Diet Food for Dogs with Arthritis

Diet food for dogs with arthritis can help relieve some of the pain by reducing the amount of weight your dog carries. One of the biggest problems when caring for an arthritic dog is maintaining an appropriate weight. Because he is exercising less, it's important to cut back the amount of food you feed or feed a lower calorie diet. Many high-quality diet foods are available or you can feed a homemade diet.

Appropriate Diet Foods

Many commercial dog foods advertise less fat simply by removing high quality protein and replacing it with more filler, such as corn and wheat, that your dog can't digest. This is not the best way to remove weight from your dog and, in fact, grains have been shown to aggravate arthritis and should be avoided when possible.

Instead, look for foods with leaner protein sources such as poultry or fish and those that supplement with healthy vegetables such as carrots and green beans.

Quality Diet Ingredients

If you prepare a homemade diet, replacing 1/4 of the protein with a ground vegetable, such as green beans, can be a great way to reduce your dog's caloric intake. Even if you feed a commercial diet, reducing the amount of food and supplementing with vegetables can be helpful.

Avoid red meats and choose poultry meats instead. Avoid added salt, sugar or dairy with the exception of yogurt and cottage cheese.

Feed a larger proportion of fruits and vegetables. When choosing fruits, avoid citrus, but tropical fruits, such as mango and papaya, are great additions. Good vegetables include green beans, carrots, celery, parsley, asparagus and broccoli. Avoid onions, white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, which can be harmful to your dog.

Whether you feed a commercial or homemade diet, an excellent addition for your arthritic dog is a spoonful of fish oil to top off the meal. This provides your dog with his omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation.

Quality Commercial Diets

When choosing a low-calorie diet for your dog, it's important to choose one with high quality ingredients. Many cheap commercial dog foods lower the calories by adding cheap fillers, so be sure to check the ingredient labels and avoid any food that utilizes corn, wheat or meat byproduct as opposed to quality protein.

Most high-quality foods offer a low-calorie diet, often advertised as a senior diet. This is just a small sample of that market.

Solid Gold provides a low calorie option called Holistique, which has 18 percent protein and only 6 percent fat. Key ingredients include oatmeal, barley, millet, ocean fish and potatoes. Several vitamin supplements are added, included salmon oil, and it also includes cranberries, blueberries, apples and lentils.

Merrick provides a food called Senior Medley, which has 20 percent protein and 9 percent fat, which consists of organic chicken, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, blueberries and several other vitamins.

Natural Balance's reduced calorie formula also has 18 percent protein and only 6 percent fat while still utilizing quality ingredients such as chicken, salmon meal, lamb meal, oatmeal, carrots, potatoes, salmon oil, cranberries and other vitamins.

There are many other quality senior varieties available that can help you reduce calories for your arthritic dog while still providing him with high quality ingredients.