One in five dogs develop arthritis, and my hunting dog is one of them. Luckily, you can prolong your favorite dog’s good years with these natural remedies for treating arthritis - before or after clinical signs appear.
One out of every five dogs will be impacted by arthritis at some point in his or her life. This fact is personal to me, as it may also be to you if you’ve ever owned a dog with arthritis. The earliest signs of arthritis are often invisible; meanwhile damaging inflammation could be wreaking havoc in your dog’s body.
As an avid bird hunter who never goes out in the woods without my trusty canine, an English Setter named Trigger, I know that preventing arthritis is of utmost importance - especially in regards to hunting dogs. When arthritis gets too bad, hunting dogs can no longer enjoy going out on long hunts. The wear, tear and pain is just too much for their joints to handle after cartilage breaks down to a certain point. Take a second to imagine how painful it would be to move if every movement caused bone to rub against bone. That’s exactly what happens after damaging inflammation wears away cartilage, literally, down to the bone.
That’s why it is so important to proactively look after your dog and react at even the first hint of joint pain. If your dog is at a greater risk for developing arthritis, such as a genetic condition like hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, the natural arthritis remedies listed here can be used long before you notice any serious signs of arthritis.
Here are 6 canine arthritis natural treatment options—approved by both Trigger and myself!
#1. Feeding The Right Joint Supplements For Dogs With Arthritis
Have you ever heard the saying you are what you eat”? If you think about it, the saying is true on a number of levels, even in regards to your dog. A dog that eats a nutritionally poor diet is going to suffer. On the other hand, a dog fed all of the necessary nutrients and supplements is going to be stronger, better, faster and able to enjoy more pain-free years.
The biggest problem I faced when trying to find a good arthritis supplement for my hunt dog Trigger is that, well, it didn't exist - until now. I was shocked that every joint and health supplement for dogs was geared to ALL dogs. Just like humans, not all dogs lead the same lifestyle or have the same needs. Imagine putting a 120-pound Olympic runner on the same diet as a 200-pound man that works out once a week - it doesn't make sense because their needs are so vastly different. The same exact concept can be applied to hunting dogs versus dogs that spend their days sleeping around the house and taking a few laps around the block.
This is why I created a nutritional supplement for arthritis in dogs specifically for hunting dogs and dogs that lead an active lifestyle. By working with pet nutritional expert Susan Lauten PhD, we came up with the perfect formula to help restore joints and slow down future joint damage in hunting dogs.
Glucosamine For Dogs With Arthritis
The first ingredient in our supplement is Glucosamine, which is extremely beneficial for dogs with arthritis. Interestingly, it is a natural substance found in your pet’s body that is responsible for producing glycosaminoglycan, which forms and repairs cartilage and other body tissues. As dogs age, they produce less glucosamine and their natural repair process weakens. As their cartilage damage fails to be repaired fast enough, painful arthritis has a chance to set in.
Researchers found that glucosamine for dogs with arthritis helps rebuild cartilage and restore joint function. Glucosamine also provides anti-inflammatory properties, improves joint lubrication and can actually reduce the need for NSAIDS. NSAIDS only reduce pain, they do not repair joints and they come with a long list of potentially negative side effects.
Other Natural Joint Supplements For Dogs With Arthritis
Additional research has found that the benefits of glucosamine for dogs with arthritis are amplified when paired with other natural ingredients, such as MSM and Chondroitin Sulfate.
Chondroitin is a natural substance found in dog cartilage. When paired with glucosamine, chondroitin has a powerful impact on your dog’s joint health. MSM is a natural sulphur compound that further helps joint flexibility while reducing painful inflammation.
We made sure to include these important ingredients in our supplement, with the amount of each ingredient based specifically upon the needs of hunting dogs.
#2. Keep Your Dog In Good Shape With A Well-Balanced Diet & Exercise
I’ve seen firsthand how the physical condition of dogs can impact their susceptibility to worsening of arthritis, and it makes perfect sense why. If your dog is carrying around excess weight it puts additional strain on cartilage and joints, leading to more inflammation and faster deterioration. It's important to make sure your dog is in a healthy weight category for their breed/frame/height.
As arthritis pain progresses, you might need to replace one daily long walk for a few consistent, shorter walks throughout the day. If your dog is struggling to get around, consider making an investment in slings, rear-end harnesses, carts and other apparatuses that can help them move around and get some exercise.
#3. Add Fish Oil Capsules To Your Dog’s Diet
Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that provides omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The average fish oil gel capsule contains 300 mg of EPA and DHA; your dog can have 1 of these gel caps per every 10 pounds of weight. So if your dog weighs 50 pounds, you could give him up to five 300 mg gel capsules per day.
Fish oils deplete vitamin E levels, so you’ll need to give your dog vitamin E supplements to counteract this effect.
#4. Acupuncture For Dogs
Acupuncture for dogs, yes...it’s real, and not just for super rich pets. Everyday people are investing in acupuncture for dogs to help relieve arthritis pain and get more good years with their best four-legged pal.
#5. Invest In A Thick Cushioned Orthopedic Bed
Get your dog a thick, cushioned orthopedic bed and they will surely thank you for it. This helps protect them against the cold ground, which can make arthritis worse, while also cushioning sensitive joints. You might be surprised at the difference a good dog bed can make in your dog’s overall mobility. (Insert cheesy mattress commercial about “the best sleep I ever had”—doggy edition).
#6. Apply Heat Packs As Needed
Apply heat packs to your dog’s sensitive areas in order to create vasodilation and increase nutrient and oxygen delivery to tissues. This helps your dog’s joints heal faster. Plus, heat relaxes muscles and can help improve range of motion. Apply heat packs (or a heated bed) for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, especially when your dog is stiff, showing signs of discomfort, or has recently returned from a hunt.
As I’ve discussed on this blog before, my hunt dog Trigger started showing signs of arthritis at just 6-years-old. I began to notice that he wasn’t acting like himself after a hunt, his movements lacked the same fluidity and he preferred sleeping instead of shadowing my every move.
Now that Trigger is on Alpha Dog supplements I can see changes in his ability to bounce back after a hunt. It is as if I turned the clock back a couple of years! I’d love for you and your dog to experience the same sense of relief as Trigger and myself. Try Alpha Dog supplements today and see how Maintaining Alpha Status is as easy as scoop and serve!