PET CARE

5 Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs

3 min read Jan 17, 2022

Arthrities, a Painful Joint Disease 

Arthritis is an acutely debilitating disease in humans, equally so for dogs. There are, however, ways of managing the disease to provide your dog arthritis pain relief.

Dogs are typically active animals. Bone, cartilage, and muscle damage happens all the time, which was thought to be the root cause of canine arthritis, but low-grade inflammation of the joints is now recognized as the most likely cause. Ultimately, the culprit is the dog’s immune system, which releases proteins that can damage cartilage and diminish the lubrication around them, making the bone surfaces rub against one another. Older dogs are affected most often, but younger ones aren’t always immune.

How do you Recognize Arthritis in Dogs?

Is your dog less keen to exercise, or does your dog appear lame, stiff, reluctant to climb stairs, slow to move, and/or grumpier than normal? If the answer is yes, then there’s a chance she may have arthritis. However, don’t panic. There are a few ways you may be able to help your pet get some arthritis pain relief.

1. Start Your Dog on the Right Diet

Dogs with arthritis tend to gain weight due to a decrease in exercise, which in turn aggravates the condition. Start your dog on a lean-but-nutritious diet to help with weight management. Consider a stew of meats, rice, lentils, barley, and yellow and green and leafy vegetables. Put in some celery and parsley as well. These ingredients are alkaline in nature and your dog will likely love them. When consulting your vet before adding these ingredients to your dog’s diet, you may also want to ask about adding supplements like glucosamine, which is known to help ease joint inflammation.

2. Consider NSAIDs 

These are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They can help reduce stiffness, swelling, and pain in the joints. But don’t just use human NSAIDs. There are animal NSAIDs that your vet can prescribe, including:

  • Carprofen (Rimadyl)
  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
  • Previcox (Firocoxib)
  • Metacam (Meloxicam)

NSAIDs can cause a reaction in your dog, so if you notice moodiness, appetite loss, loose stools, or skin itchiness, suspend the medication and consult your vet.

3. Keep your Dog Moving

Though arthritis makes dogs hate movement, it is essential that they exercise and move, otherwise joint degeneration worsens, along with muscle atrophy. Soft exercises like swimming can keep your dog’s muscles and joints relatively healthy and free from stiffness. You can also get clothes to keep her warm. Also, consider providing her with a soft a bed or letting her join you on the sofa. A pet ramp is also a good idea to allow your dog to move about her favourite areas without strain. You can also ease her pain with gentle massages on her joints—she’ll love it.

4. Supplements 

Studies have shown that supplements for joints can promote healthy cartilage and joint health. They can contain varying amounts of joint health helping compounds like glucosamine, chondroitin and other chondroprotective substances, MSM, omega-3 fatty acids, green-lipped mussels, etc. Of course, you’ll need to consult your vet about which supplements to give your dog.

5. Natural Remedies

Among many natural remedies, turmeric is one excellent option for arthritis pain relief in dogs. The principal ingredient, curcumin, is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiseptic, which makes it the perfect natural alternative to NSAIDs and pain relievers like ibuprofen, sans the unpleasant side effects. You can add a teaspoon of turmeric to your dog’s food, combining it with oil like coconut oil for better absorption.

In addition to these solutions, you can consider investing in a dog insurance policy to keep your pup protected, and your wallet happy.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.