It's heartbreaking to see your beloved canine companion in discomfort. But it's likely to happen at some point over the course of your dog's life.
Discomfort can be caused by injury or common colds, or it can simply be due to the normal aches and pangs associated with aging. Plus, many older dogs suffer from a joint discomfort.
Generally speaking, you can treat dog discomfort with natural options. Either method might work for you and your dog, based on your particular circumstances and the cause of your dog's discomfort .
Let's take a closer look at the signs of discomfort in dogs, as well as your options for discomfort through natural remedies.
Common Signs of Discomfort in Dogs
First, it's important to be aware of some of the most common signs of discomfort in dogs. Work closely with your veterinarian. Call them right away if you see signs like:
- Excessive licking, biting, or chewing on an area of the body
- Unusual vocalizing, like snarling, growling, howling, or yelping
- Mobility issues
- Constant restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Aggressive or antisocial behavior
- Changes in drinking habits (drinking more or less water than usual)
- Shaking or trembling
Your veterinarian will give your dog a full examination in order to find out what's causing the discomfort . Then, you can move forward with a plan that helps your pet feel more comfortable.
Natural Ways to Help with Discomfort for Dogs
With all of the potential side effects and health risks associated with pain medication, many pet parents turn to natural remedies to help their dogs feel more comfortable. And many of these natural solutions have proven very effective. Here’s a look at some of the options.
Many dogs suffering from chronic pain have joint discomfort. Joint supplements can help your dog experience less discomfort and greater mobility. Even dogs who aren't suffering from joint pain can benefit from a joint supplement.
Glucosamine supplements are the most common type of joint supplement for dogs. They work by helping to repair the cartilage in your dog's joints, resulting in less discomfort .
Other ingredients in dog joint supplements include chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. Often, you'll find supplements that have a combination of two or more of these ingredients. There are also natural ingredients like fish oil and turmeric that can benefit dogs as well.
To be safe, check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a joint supplement regimen.
CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil
In recent years, cannabis-derived chews, supplements, and oils have become more and more popular for dogs. CBD comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant and contains high levels of cannabinoids, the main chemical found in cannabis.
Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains only low levels of CBD. Both these items may be able to help your dog feel more comfortable. And don't worry — both CBD and hemp seed oil products contain virtually no THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, so you're not giving your dog a drug.
To date, there is not a lot of formal research regarding CBD or hemp seed oil products and their benefits for dogs. But many dog owners have seen positive results, so it may be a good option for dogs experiencing discomfort. Your best bet, as with any new product or supplement, is to talk to your veterinarian.
There is another side of natural options for dogs that doesn't involve supplementation. Alternative therapies may be able to improve your dog's quality of life and help them feel less discomfort . Examples include:
- Acupuncture. The strategic placement of acupuncture needles is thought to support normal inflammatory response and enhance blood circulation.
- Massage therapy. Massage isn't just for humans. Dogs can benefit from massage therapy, resulting in relaxed muscles, better blood flow, and lower stress levels.
- Aromatherapy. It's possible that essential oils and other scent sources can help encourage healing and relieve stress.
Heat or cold therapy. Applying an ice pack or a hot gel pack to your dog’s aching joints can also help them feel better, just like it would for you. Ask your vet whether a hot or cold pack would be best for your dog’s situation.
If you're interested in having your dog try alternative therapies like these, make sure to consult your veterinarian or a holistic veterinarian near you. Alternative procedures should be performed by a licensed professional, like a veterinary acupuncturist or veterinary massage therapist.
Don't forget that plain old, good pet parenting can do a lot to prevent pain before it begins. That means feeding your dog a high-quality diet that's right for their age and making sure they get regular exercise to stay in shape. After all, a pet with too much body weight puts undue pressure on their joints, causing inflammation and pain, causing discomfort .
My Pup Is Hurting. What Can I Give My Dog for Discomfort?
As dog owners, we can't stand to see our beloved pups in discomfort , and they don't have to be. With natural remedies given at hom, there is a way for your dog to live a good life without worrying about discomfort .
Consider giving your dog supplements or trying out natural therapies like acupuncture or massage, but remember to always check with your veterinarian first.
Once you have your vet's approval, you can start getting your dog back to their old self through your methodology of choice. And remember to do your part to prevent discomfort in the first place — feed your pet a high-quality dog food and exercise them daily.
For more great tips on your dog's health and wellness needs, check out Pet Honesty's blog.