As my own dog, Golden Lab Amber, suffers from arthritis, I wanted to write a post on the different ways you can provide pain relief for your dog. Recently, we noticed that Amber was limping a little after exercise or after she had been lying down for a prolonged period of time. This got progressively worse over time and so she was taken to the vet, where they confirmed she did have swelling in her joints which could indicate the beginning of arthritis. She was given medication to relieve the pain, which we administered to her in the evenings after she had been on her walk. I hated to see her limping and so I wanted to do as much as I could to make her more comfortable so I started to research the various ways that you can provide pain relief naturally. I have compiled a list below of alternative remedies.
1. Diet and Exercise
As Amber has always had issues with her food and digestion, she is on a chicken and rice diet and has been for a few years. Along with appropriate exercise, this keeps her in good body condition. But lately since her movement became a bit slower, she can only manage shorter walks and maybe a swim at the beach (any mention of the word ‘beach’ and she still goes mental, sore joints or not!).
2. Orthopaedic bed
My parents bought her an orthopaedic bed which is much better for a dog with arthritis as it provides better support and takes more pressure off the joints. She loves it! Sometimes she will still lie on the kitchen floor if someone else is in there because she likes to be in the same room as people, but I’ve noticed more recently that if she is getting uncomfortable, she will take herself off to the bed and lie on it. There is also a soft blanket inside her kennel for when she is sleeping in there.
3. Raised food bowls/ beds
When your dog is reaching down to their bowl, especially for larger dogs, they put more pressure on their front legs. Of course if a dog is already suffering from arthritis, this pressure is very uncomfortable for them and may cause them pain. By raising their food bowls, they do not have to bend or reach as far and so this takes some of the the pressure off them. Raised dog bowls can be bought in pet stores or online, or you can just place the bowls up on something, just ensure it is stable and easily accessible.
4. Turmeric and fish oils
I have read in various places about Turmeric being good for joint pain and relief. There are Turmeric capsules which can be bought in your local health shop. We have the normal Turmeric which we give to Amber with her meals, however, there are also other capsule tablets that are available for animals only. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and so this assists in the joint inflammation. These are only a recent addition to Amber’s routine and so I haven’t seen any noticeable improvements yet. Fish oils are also another supplement that can be given to your dog, aiding in arthritis and a healthy immune system.
5. Warm rice sock
This is something that I actually haven’t tried myself because I know if I put a sock filled with rice anywhere near Amber, she would have it ate in seconds. But if you put uncooked rice into a sock. tie the end, heat it in the microwave for a minute and place it over the painful joints, the heat can provide warmth and relief to the animal. This is reusable and is good for targeting specific areas (however if your dog is anything like Amber, there might just be a bit more rice missing each time).
So that’s just a few ways that you can help your dog with pain relief from arthritis. They are very simple, straightforward ideas and even if they only provide a little relief, its worth it to see your pet more comfortable and content..