The report of State of Pet Health in 2017 found that one out of three pets who had visited Banfield Pet Hospital in 2016 were obese or overweight. More than twenty diseases are associated with obesity, and one of them is arthritis at a young age.
Arthritis is leading cause of joint pain in dogs. Arthritis is mainly caused due to lack of exercise, inappropriate fulfillment of nutritional needs, and obesity. Osteoarthritis is a common form of canine arthritis that develops as the dog ages. Osteoarthritis occurs due to cartilage breakdown at joints and, therefore, leads to joint inflammation. There are five types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondylosis, spinal stenosis, and septic arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis:
Major symptoms of canine arthritis are:
- Joint stiffness when sitting down or standing up
- Lack of desire to go for walks due to pain
- Resistance to jump or climb stairs.
Some of the preventions for arthritis are:
- Its best to recognize the symptoms early on and begin giving your dog glucosamine supplements for arthritis. Read more on glucosamine here.
- Take extra care of the canine diet to prevent obesity.
- Spend proper time with your pooch to burn extra calories during the walk, play or exercise time.
- Best foods for preventing arthritis are celery, ginger, alfalfa, and papaya.
- Lay carpets and runners in the house if your dog easily slips on the floor while running or walking to prevent strain on joints.
Natural Cures for Canine Arthritis:
Get the disease properly diagnosed first. Then, you should follow the prevention measures to lessen the chances of severe joint problems. Usually, NSAIDs are recommended for reducing joint pain, but they have many side effects such as kidney toxicity, upset stomach, dryness of eyes, breaking of articular cartilage, etc.
So, it is best to seek natural treatments for joint pains that have long-term positive effects without any side-effects:
Alter Canine Diet:
Processed foods that are grain-based aggravate joint problems in dogs. Genetically modified foods (GMOs), meat from farmed animals, and pasteurized milk should be avoided entirely. It’s best to feed the dog homemade meals so that you can control the ingredients as per your dog’s health requirement. Avoid adding potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants in dog food as they have been known to exacerbate arthritis pain.
You should replace dry food with canned food as the former is usually grain-based or potato-based. Some fruits and vegetables including alfalfa, ginger, papaya, celery, and mango are perfect additions to dog’s diet. Cook, blend or puree vegetables so they can get easily digested by the dog.
Avoid Excessive Vaccination:
Vaccines have heavy metals such as aluminum and foreign animal proteins. They, together, strengthen the immune response of canines but cause chronic gut inflammation. This plays a huge role in worsening the condition of arthritis. So, it’s best to limit canine vaccines.
Follow Regular Exercise Routine:
If your dog is obese, make him lose weight to avoid putting stress on his joints. Provide a low-carb and high-protein diet to your dog. Manage his nutritional and calorie intake according to his daily exercise and physical activities. But, make sure that during diet changes, you do not make the dog starve at any time.
If exercise puts extra pressure on joints, then it’s better to make changes in diet. Let the joint health improve before you go out again.
Use Natural Anti-inflammatory Supplements:
Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Try to avoid using fish liver oil and use body oil instead. The latter has high vitamin A and D concentration that will benefit dog’s health. Supplement dog food with vitamin E as it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Vitamin C containing flavonoids helps to reduce inflammation too. SAM-e (s-adenosylmethionine) supports liver functions and helps to reduce pain and inflammation. It works a miracle when combined with B-complex vitamin.
Try Herbs for Arthritis:
Herbs have amazing medicinal properties that can help you avoid NSAIDs, supplements, etc. Herbal remedies are used in various forms, that is, capsules, rinses, oils, tinctures, teas, and poultices. CJ Puotinen provides us with the 10 best herbal remedies that can reduce pain and inflammation for arthritis in dogs:
- Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
- Arnica (Arnica montana)
- Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Yucca (Yucca schidigera)
- Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
- Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
- Devil’s Claw Root (Harpagophytum procumbens)
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
- Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Aromatherapy for Dogs:
Essential oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, barks, seeds, or roots of aromatic plants. They can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in dogs naturally. However, measured quantities of essential oils should be used, and care should be taken to avoid allergic reactions.