Dogs are man’s best friend and hold a special place in everybody’s hearts. It is safe to say that no dog-owner in the world wants to see their dog in pain. Unfortunately, some of our beloved dogs suffer from health problems like arthritis, especially as they grow older, which makes their lives very difficult.
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis doesn’t happen just because of tearing and wearing of joints. Chronic, low-grade inflammation, that lasts for years and years, is actually the main culprit behind your dog’s joint related sufferings.
Keep in mind, however, that this problem won’t just go away if you give your dog anti-inflammatory drugs. In fact, research has actually found that anti-inflammatory drugs are very harmful to your dog’s joints and soft tissues.
But worry not, all hope is not lost! There are many ways to treat arthritis in dogs. This article will share some natural methods which could help your dog.
Damaged Guts are Bad for Your Dog
Like us humans, dogs also have guts that filter out undigested food, proteins, and bacteria from being absorbed, only letting in what they need for nutrition. However, if there’s a problem with the gut, the filtering stops.
This leads to a catastrophic immune reaction. The gut remains in a low-grade inflamed state for a long time, as a response to the foreign substances that enter.
So, in order to tackle arthritis resulting from inflammation, the best thing you can do is prevent and treat gut damage. Here are a few tips on how you can do this:
Stop Relying on Processed Food
If your dog is heavily dependent on processed food that is grain-based like wheat and rice, meat from factory-farmed animals or even genetically modified foods, then your dog will most likely have a damaged gut.
In fact, consumption of sugar and pasteurized dairy is also very harmful to the gut. Therefore, be very careful about what your dog eats and try to cut out as much as processed foods from its diet as possible.
Limit the Drugs
Now, we all know too much of a good thing is never good. This applies to your dogs as well! Things like deworming drugs and flea and tick treatments may be used with good intentions, but too much of it is actually bad for your dog.
Unnecessarily giving your dog steroids, non-steroidal,anti-inflammatory drugs or even antibiotics will do your dog a lot of damage as well. In fact, the overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics may actually cause an imbalance in your dog’s gut leading to a condition called ‘dysbiosis’.
Therefore, when treating your dog, make sure that you know exactly what is wrong with it and what dose is required if there’s no other natural way of treatment.
Don't Over Vaccinate
Are you aware of how vaccination works?
Well, vaccines actually consist of foreign protein from other animals as well as heavy metals like aluminum. These are all supposed to get your immune system to have a more intense immune response, which actually leads to chronic inflammation.
So, it’s extremely important that you limit vaccines and only give your dogs the ones that are necessary.
Keep the Fat Balanced
All dog owners know how important fats are for their dog. The fat has to be just the right amount and balanced.
But did you know that the dog food we use these days is actually imbalanced in fat? In fact, food such as grains and factory meat, are very high in omega 6 fatty acids and comparatively lower in omega 3 fatty acids. This unbalanced ratio of fats actually plays a big role in chronic inflammation.
Your dog should be eating the animals who feed on grass. But if this is difficult to do, you should definitely be adding extra omega 3 sources to its diet to make up for the absence.
Fish and phytoplankton are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. However, do make sure you avoid fish oil because it contributes to inflammation.
Antioxidants Will Help
Have you ever heard of free radicals? They’re small but extremely harmful substances that accumulate in the body from the process of metabolism, inflammation as well as pollutions. These radicals are actually responsible for premature aging and the degenerative diseases your dog suffers from.
But worry not, as there are substances called anti-oxidants which can come to the rescue. They’re known to prevent cell damage from radicals. Even better is the fact that they’re known for their anti-aging effects, and are linked with prevention of immune system issues, cancer, heart disease and even eye problems.
Basically, they’re the ultimate arthritis fighters. Now if you’re wondering about how to add antioxidants to your dog’s diet naturally, here’s are some pretty good sources:
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent and letting your dog ingest it in paste form will do wonders for treating inflammation. Just make sure you add coconut oil to the paste because it is difficult for dogs to absorb turmeric.
Also, remember to add the turmeric paste with some water or kefir so that that it doesn’t cause constipation. Generally, you should start with these recommended doses:
- Gigantic dogs: 1 teaspoon/day
- Big dogs: ¾ teaspoon per day
- Medium Sized dogs: ½ teaspoon per day
- Tiny Dogs: ¼ teaspoon per day
Now, before adding turmeric to your dog’s diet, do be careful of allergic reactions. Also, make sure turmeric is compatible with the other medicines your dog takes if any.
Wild Blueberries, Goji Berries, and Cranberries
These are excellent for inflammation and contain high amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and other useful substances your dog needs.
Some herbs are also really high in antioxidants. So, you should definitely try to add herbs like oregano, ginger, cinnamon, parsley, and basil to your dog’s diet to reduce inflammation.
We all want to see our dogs active, lively and leading happy lives. Arthritis makes this difficult and takes away the happiness of both the dog owner and the dog.
It is extremely important that dog owners become more responsible and give dogs the care they need. Medication can do more harm than good, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll make our dogs better.
So, why not try these simple and natural ways of treatment, which have no harmful effects?
Shawn is a content writer at Feedfond. A loving pet parent and a healthy living enthusiast, he loves incorporating both his passions in his articles. To read more of his articles, visit Feedfond.com.