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Dogs are notorious for developing joint pain as they age.
Even with joint supplements and a healthy exercise regimen, no dog is safe from encountering potential joint pain issues. It’s a very likely possibility even if you’re doing everything you can to prevent it (but imagine what would happen if you weren’t actively preventing it).
Home remedies for dog joint pain relief can work, but we’re going to go through the reasons that they might not work for your dog, and what to do about it. Let’s take a look at this objectively and identify the
Identifying Dog Joint Pain
If you’re not positive if your dog has joint pain, but you’ve definitely noticed a different type of behavior from them lately, it’s important to keep this on the list of possibilities. You can determine if your dog has joint pain with some quick observations.
- Is your dog constantly pawing at one specific leg?
- Will your dog refrain from doing their favorite physical activity for seemingly no reason?
- Does your dog appear depressed or distracted?
- Are they licking, chewing, or biting their toys more than usual?
- Are they irritated or quicker to show their teeth in aggression?
Nobody enjoys pain. It will most definitely change your dog’s behavior in a drastic way, which you should be on the lookout for. If they are experiencing anything that could be considered joint pain, it’s important to know your options.
Home Remedies for Dog Joint Pain
1. Weight Management
Your dog could simply have too much physical stress on their joints. If your dog lives a sedentary life, whether it’s due to you working excessive hours and them not getting enough walks or whatever, a change has to happen.
There’s a fine balance between exercise when your dog is already overweight, and focusing on a diet to eliminate that additional weight.
If they’re already experiencing joint pain, you don’t exactly want to go heavy on the exercise and cause long-term damage, but you also can’t let them remain sedentary.
Change their diet at home, and make sure they get into some form of physical therapy to help regain mobility. I know this is a big section on this guide, but it’s the most persistent and easy to maintain once you get it entirely under control.
2. Homeopathic Remedies
This is something you’ll have to do entirely on your own.
I cannot and will not direct you on what to include in homeopathic remedies, I will just tell you that there’s a lot of anecdotal information online from people who have tried these remedies on their dogs. There are even more people that have tried them on themselves.
Homeopathic remedies are something that we’re still trying to grasp here in the western world, but we’re more focused on medical surgeries, pills, and things of the sort. I’m not discrediting either method, I’m simply saying that we need to take a look at both.
Many homeopathic remedies include infusing your dog’s food with medicinal herbs to help remove pain and inflammation from the body.
There are many studies on different foods, most of which are dog-edible, which can reduce inflammation. I can say that as I write this article as a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, there are serious benefits to anti-inflammatory foods.
Does that mean it’s an end-all, be-all to taking care of your dog?
Absolutely not. You should be able to look at these remedies objectively and measure their effectiveness, while dually monitoring your dog to ensure their issues aren’t worsening.
Yes, CBD can even be used in dogs. Since its inception into the marketplace a few years ago, more and more trials have been done on CBD to prove its benefits, and we haven’t been let down yet.
This is something that you can dose on your own, if you know what you’re doing, but be warned that this will react differently in every person and dog (at least a little bit). Some will have a low tolerance for CBD and a little will go a long way.
While I would recommend visiting your veterinarian or at least consulting this with them over the phone, CBD has been told to help treat pain in dogs and help with joint lubrication. Keep in mind, those claims are anecdotal at this point, because all these studies have been done in humans.
4. Consider a Car Ramp
We’re trying to make everything a little bit easier for your dog. The better their environment is (and the more accommodating to sensitive joints it is), the less stress will be on your dog’s joints. Home remedies are all about long-term benefits with small, incremental changes.
Do you have a raised truck? An SUV with a high jump?
If your dog is a bit on the small side, they undergo shock every time they jump up to get into your car, and over time those vibrations and that impact can wreak havoc on their joints.
Consider getting some sort of a ramp or an easier way for your dog to get into your car. You could consider lowering your truck, or getting your dog used to being picked up when it’s time to get in the car.
Keep in mind that you’ll also have to provide a way for them to get down, whether that’s picking them up or keeping the ramp outside at your home so you can bring it over to the car when you’ve returned with them.
5. Buy a Carpet
As your dogs get older, you need to accommodate for their slip-ups. Just like when you have to puppy-proof your home when a three-month old pup is about to arrive, you need to change it up for your senior or near-senior dog.
Your dogs paw padding and the ends of their nails can very easily slide on hardwood, tile, and laminate flooring. If you keep their dishes in the kitchen, as most of us do, they’re going to visit it at least two times per day.
They’ll come out, and potentially slip. Grab a throw carpet and place it in any common foot traffic areas where your dog will be doing, to help give them a bit of traction. This reduces wear and tear on their joints, because when a dog slips and can’t catch their footing, they can tear ligaments sideways.
6. Raised Dishes
Joint pain can be caused by stress. Raising your dog’s dishes to a higher point isn’t something that is going to dramatically change things, but it’s one piece of a larger puzzle to help reduce the stress on their joints. This also isn’t a diet and digestion thing.
Joint damage can be expedited from poor posture while eating. It’s one of the only things your dog does with their neck craning down for minutes on end, and it can cause long-term damage.
Simply raising these dishes off the floor on a small platform is going to do absolute wonders for your dog’s joints. When their head leans down, they pull on their neck muscles, and indirectly rely on their leg joints for support, pulling them in the wrong direction.
These are best used as preventative measures before joint pain becomes an issue, but they can also to combat joint pain at the same time.
Joint supplements for dogs aren’t wildly expensive, but they might be difficult to actually get your dog to take. Crushing them up and including them in your dog’s food is going to work best.
These supplements provide core nutrients to your dog’s cartilage and joints that help promote better lubrication, which will cut down on stress and essential wear and tear. These are something your dog should take from the time they’re a puppy.
If Home Remedies Aren’t Working, What Can I Do?
If home remedies aren’t working, such as changing their eating habits, reducing activities that create inflammation, and losing weight, then it’s time to face the fact that your dog might have arthritis.
While this is more common in some breeds than others, it’s still something you need to be on the lookout for.
Medication, medical attention, and long-term physical therapy might be the options that work best. I advocate for at-home remedies, but please do not commit to them so strongly that you unintentionally prolong your dog’s joint pain to prove that at-home remedies work. If they fail, seek out help.
Eliminating Doggy Joint Pain
Home remedies can work, and more than just by a marginal percentage. Many home remedies can help your dog where medicines cannot.
That being said, veterinarians and medicine exist for a reason. These options might be the only way to relieve your dog from joint pain, and return them to their former glory.
Don’t discredit either option. Do whatever is needed to help relieve your dog of joint pain.