We all know that joint pain for dogs and cats can be painful and heartbreaking. What many don’t know is that it can also be preventable. Surgery and conventional medications can be invasive and expensive, so if you’re looking for natural alternatives, we can help!
Preventative care starts at the early development stages of your pet’s life. So read on and learn how to prevent and treat joint pain with simple nutrition and lifestyle choices.
While we associate joint pain with advancing age, joint pain can start -- and be prevented -- in the early stages of your pet’s development. Apart from age, causes of joint pain include activity level, body weight, and breed-specific issues. For example, young dogs can develop early joint pain due to heavy physical activity and muscles pulling on their joints; or because they are large breeds with significant growing pains from their large growth spurts.
But how do you know if your dog or cat is developing joint pain or arthritis? Symptoms include:
- Difficulty jumping, climbing, or even just standing up or sitting down
- Holding limbs strangely
- Joint swelling or stiffness
- Decreased activity level
These symptoms can progress slowly over time, so keep an eye on your pet if it exhibits early joint pain symptoms, and be sure to take action as soon as possible.
Natural Pain Relief and Prevention
While a bigger cat or dog may look extra cute and cuddly, obesity is a major cause of joint pain in dogs and cats, as carrying around all of that extra weight stresses the joints. Body fat also increases the inflammation causing joint pain.
That’s why weight management is a key preventative. Keep your pets in shape through regular exercise and a healthy, well-rounded diet. If your dog or cat is already exhibiting signs of joint pain, a vet can help prescribe gentle exercises to get those joints moving again.
Proper Play Time
While inactivity can lead to health problems, so can excessive or improper activity. You should try to limit exercise that overworks your pets, particularly if they are young and developing. This includes long runs and frequent jumping on hard surfaces. Sometimes with an energetic puppy though this is easier said than done!
Nutritional support can promote healthy joints, which will help your pets avoid injury and reduce the musculoskeletal pain associated with growth, trauma, and age. Start supplementing once your pet is eight-weeks old to prevent the joint trauma and damage caused by typical puppy activity (like jumping off the bed!).
For pets already experiencing joint pain, nutritional supplements can help lubricate the joints and soothe muscles. They also support the body's ability to reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy level of cartilage, which prevents bone on bone friction in the joints.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is prized for its high concentrations of curcumin, which has been shown effective as anti-inflammatory in preliminary clinical trials for the treatment of arthritis. Turmeric for dogs and cats supports joint health. Turmeric is a key component of golden paste, which also contains black pepper and coconut. These latter ingredients help overcome turmeric’s low bioavailability, which is the measure of how well the body absorbs nutrients. Bioenhancers such as piperine (found in black pepper) and fats (like healthy fats found in coconut) can increase absorption.
- Coconut: In addition to improving the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin, coconut is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which support joint health.
Want to learn more about natural nutrition? Check out our blog posts on: