives.

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