Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs

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    Joint pain affects many dogs, especially as they become older and become more prone to developing arthritis and other joint conditions, to which we are often searching for natural remedies for joint pain in dogs. The lack of proper cushioning in the joints causes your dog’s bones to rub against each other causing great discomfort and pain. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis in canines. However, there are a number of natural remedies for joint pain  in dogs that can help manage the condition. 

    What Are Some Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs?

    Glucosamine

    Photo Credit: NaturVet

    Glucosamine is the most common type of supplement for natural joint pain relief in dogs. It’s a naturally occurring compound in both human and animal’s bodies but the supplement helps keep up with cartilage health. It reduces pain and stiffness in arthritic joints by reducing inflammation, inhibiting cartilage loss, and improving cartilage repair making it one of the most popular natural remedies for joint pain in dogs.

    Hydrotherapy

    pug swimming in a pool
    Photo Credit: Petguide.com

    Hydrotherapy is defined as “the use of exercises in a pool as part of treatment for conditions such as arthritis or partial paralysis.” Hydrotherapy with underwater treadmill work essentially allows for rehabilitation and exercise by taking the weight off of the compromised joints and allowing movement that would otherwise be painful or impossible. The viscosity of the water actually increases the work that the muscles are doing at the same time. There are three main types of hydrotherapy for dogs:

    1. Pool-based: During a pool-based hydrotherapy session, a dog is placed in a life jacket with a handle on top for the therapist. The therapist supports the dog in the water and allows them to swim while holding them up. Depending on the strength of the dog, they may also let it swim on its own. This can be done in a regular pool or a specially designed hydrotherapy tub.
    2. Underwater Treadmill: In essence, there is a treadmill belt that can be adjusted in a tiny tank of water filled with warm water. The therapist walks alongside the dog on the treadmill or may be harnessed in. This type of hydrotherapy can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each dog.
    3. Whirlpool Therapy: Whirlpool treatment is similar to a jacuzzi for dogs, and it helps to ease pain caused by medical conditions or surgery. The water level is altered once the dogs are harnessed and lowered into the whirlpool. The damaged muscles are then massaged with a heated jet stream. 

    Acupuncture

    beagle with acupuncture needles
    Photo Credit: Fear Free Happy Homes

    In acupuncture, needles are inserted through bundles of nerves into the body tissue, where blood vessels converge. Acupuncture improves blood circulation to the nervous system by stimulating and releasing anti-inflammatory and analgesic hormones making it an ideal natural remedy for joint pain relief in dogs. Applying pressure to the acupuncture point at the selected effect is comparable to inserting needles.

    The technique requires inserting a fine needle into the dog’s body at certain points, called acupuncture points, where nerves and blood vessels converge. These points are located at so-called meridians, where energy channels transmit energy throughout the dog’s body.

    CBD

    cbd for natural joint pain relief
    Photo Credit: Health Magazine

    Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical molecule present in both humans and animals that is part of the endocannabinoid system. Non-psychoactive cannabinoid produced from cannabis or hemp. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives you a “high,” while CBD doesn’t. In order to not have THC, CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana. The majority of CBD products do not contain THC and if they do, they are purchased from a cannabis dispensary. 

    Some research and anecdotal data suggest that CBD may be useful in treating joint pain, making it an intriguing natural remedy for joint pain in dogs. CBD for dogs started out as simple oils but with the market expanding, there are many different types of CBD products available. Some of these include CBD treats, CBD-infused broth, and so much more. 

    Turmeric

    jack russel sitting behind a plate of tumeric
    Photo Credit: Organic Facts

    Turmeric is widely known as a spice rich in antioxidants. The active ingredient, curcumin, possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It’s believed to work more effectively for joint pain and stiffness than conventional pain medications. In addition, turmeric has  less gastrointestinal side effects than other pain medications, making it a great natural remedy for joint pain in dogs. Turmeric can be found in various forms including powder, liquid, capsules, and chewable tablets. 

    Laser Therapy

    dog getting laser therapy
    Photo Credit: Pawsh Place

    Laser therapy is a non-invasive photobiomodulation therapy to help in the rehabilitation of different conditions. Laser therapy uses light as a way to increase blood circulation and stimulate cell regeneration. It’s been used on humans for decades but laser therapy has been used on dogs in recent years. It essentially promotes healing while reducing inflammation and pain. There’s two types of laser therapy:

    1. Cold Laser Therapy: treats the surface of the skin
    2. Hot Laser Therapy: treats deeper tissues

    When it comes to how many treatments a dog needs, this is dependent on the type of laser as well as the condition or diseases and whether it’s chronic or acute. The average amount of treatments is about two to three times a week for two to three weeks and then this reduces depending on the outcome. Conditions that are both acute and painful likely undergo more frequent treatments. If a dog has just had surgery, they might have their first treatment before the dog has woken up.

    Orthopedic Bed

    german shepherd on an orthopedic bed
    Photo Credit: Fur Haven

    An orthopedic bed can make all the difference for a dog who is experiencing joint pain. The orthopedic foam material helps regulate temperature to keep your dog warm, in return decreasing joint pain thanks to the heat. The foam helps to retain heat to relax your dog’s muscles and alleviate inflammation in the joints. 

    Since an orthopedic bed tends to be firmer and a little stiffer than a traditional dog bed, it makes it easier for your arthritic dog to stand up after laying down. Having something for your dog to stand up on that also provides them support is helpful. A traditional bed that is softer, allows them to sink in without pushing them upwards. 

    Massage Therapy

    yellow lab getting a massage

    A massage can be helpful to a dog experiencing joint pain. Massaging your dog’s muscles near the affected painful joints can bring immediate relief. The stimulation improves blood flow to tissues including the affected joints.  Short sessions with gentle strokes or kneading are the most safe and effective way to massage your dog. Be sure to refrain from directly massaging the joints, as this could lead to even more discomfort and pain. 

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