It’s a story familiar to many pet owners: one day, your pet starts slowing down. Struggling to stand or jump as high as it used to. Limping a bit. The prevalence of joint pain and arthritis in dogs and cats is quite high: an estimated 80% of dogs over eight years old develop arthritis.
Surgery and conventional medication can be expensive, painful, and ineffective. Looking for alternatives? We can help! Read on for natural ways to prevent and treat joint pain in your dogs and cats.
Joint pain can arise from several causes: weight, age, and breed-specific issues. 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
Obesity is a major cause of joint pain in dogs and cats, as carrying around all of that extra weight puts stress 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.
- 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 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.
kin+kind’s Hip&Root Supplement is made from these traditional ingredients and is designed to provide nutritional support for your pet’s joints and bones.
- Green lipped mussels (GLM): these sea critters contain high amounts of Omega 3s and other fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. They also contain glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as anti-inflammatory eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA). Studies show that supplementing with GLM can provide benefits to dogs with osteoarthritis, and that there are no observed side effects. The suggested dose of GLMs for small dogs is 500 mg/day, 750 mg/day for medium dogs, and 1000 mg/day for large
- Glucosamine and chondroitin: naturally occurring compounds found in cartilage, which cushions joints. Certain studies in humans suggest that these compounds can help improve knee pain. Despite the lack of scientific consensus on their effectiveness, vets commonly recommend their use for dogs with osteoarthritis. The recommended therapeutic dosage of each compound is 1000 to 2000 mg/day for a 75-lb dog. While many treats advertise glucosamine and chondroitin, they generally only have around 200 mg and 50 mg per serving, respectively.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): an organic sulfur compound found in almost all animal cells. MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Animal studies have shown that MSM can help with inflammation and joint and muscle pain. Small amounts of MSM occur naturally in some fruits, vegetables, and even tea and coffee, but supplements typically contain synthetic MSM.
- Cannabis oil (CBD oil): the new trend in pet pain management, CBD oil is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. It is available to pets as liquid drops or incorporated into treats. Early studies into the use of CBD oil for pain management and relief in pets have been promising enough to continue the work, but no formal study has been published yet. Be warned, the FDA expressly prohibits the use of CBD to treat animals, and categorizes animals foods and treats containing CBD oil as adulterated.
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