Home Remedies for Dog Arthritis

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Just like we can suffer stiff painful joints, so can our four-legged companions – dogs can get arthritis too. Not all furry friends will exhibit the same symptoms, but the chance of suffering the condition increases as a canine gets older. To lessen the discomfort, you may want consider home remedies for dog arthritis to supplement vet treatments.

What is Dog Arthritis?

Dog arthritis is a degenerative condition that attacks one or more joints. The majority of cases occur in dogs that have an inherited orthopedic disease, such as osteochondrosis or hip dysplasia [1]. Dogs who have suffered a joint injury also face a higher risk of developing arthritis. Some cases are associated with an immune-mediated joint disease or infection in the joint.

Causes and Symptoms

In their lifetime, one out of five dogs will experience the effects of the common disease called osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) – especially large-breed and heavy-set dogs. Hip dysplasia, ruptured cruciate ligaments, patella luxation, joint trauma, and other joint conditions can cause this type of arthritis. The condition not only affects older canines, but can also develop in young dogs too.

Dogs with degenerative arthritis show varying degrees of lameness, stiffness, and joint pain. The symptoms are most noticeable in the morning or after they have taken a nap. Degenerative arthritis is a progressive condition that can seriously affect the quality of life for an animal.

A dog with arthritis will exhibit slower movements. They may not jump, run or play as much as they used to. The dog may not move at all. This is an indication of joint pain. Dogs with arthritis tend to avoid staircases because of the uncomfortable strain it places on joints. If you handle stiff and painful joints, an arthritic dog may display unusual aggression. When arthritic joints are touched, they may yelp or bark.

Dog Arthritis Home Remedies

Since dogs cannot verbalize their pain and symptoms, it is up to you to make sure they get the help they need. Home remedies for dog arthritis can enhance the quality of life for your pooch and lengthen their pain-free days. Suggestions include:

a) Apple Cider Vinegar:

An older dog can enjoy a bit of relief from arthritis symptoms when taking doses of vitamin-C packed apple cider vinegar. Try adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar for each pint of drinking water given to your dog.

b) Rugs:

If you live in a home with slippery floors (such as tiled and wooden floor spaces), lay down rugs so that when your dog gets up – they are not met with any painful difficulties.

c) Towel:

You can reduce the strain on painful hips by placing a towel under the abdomen of your dog. Grab the two ends and gently pull upwards to give your dog a slight lift when they are ready to get up.

d) Weight Control:

Since being overweight places extra strain on ligaments and joints, dogs with a little extra weight need to get active and eat a low-fat diet. As the dog sheds weight, they will have more energy to exercise and stay fit.

e) Exercise:

To maintain muscle mass and enhance joint flexibility, moderate exercise for a dog with arthritis is beneficial. When exercising your dog, avoid activity in cold and damp weather, which can place too much stress on joints.

f) Hot Water Bottle or Compress:

Lessen the intensity of an arthritis flare up with the warmth of a hot water bottle or hot compress. Place the heat next to or over a stiff joint. If your dog yelps or moves his limbs, the temperature is too hot.

g) Comfortable Dog Bed:

To minimize the discomfort of morning stiffness, a comfortable bed can help. Canines with a habit of curling up on the floor will certainly benefit from soft bedding.

h) No Jumping:

The days of jumping over babbling brooks and leaping into the air are over for an arthritic dog. They should not be allowed to jump up and down. Do not promote your dog to stand up on their back legs.

i) A Dip in a Pool:

An effective source of exercise for an arthritic dog that does not overwork sore joints is swimming in a pool or local watering hole.

j) Vitamin E:

Some pet owners have used vitamin E to treat a dog with arthritis. The vitamin can help animals with mild arthritis symptoms. A suggested dose for dogs is 400IU or more for larger breeds. Before using this home remedy, please consult your veterinarian.

k) Vitamin C:

Vitamin C has been associated with treating symptoms of dysplastic hips in younger dogs and arthritis in older pooches. To treat arthritis, a suggested dose is 500 to 3000 mg per day [2].

l) Sleeping Arrangements:

Since cold and damp surroundings worsen the pain and stiffness of an arthritic dog, make sure they do not sleep in rooms or areas with a draft or no heat in the wintertime.

m) Calcium:

A dog that is deficient in calcium can face bone and muscle difficulties (such as arthritis), which is often linked to high-meat diets. Supplementation can help lessen some of the symptoms associated with arthritis.

n) Cut Down on Meat:

To ease some of the arthritis symptoms that comes from eating too much meat, decrease the amount of meat given with meals. Meat contains too much phosphorus, which can lead to arthritis and other bone/muscle conditions.

o) Block of Wood or Sturdy Box:

A raised food and water dish can make eating and drinking less painful for a dog with arthritis. Use a block of wood or sturdy box to elevate their dishes.

p) Massage:

To relax your dog, loosen tight muscles, and improve blood circulation – try administering a daily dog massage. You can also gently stretch the limbs of your dog to ease the pain of arthritis.

Resources

[1]
[2]
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_vitamins.php

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