Home Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs

Joint pain in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as hip dysplasia, injury or arthritis, and often the symptoms can't be treated. However, there are things you can do at home to make your dog more comfortable and reduce these symptoms.

Supplements for Dog Joint Pain

Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most common supplements for dogs suffering from joint pain. Most joint pain is caused by wear on the cartilage and joint fluid, which causes the bones to rub against each other. Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally found in healthy cartilage and joint fluid and can be added to strengthen your dog's joints.

New studies have shown that adding glucosamine and chondroitin may even be able to repair cartilage damage, which was previously thought not to be possible.

Hyaluronic acid is another natural element found in joint fluid, formed when glucosamine forms with glucoronic acid. It works by lubricating the joints and reducing free radicals and inflammation in joints. If glucosamine doesn't form with glucoronic acid, it may not provide relief for your dog, thus makers of hyaluronic acid supplements contend that hyaluronic acid is superior to glucosamine supplements.

Most of the research done on hyaluronic acid has been done on horses and people. Once only available by injection, it is now available as an over-the-counter oral treatment.

Though more expensive, Cetyl Myristoleate, a naturally occurring fatty acid, is another supplement rapidly gaining popularity. It was discovered first in albino mice, which are immune to arthritis, and scientists have recently found a way to synthesize it for treatment of human, dog and horse joint problems.

Cetyl M is regarded as more effective when began early during the treatment of joint problems, but testimonies include elimination of symptoms from even crippling arthritis.

Relieving Pain

Just as with sports injuries, joint pain can often be relieved with ice or heat therapy. Which you choose usually depends on which your dog prefers. Your dog will tell you what makes him feel better, so experiment with both treatments.

Make sure your dog has a comfortable place to sleep during the day. Most pet stores and online companies sell orthopedic beds that provide your dog with greater comfort while he sleeps. In addition, provide easy access to his favorite sleeping places with ramps rather than making him jump on and off furniture.

Massage can also be an effective pain reliever. There are many methods of canine massage, all of which can be found online or in books and videos. Remember that dogs have more sensitive skin and muscles so rub more softly than you would with a human. Circular motion is often the best. If your dog is in pain, stop immediately.

Exercise for Dogs with Joint Pain

When your dog is suffering from joint pain, it's difficult to exercise him. However, it's important to keep the pounds off, so exercise is necessary. If you have access to a swimming pool or lake, swimming is the best exercise since it doesn't put pressure on the joints.

A second option is short walks on soft substances. Try to avoid pavement. Short, consistent exercise is better than long bursts of inconsistent exercise, so exercise daily, not extra on weekends to make up for missed walks.

Not all of these methods will work for all dogs, but you have plenty of in-home options to relieve your dog's joint pain.