Home Remedies For Old Dogs In Pain

Older dogs are prone to painful joint problems.

It can be tough for pet lovers to see their old pals in pain. Older dogs are subject to many of the painful conditions humans are, such as arthritis. In fact, 1 in 5 dogs over the age of 7 has this condition. Home remedies to help with the discomfort associated with arthritis are applicable to other maladies, however, especially as many of these remedies target inflammation and joint problems–common causes of pain.

Diet

Excellent nutrition is advisable for any dog at any stage of life, but some believe it may be particularly beneficial for animals with chronic or painful conditions. Choose a dog food with balanced nutrition for his age and size (usually apparent on the package label), free of preservatives, colorings, wheat, corn and soy. Grains tend to increase inflammation, and the effects of preservatives and colorings are questionable.

Home-cooked meals may also be an option. Use raw or cooked meat with vegetables, but never serve onions, mushrooms, or raisins, as these may be toxic. Celery is excellent for joints.

Supplements

Try a glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplement. Glucosamine helps maintain cartilage structure and chondroitin sulfate attracts water to the cartilage for added nutrition and lubrication. Chondroitin sulfate also seems to inhibit the enzymes that destroy cartilage.

Omega-3s

Consider adding foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet, or give it in a supplement of omega-3s along with vitamin E. Omega-3s help regulate the pressure in joints. Fish oil and vitamin E capsules are good options, as is salmon and other dark meat fish.

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Reduce Excess Weight

Excess weight puts added pressure on joints, cartilage and bones, often causing pain and swelling even for older dogs without arthritis. Reduce your dog’s weight by cutting back slowly on excess food (so she won’t feel too deprived) and taking several 10- to 15-minute walks a day. Swimming is also a great exercise option, as the water will absorb most of the impact on those old joints.

Dry and Warm

Old joints suffer from damp and cold. Provide a cozy bed space with warm blankets or fleece bedding. If your dog lives outside, be sure he has an insulated dog house with a doorway sheltered from the wind and covered with a blanket. Straw is also an excellent insulator for the dog house floor.

Home Environment

If your dog is having trouble bending, crouching and climbing stairs, modify her environment. Raise water and food bowls so she doesn’t have to bend and consider installing a ramp–even a makeshift ramp–outside if you have stairs.