Arthritis is a debilitating condition which can reduce your dog’s quality of life significantly. He may not be able to go for a walk with you, or jump onto the couch for a cuddle. Sometimes, even getting up in the morning can be uncomfortable for him.
Veterinarians have drugs that can alleviate the symptoms and make your dog so much more comfortable. However, these drugs can have side effects so many people are looking for more natural remedies for arthritis in dogs.
Even if these remedies don’t completely control your dog’s discomfort, they often allow you to reduce the amount of medication he needs and this can reduce the risk of adverse effects.
This isn’t a treatment as such but is a critical part of managing arthritis in any species. Excess weight adds to the load on painful joints, so it makes sense that reducing weight will ease symptoms. Losing those extra pounds is a combination of cutting calories and exercise. Switch to a weight loss diet, cut out all between-meal snacks and increase your dog’s activity level to burn more calories. He may find swimming easier than walking on his sore legs. Swimming allows him to exercise without putting any weight on his legs. If you don’t have a dam or river nearby for this, look for a canine hydrotherapy center in your area.
Nutraceuticals include glucosamine, green lipped mussel extract and fish oil. All of these may make your dog’s joints healthier and thus ease the pain of arthritis. Some do this by improving joint health, while others such as fish oil have a natural anti-inflammatory effect. They’re usually quite safe and have no side effects so they’re definitely worth a try.
A good massage can ease pain and improve circulation and flexibility in joints. While there are professional canine masseurs available, it’s not hard to learn how to do it yourself. Massage doesn’t just make your dog feel better; it’s a great opportunity for you to spend loving quality time together.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese remedy that is popular with pet owners and involves the use of fine needles inserted into very specific points on your dog’s body. It is thought to release pain relieving endorphins, relax his muscles and improve circulation.
Laser therapy is a fairly new method of managing arthritis in dogs. It relies on a ray of infra-red light being directed into your pet’s sore joints. This too reduces inflammation and increases blood flow which promotes healing. There have also been suggestions that the laser acts directly on the ends of nerves and blocks pain impulses being transmitted to the brain.
Don’t let your much loved dog suffer from arthritis. There are a number of options available to treat this common condition and ease his pain. These natural therapies can all be used with or without prescription drugs from your vet to give your dog the best quality of life possible.