Does your dog have arthritis? Here’s a rundown of natural supplements that can help alleviate the pain and stiffness of those achy joints.
Arthritis is common in older dogs, but can occur in canines of any age. It’s characterized by chronic pain and inflammation in one or more joints, and can cause a lot of discomfort as well as mobility issues. The good news is that a range of natural joint supplements can help ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis in dogs. Here’s a look at some of the most common and effective choices.
How joint supplements can help
Veterinarian Dr. Keith Weingardt recommends joint supplements because they not only nourish joint structures, but also reduce inflammation. Providing supplements that work with different mechanisms of action offers the best approach. “Some animals will respond to an increased dosage for the first month,” Dr. Weingardt says. “This helps achieve a steady state of the compounds in the joint, and can result in more improvement.”
It’s important to keep in mind that a holistic approach to arthritis includes not only supplements and herbs, but also nutrition, exercise, and modalities such as acupuncture, physical therapy or cold laser therapy. When considering any of the supplements listed below, consult with your holistic or integrative veterinarian first, especially if your dog is already taking other medications.
A glossary of joint supplements
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine is derived from shellfish cartilage, and chondroitin is made from mammalian or avian cartilage. They both have anti-inflammatory properties and some cartilage-protecting effects.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is used similarly to glucosamine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Green lipped mussel
Studies say that green lipped mussel (GLM) contains novel Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which exhibit anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties.
CBD aids with inflammation, and studies have shown it helps dogs with arthritis. Always follow the directions on a product before dosing your dog.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Found in salmon, krill and other marine oils, Omega-3 fats offer various benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have been done on the efficacy of SAMe in the treatment of OA, with mixed results. One study from 2004 demonstrated that SAMe alleviated pain and improved mobility in animals with arthritis of the knee. What’s more, it worked just as well as a NSAID, with fewer side effects, although it took longer to take effect.
How herbs can help
Bright-colored fruits and veggies are well stocked with antioxidants that may help with OA — but so are many culinary herbs. Try sprinkling them over your dog’s food:
- Celery seed
Other herbs act like NSAIDs but without the side effects. Before using them, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet to determine the appropriate dosage to help with your dog’s arthritis pain:
- Devil’s claw
- Willow bark
- Licorice root
If your dog has arthritis, she doesn’t have to suffer. Taking a holistic approach that includes one or more of the supplements discussed in this article will help ease her pain and discomfort and get her moving again!
Alaska Naturals — Salmon and Pollock Oil Food Toppers are rich in EPA & DHA
Earth Animal — Aches & Discomfort Organic Herbal Remedy For Pets supports normal inflammatory response
Iceland Pure — their fish oil supplements are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids
Orso Farm — That’ll Do Pet CBD has a mixture of cannabinoids for optimal results
PointPet — offers several joint and hip supplements
Real Mushrooms — Reishi has anti-inflammatory properties
Side by Side — So Hip contains glucosamine, chondroitin & Omega-3s
Ziwi Pets — all their foods contain green-lipped mussel to help target inflammation
Christine Caplan is a Certified Vet Tech, and a long-time PR veteran and content marketing expert who brings her unique understanding of social and digital media to connect dog lovers to brands both on and offline. She lives with three hounds – two “doxies” and a beagle/basset hound mix – who constantly teach her about life and companionship (mylifewithdogspdx.com).