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How to Naturally Treat Dog Joint Pain using Home Remedy

Veterinarians.org Team

By

Medically reviewed by

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The worst nightmare for pet owners is seeing their pets in pain. Sadly, illness and disease are a part of life and pain is a common sign for most conditions.

Thanks to science, medications have been formulated to help relieve pain. Pain medications are very effective in providing relief during illness or injury but they are not their without downsides. Just like many other medications, painkillers have a variety of side effects.

In most cases, the side effects are short term for example nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and digestive discomfort. However, some medications especially if used for a while can cause more long term or even permanent side effects like kidney and liver damage.

For these reasons, some dog owners have chosen to stick with natural remedies to treat their dogs’ pain.

Understanding Dog Joint Health

understanding dog joint health

To understand joint health, we must first understand what a joint is. A joint is a point where two bones meet. Most joints in the body are flexible with only the skull having immobile joints. Some of the mobile joints in the body include the shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips.

At a healthy joint, the bones should fit perfectly together and be separated by a good amount of cartilage and a liquid known as synovial fluid. The cartilage and synovial fluid help to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other during movement.

During joint disease or damage, the functioning of the joint is altered. Alterations may include wear of the cartilage, reduction in synovial fluid, and increased inflammation at the joints. All these changes can cause varying amounts of pin for your dog.

What Causes Joint Pain in Dogs?

Pain at the joints can be caused by a number of diseases and conditions. Diseases like hip dysplasia that directly affect the joints are the most common causes of joint problems. However, other unrelated conditions like valley fever can also cause similar issues.

Some of the other causes or risk factors include:

  • Physical trauma
  • Old age
  • Body weight
  • Breed type
  • Poor diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Signs Your Dog Has Joint Pain

It should not be very hard to notice when your dog has joint problems. Since joints play a very important role during movement, you will notice your dog develop mobility issues if her joints are sick. Some of the signs you should watch out for include:

  • Limping or lameness
  • Swelling at the joints. The joints may start to swell as inflammation starts to build up.
  • Change in the walking gait
  • Reduced willingness to exercise. As your dog’s joints become too painful to stand on, she will lose interest in moving about.
  • Lethargy. Your dog may sleep or lie around more if she has joint pain.
  • Lazy sit. Even when a dog is sitting, she is still supported by her joints. When a dog’s joints are not well, they are unable to support a normal sitting posture resulting in a floppy sit.
  • Difficulty getting onto higher surfaces for example getting into the car, climbing the stairs, or getting onto the bed.

Home Remedies for Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain

masaage for dog joint pain

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Whether a dog is moving or still, the joints offer support to the dog’s body weight. The more weight there is to support, the more stress is put on the joints. For this reason, it is very important for dogs to maintain a healthy weight to minimize the pressure exerted on their joints.

Large breed dogs should especially be watched as their normal body weight is already tasking to their joints.

You can maintain a healthy weight in your dog by promoting a healthy diet and encouraging physical exercise.

Low Impact Exercise

Exercise is important for maintaining the strength and mobility of the skeletal system. Physical exercise also improves muscular strength, bone health, and joint mobility.

Encourage your dog to get some exercise every day. Take her on walks and play with her outside regularly. The exercise should be low impact to minimize the strain on your dog’s joints.

High impact exercises for long periods of time are a risk factor for joint disease and must therefore be avoided. It is important to take breaks during your dog’s exercises. If your dog is tired or strained, end the exercise session immediately.

Provide an Orthopedic Bed

Regular mattresses are usually comfortable enough but for a sick dog, they just might not cut it. Orthopedic mattresses are designed with the intention of providing optimal support for your dog even during illness.

An orthopedic mattress reduces the pressure applied to your dog’s joints while she sleeps. The mattress is also generally more comfortable than a regular mattress which can improve your dog’s sleep pattern.

Massage Therapy

You might know massage as a luxurious means of relaxation. However, a full-body massage can be of great benefit to your dog’s health, especially during illness.

Massage is a great natural pain remedy. Massage also improves blood circulation which can promote healing at a diseased point of the body. Improved blood circulation promotes the delivery of nutrients and other healing compounds to the injured point increasing the rate and chances of recovery.

The best part about massage as a remedy is that it can be performed by you at home. You may consult with a professional for some guidance to improve your skills.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a little more advanced compared to massage and other remedies. Acupuncture is a form of therapy where needles are inserted into the skin to encourage the body to release its natural healing compounds.

Acupuncture originated from Eastern medicine and has been used for centuries as a form of treatment. While the research on acupuncture is not conclusive, the results so far are very positive.

