If a living thing has bones and joints, then it can experience joint pain, and this includes not only people, but all mammals, as well as other creatures. Unfortunately, this means that our canine companions can and often do experience chronic joint pain as a result of many factors, and it’s up to dog owners to watch their dogs closely for changes in their behavior that may signal the development of joint pain.
Joint pain can be the result of many factors, as well as a symptom of other issues. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
- Old Age
- Breed predisposition
Once you know what’s causing your pup’s pain, there are a variety of ways to provide relief for joint pain in dogs.
Table of Contents:
- Knowing the Cause
- Joint Pain Symptoms
- Joint Support Options
Knowing the Cause
Obviously, before you treat a condition, you have to know what’s causing it, so a trip to your veterinarian is crucial before you start any kind of treatment. As with humans, joint pain in dogs can be the result of a variety of issues, and there isn’t always a single cause. In fact, most of the causes of joint pain are linked to each other. Let’s take a quick look at the most common causes (those ones we mentioned above) and the ways their effects on the body differ. All of these causes are linked to either developmental or degenerative issues.
In general, joint problems and pain are more common in larger dogs, as they have to carry more size and weight during their lives causing more wear and tear on their joints.
Supplements are a good preventative measure and. By giving your dog multivitamins or other supplements that contain joint-specific ingredients, you can support their joint health. In particular, supplements, such as Pet Honesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin or Hip and Joint Supplements contain Glucosamine, which can help to lubricate and protect existing cartilage.
Chondroitin sulfate is another component of cartilage that can be taken in a supplement form. Similar to glucosamine for dogs, studies have shown that it can help support joint health, and it is often taken in conjunction with Glucosamine.
Fish oils have been shown to help promote a normal inflammatory response in addition to their other health benefits (support for healthy coat, skin, nails, and immune system). Again though, it’s important that you use fish oils that are specifically formulated for dogs, such as Omega Salmon Chews, and not the same kinds you may have in your own medicine cabinet.
You can also give your dog specific amounts of natural ingredients, such as turmeric, but quantities should be small and controlled.
In general, serving sizes for supplements vary for different breeds and sizes of dogs, so it’s important to talk with a vet before you start giving your pup supplements, even if they are natural. Too much of a good thing can still have negative effects on your furry friend.
In addition to oral medications and supplements, there are some external methods you can use to provide joint pain relief for dogs. The most common is diet control. An overweight dog puts unnecessary strain on their joints, which can cause further damage and faster deterioration, so a healthy, balanced diet to keep your pup in top condition is very important.
Temperature control can be helpful; make sure your dog isn’t too cold or too hot, and if inflamed joints seem hot to the touch, you can use cool compresses and ice packs to try to cool them down.
In some cases, massage and gentle manual movement of the joints can be beneficial as well. You can either take your dog to professionals or learn to do these at home as another added level to internal treatments.
While joint pain is serious, and often a chronic condition, it can be managed to ensure that your pup leads their happiest, most active life. Knowing what can cause joint pain and how to manage it is the first step in getting relief for your best friend, and with proper treatment, not even chronic pain will be able to slow your dog down!