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medicaldogArthritis is a common degenerative disorder that occurs when an area in, or around, a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. In dogs. it is most likely to develop in the knees, shoulders, ankles, elbows, and hips. Never self diagnose your dog and remember to consult your veterinarian  for advice on ways to reduce pain and inflammation in your pet.

 Arthritis can also develop in the joints between the vertebrae of the backbone. Large breed dogs and those who are overweight are affected more often than small dogs. Hip Dysplasia is a form of arthritis characterized by the abnormal development of the hip joint, primarily in large dogs. Excessive growth, exercise, nutrition, and hereditary factors all affect its occurrence.

Whether you are looking for drug-free solutions, things you can do at home, or are working with a dog weight chartbudget, home remedies should not be overlooked. Home remedies should be part of your plan to fight your dog's arthritis. Here some ways you can do at home to relieve some of your dog's symptoms.

 The number one thing that my vet told me when I brought my dog to him for a diagnosis was "Lose the extra weight. It is tough on his joints".  Shedding the extra pounds would relieve joint stress. 
Not sure if your dog is overweight? Try this: Standing next to your dog, place your thumbs on his spine and your fingers on his sides. If you can’t easily feel ribs, your dog is overweight. Talk to your vet about what your dog’s target weight should be. Extra weight on a dog puts extra pressure on the joints and causes more pain and swelling.

You have to become aware of what your dog is really eating.  Yes is makes you feel guilty. You have to overcome those eyes of expectation. Yes you have to start by somewhere.  First by reducing the amount of treats given, cut back a bit on food, and provide a lower fat diet for your dog. 

 If your dog is like mine, they have a special way of letting you know when the "want" a treat. You are just going to have to be strong. Remember "feed him or her today" and your dog will pay for the rest of its life with pain and extra vet bills. Is it worth it? Think of those eyes, which would you rather see eyes filled with pain or eyes filled with want.  You choose.

Another way you can help is easy enough, change your dog's diet. If your are not already providing a high-quality dog food with no added preservatives, food colorings, wheat, corn or soy products. It would be preferable to get a dog food that is low fat AND has low carbohydrates. It is generally thought that grains tend to increase inflammation and aggravate arthritis. A better alternative would be to switch to home-prepared meals with either cooked or raw meats and vegetables.


If you don’t want to prepare meals for your dog, try cutting back on the dry food and start adding a cup of fresh veggie “salad” every day. Celery is excellent for the joints. One suggestion is to use a food processor to cut celery, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and other fresh vegetables. I have been adding green beans often, along with a little canned pumpkin (not the spiced pie kind). No salt, onions or mushrooms which may be toxic to your dog.

  Check your dog’s food for ingredients such as wheat, corn, and rice. Dog foods often use these ingredients as cheap filler. Eliminating these ingredients may also help with weight reduction.

 Ask your vet how much fish oil is right for your dog.  Fish oil supplements which contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Why does this matter? These fatty acids reduce inflammation, easing the swelling around joints. Most  vets will also suggest Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are the big deal in supplements for arthritis: they actually help rebuild cartilage. The breakdown of cartilage is a huge part of what arthritis is, so this is the strongest fight you can launch. Some owners start this once arthritis sets in, but owners of dogs prone to arthritis (such as large breeds) have seen success starting their dogs on it as a preventative. Again, talk to your vet about how much your dog needs.

Raise dishes This is an easy one. you can buy the fancy ones offered in pet stores or just raise your dogs bowls off the floor with wood or even a stack of books wrapped in cloth or plastic. Eating off the floor adds strain to dogs’ necks and backs, especially if they’re already dealing with arthritis. To relieve strain, make the switch to raised dishes.

Still looking for more ways to help your dog try these.

Ever slept on the floor or a hard mattress and woken up stiff and sore? Now imagine suffering from arthritis and sleeping on a hard surface. Ouch. A thick, comfortable bed like one of these orthopedic dog beds for large dogs will help your dog get true rest and reduce potential stiffness and achiness. (However do not be surprised if your dog still prefers to rest on the hard floor.)
Moist heat does wonders for relieving pain. Fill heat packs with warm water and apply to painful joints. This is useful at the end of an active day, on cold winter evenings, and any other time you see your dog suffering from a flare-up. Keep Your Dog Warm and Cozy on Cold, Damp Days Set up a soft bed or some layers of fleece in the area where your dog normally sleeps. Apply Moist HeatApply a hot water bottle with warm water or use a towel soaked in warm water that’s been wrung out to your dog’s aching joints. Moist heat penetrates deeply and provides welcomed relief.

Do not use a human heating pad as it may get too hot for the dog and burn them especially if your dog has limited mobility - they may not be able to get up and move away from a pad that is too hot. Instead there is on the market Pet heating pads that are safe (except if your pet or his companions like to chew).

Massage away pain
If you have in your area a therapeutic canine massage clinic, check to see if there are classes. Massage helps stimulate blood flow, reduce inflammation, and ease pain.Not only is it a simple, natural way to relieve your dog’s pain, but it’s also a wonderful time for bonding.Gently rub around the affected joint and massage the surrounding muscles. This gentle kneading and the heat from your hands should ease some of the  

Use a Ramp For The Stairs
If your dog has a hard time going up and down stairs, think about buying or making a ramp that can be laid over the stairs so your dog can more easily maneuver them. This is especially useful for when they need to go outside to “do their thing” or are required to jump into a truck for a trip to the vet.
Talk to your vet about how much exercise your dog should be getting, as too much will hurt the joints. Exercise will also help shed pounds and maintain ideal body weight. If possible, take your dog out for several shorter 10 to 15 minute walks each day rather than going for one long walk. Another great strategy is to take your dog swimming. They’ll get the exercise without stressing the joints. A bathtub works well for very small dogs. However, if your dog hates water don’t push the issue.