Around more than 38% of the households in the US have one or more dogs as pets. Dogs are wonderful animals who can have a tremendous positive impact on their owners’ life. While dogs from different breeds might have different life spans, they can get affected by a number of different diseases.
One of those diseases is arthritis that affects nearly 20% of dogs over the age of 1 in North America. Let’s take a closer look at what factors lead to arthritis and how it affects animals such as pet dogs.
What Happens to Dogs With Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints of your dog’s body and lead to severe occasional discomfort in many cases. The cartilage in your dog’s joints acts as a cushion for smooth and unhindered normal movement.
However, in this condition, your dog’s joint cartilage deteriorates and suffers damages. Subsequently, this creates a lack of friction between the joints and bones and causes rubbing. As a result, the rubbing causes severe pain to your dog.
The most common joints to suffer from arthritis in your dog’s body are the spine (lower) and the limbs. Apart from that, arthritis can also affect the shoulders, neck, etc.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
Here are a few telltale signs of arthritis in dogs:
- Deteriorating cold
- Saliva stain around joints (licking)
- Slow and restricted movement
- Exercise inefficiency
- Lethargy and stiffness
Common Causes of Arthritis in Dogs
There aren’t any definite causes and reasons for the occurrence of arthritis in dogs. However, you should take a look at possible causes that may lead to arthritis.
- Orthopedic Surgeries
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Diseases (such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, etc.)
- Canine’s Body Conformation
Often, some of the factors above appear in conjunction. Thus, the chances for your dog to suffer from arthritis increase. But are you aware of the several different treatment options available for arthritis in dogs? Do you know about holistic treatment options like essential oils?
What are Essential Oils
Alternative medicines have seen a rise in use and popularity in recent years. Some of those medicinal options include essential oils for treating several different health conditions.
Essential oils are powerful oils that are in use for centuries now. Essential oil production involves the extraction of plants to gather their scent and flavors along with other beneficial properties. These are compounds that are known for carrying the “essence” of the plant they come from. Essential oils carry significant aromatic and potential therapeutic properties.
Cold pressing or other mechanical processes help in the extraction of essential oils from plants. Following the extraction of compounds, carrier oil dilutes the essential oil to make the product ready for use. The process of extraction and combination with carrier oils are vital in determining the richness and potency of the essential oils.
How Essential Oils Work
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils; you may inhale the essential oils through numerous methods. However, bear in mind that essential oils are strictly prohibited for ingestion (swallowing).
Overall, there are speculations that various forms of application methods can aid the absorption process of essential oils on the skin.
The limbic system in the brain is responsible for regulating physiological functions like heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, etc. Moreover, the limbic system involves itself in the memory formation processes of an animal’s body.
Therefore, it is a common opinion that certain aromas and scents can trigger memories that will help your dog achieve calmness and relaxation instead of aggression or anxiety. However, there are still studies and researches underway to confirm these facts and more.
Aromatherapy for Dogs
Global Aromatherapy Market Analysis suggests a rise in growth, size, share, and trends of aromatherapy (a common practice for utilizing essential oils in treatments) in the coming years.
What is Aromatherapy?
Normally, it is an essential oil therapy that allows the use of special methods to enable the consumption of essential oil for health and wellness. It is a purely holistic treatment option for dogs with arthritis.
More importantly, it makes use of the essential oil extracts from the leaf, flowers, stems, bark, roots, rinds, etc., of an aromatic plant. However, remember that synthetic fragrance oils are not suitable for therapeutic treatments.
How Does it Work?
Aromatherapy works by making use of two senses that are skin (touch) and smell. A few ways to conduct aromatherapy using essential oils are mentioned below.
- Cold and hot compresses
- Bathing salts
- Facial steamers
- Topical creams
- Body oil
- Massage lotions
You can combine two methods if you want your dog to avail of enhanced benefits of essential oils. It is the use of essential oil that determines the end-results and effects of aromatherapy. In the US, FDA maintains the regulation and the ingredients used for essential oil production for aromatherapy use.
The aromatherapy will work according to the benefits and various properties of the essential oils in use. Nonetheless, below we will discuss some of the essential oils widely used for the holistic treatment of dog arthritis.
Is Aromatherapy a Safe Option to Treat Dogs with Arthritis?
Due to increasing popularity and advances in holistic treatment options for arthritis in dogs, special formulations of aromatherapy blends (i.e. of essential oils) are in effect. Further, these target canine’s health and for that reason, dogs and cats achieve different treatment results.
The most influential factors over the aromatherapy treatment results of your dog include the following:
- Body conformation
- Previous health
- Activity history of your dog
- Condition or Disease under treatment
In addition, it is the composition of the natural essential oil (whether 100% organic and natural or synthetic) in use that will determine the effectiveness. It is valid to assume that essential oils might be safe for your furry friend once its veterinarian approves.
In conjunction, you can mention the sensitivity and irritation triggers of your furry friend to assess the effectiveness of aromatherapy as well.
