20 Home Remedies For Your Dog’s Stiff & Aching Joints

Has your dog started to slow down as they’ve gotten older? If it takes them a little longer to get out of bed in the morning or if they’re sluggish on walks, they may be suffering from stiff, achy, and possibly arthritic joints. Yet, is it necessary to put them on a vet-prescribed medicine? Or are there things you can do for your dog or provide in their diet to ease the joint pain? So, what home remedy can you give your dog for arthritis?

You should still get a diagnosis from your vet to rule out more serious health conditions. Yet, there are many home remedies that may help improve your dog’s quality of life. Here are some tips.

Senior dog arthritis

Things you can do to help

Even small changes in your dog’s routine can help soothe your dog’s arthritis. Here are ten ideas that you can consider.

#1 – Maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight will put extra strain on your dog’s already aching joints. Use diet and exercise to reduce your dog’s weight if necessary. It’s okay to serve them less food than the bag recommends since most kibble brands make serving sizes high so you’ll buy more food.

#2 – Alter, but don’t eliminate, exercise

Staying active will help reduce stiffness in your pup’s joints. Yet, aging dogs will benefit more from several shorter walks throughout the day rather than one or two longer ones. Longer walks may be rough on already sore joints.

small dog going for walk

#3 – Raise food and water bowls

This is not recommended for dog breeds that are prone to bloat. Otherwise, having raised food and water bowls can help reduce strain in the back and neck caused by bending down to reach bowls on the floor.

senior dog yawning

#4 – Prevent slipping

Slipping on hardwood floors or icy sidewalks can put a lot of extra strain on your dog’s joints. Carpet runners or dog booties may help your dog maintain their footing. They can also reduce the amount of strain your dog puts on their joints just by walking around the house.

#5 – Use a ramp

It might be too difficult for your dog to hop into your car or onto your bed. Jumping can be extremely painful for dogs with joint problems, so ramps and stairs can make a big difference in your dog’s quality of life.

#6 – Keep nails trimmed

According to Whole Dog Journal:

“If nails are too long they can change the gait on the dog, causing skeletal changes and arthritis in the foot/toes.”

If your dog’s nails have been overgrown for quite a long time, they may not be able to be trimmed back very far without causing your dog to bleed. Weekly nail trims or grinding will be required to slowly get the quick (a vein in the nail) to recede to get your dog’s nails to a proper length.

dog paw with long nails

#7 – Provide a soft, supportive bed

Sore joints need more cushion to be comfortable. Lying on the floor with little to no cushioning causes painful pressure points. Investing in a high-quality orthopedic bed may help your dog start their mornings with a little less pain.

#8 – Acupuncture

Acupuncture helps to stimulate the body’s own anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing responses. The tiny needles involved stimulate nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic bundles to improve blood flow, release pain-fighting enkephalins, and reduce inflammation. While it may not be a great option for dogs who dislike being handled, it can be a great supplemental treatment program that may bring your dog a lot of pain relief.

dog massaging other dog's stiff joints

#9 – Massage therapy

Canine massage therapy can help improve blood circulation, loosen stiff muscles, and provide relaxation. There are some techniques you can learn to do yourself. Yet, you may prefer to find somebody who has been nationally certified in canine massage and acupressure.

#10 – Homeopathy

According to Dog Guide:

“Dog homeopathy is the act of combining a blend of medicinal herbs which present no side effects with dogs.”

Homeopathy can be confusing to those who aren’t familiar with it. It may be best handled by an experienced holistic veterinarian.

senior dog arthritis pain

Foods and supplements that may help

If you’re wondering what home remedy you can give your dog for arthritis, you’re in luck! These ten foods and supplements will keep your canine feeling young and healthy.

#11 – Cayenne

The main compound in the spicy cayenne pepper, capsaicin, can help block pain and increase circulation. Capsaicin is a common ingredient in topical products for humans to use for pain. It’s equally effective for dogs. Be careful about using these products on your dog, as ingestion may make your dog sick. You can also apply a pinch of cayenne pepper to your dog’s food.

#12 – Licorice

According to Dogs Naturally Magazine:

“Licorice is a member of the pea family and it’s the root that has medicinal properties. One of its many uses is to treat arthritis. Many studies have confirmed that it’s a fast acting and effective anti-inflammatory agent. Some herbalists claim that its primary component, glycyrrhizin, increases the effectiveness of other herbs when it’s included in a compound formula. Glycyrrhizin’s chemical structure is similar to corticosteroids, but without the negative effects on the immune system.”

Licorice roots are commonly administered to dogs as a tincture or a tea. Of course, these healing properties are not true for candy licorice, which has a high sugar content, making it dangerous for dogs.

senior dog needs home remedy for arthritis

#13 – Ginger

Ginger is able to stop the nervous system from producing leukotrienes, which cause inflammation. Ginger can also improve circulation. Small amounts of raw ginger can be added to your dog’s food. Yet, it can be a blood thinner, so it should be avoided before surgery. It may also lower blood pressure or sugar levels, so talk to your vet before use if your dog has any health issues that may be negatively impacted by these possible side effects.

#14 – Yucca

Yucca provides relief from joint pain and inflammation in humans and seems to work the same in dogs. Powdered yucca may be added to your dog’s food, but it can cause stomach irritation and vomiting when used daily. So, it’s recommended to give your dog a 2-day break every week.

senior dog with aching joints

#15 – Feverfew

Feverfew is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties. For pets, it is commonly administered as a tincture or a tea.

#16 – Horsetail

Horsetail has the ability to heal bone and connective tissue thanks to its bioactive silicon, which aids in the formation of bone, cartilage, skin, and other connective tissues. It combines well with glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for optimal joint health. You shouldn’t give horsetail to dogs with heart problems or high blood pressure. It should also be avoided in nursing dogs.

#17 – Alfalfa

Alfalfa can help with arthritis and is safe to give every day. You’ll want to use alfalfa that hasn’t flowered yet. Also, avoid giving the seeds as they can cause blood disorders.

older Pit Bull panting

#18 – Glucosamine/chondroitin and MSM

These three nutrients are the go-to for most dog parents who start to observe wear and tear on their dog’s joints. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have all been shown to reduce inflammation in dogs with arthritis.

Home remedy for dog arthritis
Feeds 14 shelter dogs!

#19 – Fish oil

Fish oil contains the fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important components of cell membranes. They signal cells to decrease inflammation. Less inflammation means less pain, redness, swelling, and irritation of the skin, joints, and internal organs.

home remedy for dog skin and arthritis
Feeds 14 shelter dogs!

#20 – Enzymes

According to Natural Dog Health Remedies:

Enzymes (in particular proteolytic enzymes or proteases), if given in between meals, can work systemically to fight inflammation and joint pain…Enzymes are ‘organic catalysts.’ They either initiate or speed up chemical reactions in the body, from digestion to tissue repair, and from hormone function to energy production.”

senior dog playing at beach

Hopefully you’ve found a few helpful answers to, “what home remedy can I give my dog for arthritis?” in this list. These remedies can be helpful in your quest to improve your dog’s quality of life!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. 

H/T: Dogs Naturally Magazine, Whole Dog Journal, Dog Guide, Natural Dog Health Remedies

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