As animal chiropractors, we see a lot of different conditions walk into our practice. However, one of the biggest issues we see is arthritis. Arthritis is particularly tough on a dog’s rear end, but can have whole body effects. In this article, we want to describe some natural treatments for dogs with arthritis that we use in our practice.
How do we know if our dog has arthritis? Some of the symptoms associated with the condition are:
- Slipping and falling on floors
- Inability to do stairs or to get in and out of a vehicle
- Difficulty getting up from laying down
- Difficulty getting comfortable and more
If you see these symptoms, there’s a reasonable chance your dog is dealing with some level of arthritis (although an x-ray will confirm the diagnosis). Over time, the effects will become more pronounced. However, there are natural treatments for dogs that can help slow the progression of arthritis and help provide relief.
Chiropractic is a great treatment for preventing and providing relief for arthritis. This is because arthritis is the result of chronic inflammation and abnormal stress on a joint. Both of these stresses are things chiropractic helps address. When a joint quits moving well it leads to inflammation and abnormal pressure on the bones that hold a joint together. Over time, these can contribute to bone spurs and other signs of arthritis that lead to discomfort. By restoring normal motion, it helps slow the progression of arthritis – and provides relief for any dog already afflicted with it.
Supplements are another one of the treatments for dogs with arthritis. They can help repair damaged joints by providing necessary nutrients that a joint needs in addition to lubricating it. When it comes to supplements, we tend to recommend fish oil and glucosamine products.
Fish oil has numerous benefits throughout the body, but who would have suspected benefits for arthritis? We wouldn’t, but after reading through a few veterinary rehabilitation books it was noted multiple times in clinical trials. The belief is that the anti-inflammatory effects are in part responsible, but there are probably other factors in play. You can find fish oil at local pet stores or online. We recommend a pump bottle fish oil since it recommends the dose per weight. You can also add a turmeric supplement for additional inflammation support.
We also like to add glucosamine as one of the treatments for dogs with arthritis. You can even begin adding joint supplements earlier in life to help prevent the progression of arthritis as well. We tend to recommend holistic, more natural sources for joint health. Brands we like are Super Snouts, Wapiti Labs, Wholistic Health, Connectin, and other brands with similar ingredient panels.
For dogs that slip a lot in the house, we recommend runners. When a dog is slipping in a house, they aren’t able to grip the ground correctly. This will lead to muscle atrophy over time since they aren’t able to use their muscles correctly. In addition to runners, you can add additional items. Dr. Buzby’s toegrips can make a difference or products such as Valfrid dog pads can help. I tend to prefer gripping devices that aren’t a full sock design because the paw still needs air flow. If you can change the sock periodically throughout the day, the Gripper brand may do the trick.
We also like to recommend pet stairs or ramps for getting into cars or getting up and down off furniture. When it comes to choosing a product, part of it will depend on the size of your dog etc. You certainly want something stable. Pet Gear makes a portable option that can be used in the house for furniture and at the car. They have multiple options worth considering. Looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing? Check out Best Dog Supplies dog stairs.
Have a larger breed dog that needs help getting into the car? You may need something a bit more heavy duty. Pet Loader makes a sturdy option for you. You can also check out some of the products from Pet Gear if your dog would prefer a ramp with no steps.
There are many natural treatments for dogs with arthritis and we plan to focus more content on it in future blogs. In the meantime, if your dog is in their senior years and suffering from some of the symptoms we mentioned consider visiting a board certified animal chiropractor, adding some supplements to help their joints, and getting a few items to help with their mobility issues. Have more questions or want us to focus on some other aspects of arthritis? Comment on this blog!
*In an effort to be completely transparent, we do receive a commission if you purchase any of the products. Doing so allows us to continue producing content like this to help pet owners. However, there are many great products out there in addition to what we list in this article. Feel free to explore other options