Pet Health, Senior Dogs

Three Tips for Managing Pet Arthritis Recommended by Vets

Thanks to the marvels of modern veterinary medicine and more healthier dog diet and 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 and Cat Arthritis Facts

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.

Pug dog laying and looking into the camera sleeping.

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. 

Three Tips From Vets to Manage Pet Arthritis

1)   Pet Dietary Changes

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network advises making  dietary changes – eating dog food with high levels of 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 and your pets desire to move will be curbed.

Mobility helps pets manage arthritis and pet weight affects pets ability to be mobile and can be a downward spiral in senior pets, learn more in our article 5 Things Your Senior Dog Wishes They Could Tell You.

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.  

White and grey dog running up a dog ramp that is set over cement steps.
Dog ramps and other adjustments around the home help dogs manage arthritis.

Other tips to manage your environment to support pet’s with arthritis 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.  Yoga mats or other non-slip mats are perfect for laying down to help pets prevent slipping.

We have also 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)   Pet Supplements to Support Pets with Inflammation and Arthritis 

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 for pets, and cannabinoids, including CBD from hemp in an all in a water-soluble hemp spray formulation for effective, fast and easy pain relief.  Check it out here and dogs like senior Zooey that have experienced the benefits of Relieve Plus hemp spray

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.  

What can be done for dog arthritis?

We can support our dogs in many ways with making them comfortable with environmental changes in the home, using natural anti-inflammatory products to support their wellness and ensuring they remain at a healthy weight and stay mobile.

Do dogs with arthritis feel pain?

Yes! Arthritis is very painful and the most common areas pet experience the pain is back, neck and hips, areas they need to use which have a big effect on their wellbeing. You can manage pain with different natural products, like CBD from hemp or prescriptions from your vet.

How long can a dog live with arthritis?

Dog’s can live a very long time with arthritis but their comfort and quality of life will be affected. It will be important to use the strategies recommended by vets to keep your dog comfortable throughout their life and use natural products for pet pain relief at minimum.

Bottle of Relieve Plus hemp cbd spray for cats on a white background.
Cats enjoy Relieve Plus hemp spray sprayed on food or treats to manage their arthritis.
Bottle of Relieve Plus hemp cbd spray for dogs on a white background.

Dogs appreciate staying mobile with Relieve-Plus hemp CBD spray