Thanks to the marvels of modern veterinary medicine and more healthier wellness routines, our pets are living much longer lives. With longer lives, along also come chronic diseases such as pet osteoarthritis. Pet arthritis can be difficult for pet lovers to manage and is difficult for pets. The Arthritis Foundation recently reported that degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, are the most common types of dog arthritis.
Dog arthritis affects one out of five adult dogs in the United States. However, although osteoarthritis is a commonly recognized disease in dogs, cat arthritis is also a recognized disease, especially in older cats.
Although dog arthritis or cat arthritis may occur at any time it is much more common in the latter years of your pet’s life. Dogs are more likely to get arthritis than cats, but cats and other animals do suffer from arthritis and it is harder to diagnose, says the Food and Drug Administration. Larger dog breeds are more susceptible to dog arthritis than smaller breeds.
Regardless, there are several strategies recommended by pet experts if your pet is experiencing arthritis symptoms.
1) Dietary changes. The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network advises making dietary changes – eating dog food with high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid that has shown to have success in decreasing joint inflammation.
However, dietary changes also come in the form of removing items from your pet’s diet which can exacerbate inflammation caused by dog arthritis. For pets with arthritis symptoms, grain-free food may be the way to go. Many processed commercial dog foods contain grains such as wheat, rice, soy, and spelt, which can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to fluctuate and increase painful swelling and inflammation.
Finally, dietary changes also should be directed at correct weight. Work with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is at their optimal body weight. Just like in people, excessive weight puts additional and avoidable strain on already painful joints.
2) Adjust Your Pet’s Home Environment. The experts at Vetstreet advise that you take steps to adjust your pet’s environment as they age and to manage their arthritis, this includes providing soft supportive bedding for your pet’s achy joints, using ramps to help a dog get in and out of a car or up to a bed, and putting down carpeting and secure rugs to help him get traction as he walks.
Other tips include making sure that your pet’s water and food is easily accessible. If they have to travel across a slippery floor for instance to get their nourishment it may cause them even more stress and pain. We have found that a good pet bed that adds ample support with memory foam or some other structural support is one of the most important ways we can support our pets with their pain needs.
3) Supplements. There are several pet supplements on the market that can be used to help improve joint mobility and support better joint functioning for cats and dogs with arthritis. Medication for cat and dog arthritis comes in many forms not just traditional dog medicine for pain, like NSAIDs.
Pet owners are feeling frustrated with NSAIDs and their limitations and side effects for their pets and are looking for options to better fit into their pet wellness routines and manage dog pain and cat pain without side effects. “Supplements can be extremely helpful for arthritis for a variety of reasons,” agrees Dr. Katherine Kramer, medical director at the VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital and a member of the Hemp Expert Working Group of the National Animal Supplement Council. “There is good evidence now to support the use of glucosamine and Cartrophen/Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG, an injectable drug used to alleviate the lameness, pain, and lowered range of motion caused by arthritis) to help support healthy cartilage to delay joint deterioration,” she says. “Several supplements, such as omega-3 essential fatty acids, turmeric, CBD products, boswellia, green-lipped mussels, and other herbs can have profound anti-inflammatory effects.”
The Popular Pets has worked with our biochemists to formulate our advanced Madrigal Pet Wellness line, an advanced supplement Relieve Plus that is offered in a formula for both cats and dogs. Relieve Plus that contains Boswellia, Pain Relieving Terpenes, MSM, and cannabinoids, including CBD from hemp all in a water-soluble hemp spray formulation for effective, fast and easy pain relief. Check it out here and dogs like Anza that have experienced the benefits of Relieve Plus.
It is important to also note that while joint disease seriously affects our pet’s quality of life, we can assist our pets with supportive strategies to effectively make them more comfortable and assist with our cat and dog pain relief.