Best Dog Food for Arthritis
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Having a dog is a big responsibility. We care for our furry companions and enjoy their company everyday. So, it's normal for us to worry when they get ill. We want to inform ourselves with the correct information so we can help them live happy and healthy.
In this AnimalWised article we are going to show you the best food for dogs with arthritis. We will go over the nutrition they need, supplements that can help and how to provide them with a natural canine diet that will benefit them and ease them of any joint pain.
What is dog arthritis?
Arthritis in dogs is a degenerative disease of the joints. This disease is quite common once a dog reaches a certain age, usually after 8 years of age. However large dog breeds are known to be more prone to this disease. For example, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, German Shepards, Great Danes, Mastiffs, etc. However, smaller breeds can also have arthritis. In this disease, the cartilages between their joints begin to wear down, causing bone spurs. This worsen the symptoms, causing pain and deteriorating your dog's quality of life.
The common symptoms of arthritis in dogs include:
- Difficulty getting up
- Show discomfort when you touch their legs
- Loss of appetite
- Ears are flat against their head
- Their usual behavior changes
- They cry with pain
To learn more about this disease, we encourage you to read out article about arthritis in dogs.
How can I help my dog with arthritis?
There are different ways you can help your dog deal with this disease. The most important is, of course, taking them to the veterinarian once you spot symptoms to properly diagnose them and find the correct treatment for your dog. The treatment for arthritis in dogs is usually pharmacological treatment prescribed by the vet. It usually consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. However, this must be prescribed by your veterinarian who will determine which is best for your dog and their condition. They will analyse their symptoms, the condition of this disease, your dog's breed, age, size, etc. This is why you should never medicate your dog yourself, and clearly never give them prescription drugs for humans as those are toxic for dogs.
After your veterinarian has diagnosed and decided on a pharmacological treatment, you may be asking yourself, how can I help my dog with arthritis at home? Here are some easy things you can do for your dog at home.
- Provide them with an orthopedic band.
- Elevate their food and water bowls so they don't need to bend down.
- Walk your dog on soft surfaces, such as soil.
- Give them a daily massage on their back, neck, knees, hips and elbows.
- Exercise them with activities for older dogs, swimming, hydrotherapy.
- Make sure they sleep on a soft and comfortable surface, not the floor.
- Avoid stairs, opt for ramps.
With these recommendations and the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian, your dog's quality of life will improve considerably. However, another great point is their diet. A dog with arthritis will need a proper nutrition and will need to avoid being overweight as that will cause a lot of stress and pain for them. Keep reading this article to learn more about a natural canine diet and what special vitamins and minerals your dog needs.
Improving arthritis with a natural canine diet
Diet is one of the most important factors to keep an eye on when we have a dog with arthritis. This is because we need to provide our dogs with the correct nutrition so their body can re-enforce and regenerate the cartilage between their joints. For this, the best diet is a natural and balanced canine diet.
A natural canine diet mainly consists in essential fatty acids and meat-based protein. The protein should have two or three types of protein from meat. For example: whole chicken, lamb, beef and fish. For fat sources, you can opt for chicken fat. Good fat sources can solute some of the most important vitamins a dog needs.
When it comes to carbs, it should be kept in a low amount as dogs thrive on meat. If you are cooking for your dog, then we recommend to include low amounts of whole carbs, such as sweet potatoes. Lastly, you can offer some fruits and vegetables that provide good vitamins and minerals to help your dog's over-all health.
Correct nutrition for dogs with arthritis
Dogs with arthritis will need a special diet to aid them in re-enforcing and re-building the cartilage between their joints. This will help with the pain and improve their health and happiness. Other than a natural canine diet, how can you further help your dog's nutrition? As previously mentioned, supplements may be a great way to do so. However, there are so many supplements out there you may be a little lost on which one will actually help your dog. We will provide you with a simple list with the most important sources your dog will need.
Here are the main vitamins and minerals your dog will need for their arthritis:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM)
- Vitamin C
The following supplements can also aid your dog with their arthritis:
- Dog supplements for joints
- Golden turmeric paste
- Green lipped mussel
This information can be overwhelming at first, as there are a lot of factors you must keep in mind. Choosing the correct supplement for your dog can also be a hassle. We recommend you consult your veterinarian for further advice. Let them know you're looking for a supplement for your dog with arthritis. They will be able to tell you which supplements work best.
Prevent your dog from being overweight
An overweight dog with arthritis will suffer much more as their weight falls directs on their bones and weak joints. This is why it's so important to make sure our dog is lean. When helping your dog maintain their ideal weight or, if they are overweight, help them lose weight, you don't want to underfeed them. The best way to help them have a healthy weight and prevent them from being overweight is by feeding them white meat protein sources with vegetables and low amounts of carbs. Avoid giving them dry food or any processed dog food.
Other than that, dogs with arthritis must exercise. If you take them out on a walk, make sure it's on a soft surface, such as soil. Other exercises they could do is swimming or hydrotherapy for dogs. These last two are ideal for dogs with arthritis as it doesn't cause stress on their joints while allowing them to use their muscles and have fun.
If you want to read similar articles to Best Dog Food for Arthritis, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.