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain because it promotes anti-inflammatory action in the body. It is best to see a qualified practitioner to get the best for your dog and prevent potential injuries.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a form of treatment where instead of drugs, healing is promoted through touch and movement. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for many conditions including dog arthritis. During physical therapy, a dog’s joints are allowed to move in different directions to improve joint mobility.

Hydrotherapy is a form of physical therapy done underwater. Exercises under water strengthen a dog’s legs without straining them. Hydrotherapy also improves the flexibility, mobility, and endurance of a dog’s legs.

Natural Supplements for relieving Pain at the Joints

fish oil as home remedy for dog joint pain

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a sugar amino acid that is a component of cartilage and connective tissue. Taking glucosamine can be of help in dogs with arthritis as it promotes the formation of cartilage at the joints.

Glucosamine also prevents the shrinking of the joint space. When the joint space shrinks, it increases the chances of the bones rubbing against each other during movement.

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Chondroitin

Chondroitin is also a component of cartilage and connective tissue.

Glucosamine and chondroitin should ideally be taken together as they have a synergistic effect on each other. This means that together, they have a much stronger effect on pain than they would if taken separately.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is a sulfur rich compound that is used to lower inflammation in the body. The supplement is also used to reduce joint pain and boost immunity.

MSM also reduces the breakdown of cartilage at the joint.

MSM can be found in most joint supplements or on its own.

Fish Oil 

Fish oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids also known as essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids like DHA and DPA can be difficult to get from the diet alone which makes fish oil a very important supplement.

Essential fatty acids have strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in relieving inflammation at the joints. This can help relieve discomfort at the joints.

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Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder

Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder is a supplement obtained from a type of mollusc native to New Zealand. Green Lipped mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.

When taken together with anti-inflammatory drugs, green-lipped mussel powder can be of great benefit in joint diseases particularly osteoarthritis.

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Ginger

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that control inflammation by inhibiting the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are chemicals that are released to boost the intensity of an inflammatory reaction.

Ginger is available as a supplement or can be added directly to your dog’s food.

CBD

CBD also known as cannabidiol is a cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis was formerly known for being a hallucinogenic plant but it currently being studied for its medicinal properties.

CBD has many positive benefits on the body during illness. CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory substance making it a potential pain reliever. CBD also has a direct effect on pain due to its action on pain receptors.

CBD may also help your dog with other symptoms like mood and anxiety.

Turmeric 

tumeric home remedy for dog joint pain

Turmeric is a herb that is known for its strong natural anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric containers curcumin one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatories known to man.

By lowering inflammation levels at the joint, turmeric is able to provide pain relief to your dog if used regularly. You can give turmeric as a supplement or add it to your dog’s food every day.

Boswellia

Boswellia, also commonly known as Indian frankincense, is a herbal extract from the Boswellia Serrata tree.

Boswellia has been used for centuries as a means of reducing inflammation in the body. The extract works by blocking the formation of leukotrienes in the body. Leukotrienes promote inflammation in the body which can result in pain.

Joint Pain Prevention for Your Dog

If your dog is free of joint diseases, you can still protect her from acquiring them. The best way to protect your dog from joint problems is through promoting a healthy lifestyle for her. Some of the ways you can achieve a healthy lifestyle for your dog include:

  • A good diet. Providing your dog with high quality food rich in nutrients can protect her from diseases including arthritis and other joint diseases. A good diet must be balanced to provide all the necessary nutrients particularly those that support bone health.
  • Appropriate physical exercise. You dog must get regular exercises to improve skeletal strength and mobility.
  • Maintenance of a healthy diet.

Our Final Thoughts

Treating dog joint pain using home remedy

Joint disease is a stressful condition for both the owner and the dog. Pain medication is effective for pain relief but can cause a number of unwanted side effects. To minimize side effects during pain relief treatment, natural alternatives can be employed at home.

Some of the effective natural home remedies for pain relief include massage, physical therapy, weight loss, acupuncture, and low impact exercise.

Supplements are also an effective natural remedy for pain. The supplements that can you treat joint pain in your dog include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, turmeric, fish oil, and green-lipped mussels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you naturally treat arthritis in dogs?

For pain relief at the joints, you can give your dog pain medication. You can also improve your dog’s quality of life by providing natural remedies like massage, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, low-impact physical exercise, and supplements.

What can I do for my dog’s joint pain?

If you think your dog’s joints are not well, you should see a vet immediately. Joint pain can be caused by more serious conditions like hip dysplasia which require medical attention immediately.

What is a natural pain reliever for dogs?

Natural pain relievers for dogs include herbal remedies and supplements. Herbal remedies include Boswellia Serrata, turmeric, and ginger while supplements include glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.

What home remedy can I give my dog for arthritis?

Home remedies for arthritis include massage, physical exercise, supplements, physical therapy, supplements, orthopedic bed, and weight loss.