How can Essential Oils Help with Arthritis in Dogs
Medicine and treatment for arthritis in dog are under vast experiments and research. Meanwhile, various studies have confirmed the supporting health benefits of more than one essential oil. While they may not be 100% accurate, there is hope for these potential health benefits to improve arthritis in dogs.
The ancient medicine suggested tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. That said, you should understand that such claims should not encourage you to increase the dosages of essential tea tree oil.
Essential oils for dogs are capable of supporting stress controlling and regulating hormones in our body. Despite a lack of research and scientific evidence, many believe flavorful and calming aromas have an effect on anxiety and stress.
Essential oils are known for antioxidant properties that can support you furry friend’s immune system in order to lower the chances of diseases and other chronic conditions. Especially, such properties are critical when oxidant stress levels run the risk of leading to cancer, diabetes, etc. in animals.
Sleep Assistance and Support
Notably, a number of essential oils might help in improving sleep quality and timings. It is the lavender oil that carries the potential to improve sleep patterns and timings. You can sprinkle a few drops on a small fabric material such as a blanket or towel to aromatize the sleeping environment.
Essential Oils for Dogs
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) lists some of the most used essential oils. We have mentioned a few below that can support the immune system and help control arthritis in dogs.
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree
- Roman chamomile
- Ylang Ylang
Essential oil such as roman chamomile, coconut oil, marjoram, thyme leaves, lavender, and helichrysum are in higher demand due to their quality and ability to improve the symptoms of arthritis.
How to Apply Essential Oils
Using essential oil for dogs normally pertains to skin application (coat). While the condition of the dog is relevant to the use of essential oil, you should ensure whether there is any influence of parasites or insects. The massage points should be the affected joints and the spread should always be even.
Evidently, less fur would allow for efficient skin absorption in your canine friend, so keep an eye out for belly and thigh areas.
Furthermore, you can take advantage of the numerous conditioners and bathing materials that incorporate varying compositions of essential oils.
Despite the prohibition of essential oils for oral ingestion, if a veterinarian advises you should move forward with it. What you should bear in mind is the recommended dosages and concentration of the essential oil in use.
Diffusers and Air Inhalation
A diffuser might come in handy, especially to create an optimal aromatic environment for aromatherapy. In the same way, nebulizers and air purifiers can work to diffuse the essential oil in the air.
This is an easy way to apply essential oils on your furry friend. Besides, it might help the owner along with their pet.
Is Arthritis in Dogs Incurable?
Well, there are many cases where there is no need for veterinary intervention. However, some cases demand extensive surgical procedures and complex lifestyle changes.
Joint inflammatory conditions and damages are incurable, especially if they lead to loss of cartilage. Nevertheless, appropriate medication and long-term use of essential oil can support the immune system to the resist disease’s progression.
Other Holistic Treatments for Managing Arthritis in Dogs
Fruits and vegetables are two of the “green” types of dietary options that can ensure an adequate supply of water in your pet’s body. Hydration and the provision of nutrients helps the cartilage grow and sustain in the long-run.
Besides, the antioxidants in most of the vegetables such as melons, cucumbers, etc., are favorable to counter oxidant stress in humans as well as pets.
CBD Chews and Bites
You can also use CBD chews and bites that contain extremely beneficial nutrients to help support your dog’s immune system. What’s more, these chews and bites may also help with easing the joint functions by supplementing organic acids to the joint cartilage. Here are a few of them:
- Mobility Soft Chews– contain glucosamine and hyaluronic acid along with hemp oil
- Calm Bites– contain organic barley, peanut butter, and oats along with hemp oil
- Relief Bites- contain organic oats, barley, peanut butter, turmeric, and hemp oil
CBD Oil may help to sustain and regulate the endocannabinoid system in your pet’s body by maintaining homeostasis. Further, many brands offer organic and beneficial CBD oils, such as CBD Calmness Oil and CBD Mobility Oil.
Exercise is critical to maintain adequate body movement and regulate the functioning of important parts of the body, such as the joints. This might help ease the pain to a certain extent if your pet is inactive or exhibits intense lethargy.
Our Final Thoughts
Using essential oils for your dogs can turn out to be a great help in pain relief and relief from arthritis overall. However, avoid overestimating the wild speculations and consider reaching a vet who is highly trained and expert in essential oil knowledge and use (aromatherapy).
In fact, discuss dosage recommendations with your pet’s vet and let them know if you have used any essential oil before. Use the best and natural essential oil to promote your pet’s well-being and health, and buy products from a well-reputed brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which essential oil is best for dogs with arthritis?
You should use essential oil for dogs with arthritis after consulting with your pet’s vet. You have many options, including thyme, lavender, helichrysum, coconut oil, roman chamomile, etc.
What home remedy can I give my dog for arthritis?
One of the remedies is using fruits and vegetables that supply a steady source of antioxidants to support your pet’s immune system.
What is the best thing to give my dog for arthritis?
A vet’s care might be the best source of hope for a dog with arthritis. However, you can use dog products, including essential oils.
How can I help my dog with arthritis pain?
Anti inflammatory medications serve as best pain relief remedies.