Effective Alternative Treatments For Dog Arthritis
It can be heartbreaking when your once-active dog starts to develop sore and painful joints that keep him from doing the activities he once loved. Arthritis affects many adult dogs – as many as one in five – and it is especially common in dogs seven years or older. Treating dog arthritis doesn’t necessarily have to involve expensive prescription medicines or surgery. There are several natural alternatives that some pet parents swear by and that you may find to be beneficial.
If you’re reluctant to try out the expensive medicines prescribed by your vet, you can try giving your dog some natural supplements to help relieve his joint inflammation and pain. Two of the most common supplements used for arthritis in dogs are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These supplements help to protect the dog’s joints from damage and lubricates them as well to reduce pain. If you use chondroitin sulfate that also has MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) in it, your dog may receive additional anti-inflammatory benefits.
Related: All About Joint Supplements For Dogs
When using natural supplements to treat dog arthritis, it is important to realize that it could take up to six weeks for results to appear. Make sure you follow the correct dosage for your dog because the dosage instructions are typically given for a human weighing about 125 pounds. To calculate the dosage for your dog, then, you must divide your dog’s weight in pounds by 125. You will then need to multiply this number by the recommended dosage (example: 3 tablets twice per day) then round up to the nearest half or whole tablet.
Making changes to your dog’s diet can also have great benefits for his arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease so removing pro-inflammatory foods from your dog’s diet may help to reduce the inflammation and the pain. Wheat and wheat byproducts are some of the most common pro-inflammatory foods found in commercial dog food formulas – corn and soy may also cause problems. Consider switching your dog to an organic or at least an all-natural formula that has a high-quality source of whole protein as the first ingredient and does not contain wheat, corn, or soy.
Related: Top 10 Natural Supplements For Dogs
Alternative Treatments for Dog Arthritis
In addition to changing your dog’s diet and giving him natural supplements, there are a few other alternative treatments you might consider, one being acupuncture. Though acupuncture is still fairly uncommon for dogs, it has been shown to help reduce pain in cases of hip and elbow dysplasia as well as for injuries to the ligaments and tendons. Acupuncture may help to increase blood flow to the muscle and joints which will slow degeneration. If you do not feel that acupuncture is right for your dog, traditional physical therapy may be beneficial as well. Physical therapy for dogs involves low-impact exercise to strengthen the muscles to reduce pain and increase range of motion.
There are many different ways to treat dog arthritis, especially if you don’t want to use medical or surgical treatments. Before taking any action or medication, always talk to your vet for his or her opinion.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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