Carbohydrates are known in the human and animal world to be pro-inflammatory. Since this is the case, why would our pets’ specialized arthritis diet be filled with them? Excessive carbohydrate intake leads to increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation combined with abnormal pressure on a joint contributes to arthritis. So, why are we giving more carbs to our pets that are already suffering with arthritis?
What to Feed and Supplementation for Arthritis
Unfortunately, too many of our pets are not fed a species appropriate diet. The best solution for a pet with arthritis would be a diet that features a higher amount of protein and a lower percentage of carbohydrates. These diets range from a high quality kibble (although kibble is inherently higher in carbohydrates due to how it’s processed) on one end of the spectrum and include raw food at the other end of the gamut. Raw is rapidly growing among pet owners in recent years.
In addition, supplementing with Omega-3 rich oils can be beneficial because of their anti inflammatory properties that help lubricate joints. You can easily get fish oil, krill oil, etc. from a local pet store. Adding these to a daily routine will help improve joint health in addition to a plethora of other benefits.
Also, a species appropriate diet will help your pets’ joints health by keeping them at a healthy weight. Higher carbohydrate diets in humans have been linked to obesity, chronic inflammation and more. These same rules apply to our pets.
Unfortunately, over 50% of pets are considered obese! Obesity leads to a whole host of issues, including excess stress on joints. The extra weight on our pets’ joints contributes to arthritic changes. Ideally, reducing the amount of carbohydrates by feeding a species appropriate diet would help our pets shed weight and help their joints.
Developmental Years are Crucial
Another contributor to arthritis has to do with feeding a high carb diet during the early developmental years. An animal given too many carbohydrates tends to put on significant amount of weight in a very short amount of time. This growth is often more than a pet’s body can handle in such a short amount of time. Cartilage development may lag a little and the joints never develop as well as they should, leading to arthritis at an earlier age.
What else can you do?
- Keep exercising your pet! The more your pet moves, the better those joints will feel. Movement blocks pain signals in the body coming from painful joints.
- Massage, massage, massage! Who doesn’t love a good rub down? Make an effort to give Fifi or Fido regular massages to keep the muscles nice and loose while also moving the joints and stimulating lymphatic drainage.
- Acupuncture is great for pain relief.
- Chiropractic treatments are imperative for those with arthritis and just as important for those hoping to prevent the condition. Adjustments restore normal biomechanics to a joint which helps flush away inflammation and restore normal pressure on the cartilage.
- Supplement with Omega-3 and joint support products
- Hydrotherapy is a great way to get your pet moving without loading the joints up with the normal stresses from gravity.
A healthy diet is necessary for animals to thrive just like humans. There are many benefits for eating well, especially when it comes to joint health. Diets lower in carbohydrate content cause less inflammation, lead to less weight gain, and help during the critical developmental years. There are many feeding options for your pet including high quality kibble, wet food, raw food and more. If you think your pet is suffering from a pro inflammatory diet, head down to your local holistic pet food store to learn about animal nutrition. Your pets’ joints will thank you.