Arthritis in dogs
How to help our fur-friends in their ‘golden’ years
It’s always hard to watch our dogs getting older. While it is a fact of life, seeing our fur-kids unable to move as freely and with some obvious discomfort due to arthritis pain can be heartbreaking.
There might be no cure for this condition, but there are few things we can do to help our friends.
1. Loose some weight
If your dog is overweight, try to helping him/her to loose few kilos. Extra weight places more strain on the joints, which worsens the pain of arthritis. And no – do not feel bad when those little eyes beg for more food again!
2. Gentle exercise
Your dog still needs regular exercise, it is an absolute must, as otherwise the joints start stiffening up!
Just make sure it’s gentle and low impact (no hard running or jumping) and short in duration. Leisurely walks in flat terrains are the best, while sandy beaches are a strain on the joints. The best exercise however is swimming. If your dog is a water baby, get wet! Just always make sure to dry him/her truly after a swim, as the cold can aggravate the pains again.
Help your dog to get up the steps, on to the bed or in and out of the car with a special ramp, or if he/she is small enough carry them when needed.
4. Doggie massage
Yes, dogs love some spa time too and it helps a lot! Massages ease sore muscles, lower blood pressure and reduce stress for both the giver(!) and receiver.
Yes, acupuncture is great for our fur-kids. Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances. If you are interested to learn more, contact us and we will get you in touch with Sissa, our TCM and Accupucture specialist at Cooka’s. Her hands are magic*
6. CBD Oil
CBD is always available in Cooka’s home. This special substance has been found to reduce inflammation which in return causes pain levels to drop. When our dogs don’t feel so much pain they can exercise more again and build muscles to strengthen problem areas. AND NO, cbd will not make your dog high!
Heat relieves aches. At home we use our special grain and cherry-pit pillows, which are heated for 2-3 minutes in the microwave. Don’t have a heat pillow? No problem, just make your own: Fill an old sock with rice(not cooked!) and close the end with a string. Microwave it for about two minutes and ready is your heating pad!
8. A comfy and warm bed
Make sure your friend has a comfortable and supportive bed. It should be well-padded and warm. Sometimes heated beds can also help ease aches and pains, as cold goes ‘into the bones’.
9. Natural supplements
There are a few herbs and supplements that can assist arthritis pains. Be sure to check with your vet to see which supplements are suitable for your dog, as some natural remedies can react with medications or other therapies.
Devil’s claw is a herbal remedy that can reduce inflammation and pain. It’s often used when pets are diagnosed with arthritis, but it shouldn’t be given if your dog is diabetic.
Vitamin C and E are known to reduce pains.
Ayurveda uses Boswellia and Ashwaganda are helpful. Both are anti-inflammatory herbs that provide relief of stiffness and pain by shrinking inflamed tissues down and increasing the blood supply to these areas in order to promote healing. Ashwaganda also helps generate energy while counteracting the negative effects of stress on the body.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are natural remedies that support healthy joints by enhancing the cartilage between the joints. These supplements can help halt the degeneration of the cartilage and help the body rebuild it. Green Lipped Mussel extract is one of Cooka’s favourites, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effect.
Pau D’Arco is another herbal remedy that’s known for relieving the pain caused by arthritis, which can promote mobility if your pet is having trouble getting around.
And our NUMBER #1 – Turmeric. This golden spice is a powerful remedy for animals (and hoomans) suffering from arthritis, as it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the liver and can help to protect from many diseases.
For an extra dose of healthy anti-inflammatories we recommend our SINTRA BLISS Barkissini. Made from sweet potato and curcuma, these little super-food crunchies can add an extra dose of health to your dog’s daily diet.