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Home Remedies for Dog Arthritis

Updated on November 5, 2013

10 easy tips you can try at home to help your dog cope with this painful disorder.

When dogs get older, there are a variety of ailments that can affect their health. One of the most common aging issues that dogs have is arthritis. Here are some tips that can help your canine companion deal with this painful condition.

1. Lose some weight. You might think that having an overweight dog is fine, but in fact it’s very harmful to their physical well being. Being overweight can put a lot of extra stress on the joints, and trimming the excess fat on your dog is one of the best ways to help soothe arthritic pain. Even if your dog is at a healthy weight, trimming a little excess weight will help your dog feel more comfortable and might relieve some of the pain of arthritis.

2. Use a heat pad on the affected areas. Putting a heat pad on your dog’s sore joints can help reduce the pain and swelling.

3. Glucosamine Supplements: Yes the same pills that athletes and runners use, can also help your dog. Many people start giving their younger dog’s glucosamine tablets to help prevent arthritis, but it isn’t just preventative, it can also help decrease the pain of arthritis too. It’s also good for helping slow down any further deterioration. Make sure that the tablets also contain Chondroitin sulfate and MSM, which work in conjunction with the glucosamine.

4. Give your dog some Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for helping dogs with arthritis. If you plan on buying omega 3 capsules make sure your dog doesn’t have any food allergies before you administer the pills. For example a lot of the supplements contain fish oil, and some dogs are allergic to fish. If you aren’t keen on giving your dog another supplement, a wide variety of foods contain omega 3 and you can easily mix some of these into your pet’s diet.

5. Give your dog a massage. The muscles and joints will really benefit from a nice massage. It will help your dog by reducing the pain and relaxing. This can be especially helpful when a dog first gets up in the morning and before and after any exercise.

Pet Massage

6. Cushion your dog. Does your dog sleep on the floor? Give your dog some blankets or better yet a mattress or doggy bed. Not only can the floor be uncomfortable for an arthritic dog, but if the floor is cold, that can increase the frequency and intensity of arthritic pain. A comfortable and soft bed can help them relax and decreases stress in the affected areas.

7. Get some exercise. Regardless of age, a dog needs exercise every day. This might feel contradictory to some; a lot of people assume that dogs with arthritis shouldn’t be getting any exercise, but In fact it’s the opposite. Moving around can help the flow of circulation and help the dog’s muscle mass and flexibility. Just make sure that if your dog has arthritis, the level and intensity of the workout is reduced. It’s important that dogs with arthritis participate in exercise that isn’t stressful for their joints. Instead of going for one long walk a day: try to go for shorter walks several times a day. If you have access to a lake or pool that allows dogs, you should take advantage of this as well. Water is a great way for a dog to get needed exercise and being in the water allows them to get the exercise they need while taking the stress off of the arthritic areas.

8. Make sure the stairs are safe. Remember that dogs with arthritis will be suffering from reduced mobility. It might mean that they won’t be able to climb stairs as easily as they used to. To protect them from a fall where they could seriously hurt themselves, try installing grip mats on the stairs, or a ramp. Make sure that they are supervised when possible to prevent further injuries.

9. Trim your dog’s nails: To help prevent and reduce arthritic pain, make sure that your dog’s nails don’t grow too long. Dogs walk on their nails and when they are too long, it forces their paws to rest on an awkward angle, which causes stress on their joints. If your dog already has arthritis she might not be as active as she used to be, and you will have to cut her nails more often. When dogs are active their nails get filed down from walking and less active dogs need their nails trimmed more frequently.

10. Vitamin C: Veterinarian Richard H. Pitcairn, who authored the Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, recommends giving a daily dose of Vitamin C to your dog. Depending on the size of your dog, you can give anywhere between 500 and 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      My old Boston terrier is 14 and has arthritis. I knew about some of these but hadn't thought about fish oil. I give him treats every day with chondroitin and glucosamine in them and that helps but during rainy weather he still has a hard time getting around. Great information.

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      TheKatsMeow 5 years ago from Canada

      @Petfriends, yes I agree, My dog is 14 and is perfectly healthy except for her arthritis. It makes it very hard on her, but I do my best to help ease her pain.

    • Petfriends profile image

      Petfriends 5 years ago from New England Area

      Thanks for sharing. It breaks my heart watching our favorite pets age and endure painful arthritis and joint pain. Very useful tips.