A Simple Guide to Dog Arthritis

guide to dog arthritis

What is Dog Arthritis?

Arthritis is common in dogs. Deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints is the cause of arthritis. As a result, they no longer enjoy walks as before.

Unlike other ailments that can affect your dog’s such as diarrhea or vomiting, dog arthritis isn’t just instantly apparent.

It may take years for your dog to develop arthritis and you may not even recognize that the dog has arthritis until it is almost a cripple.

The Types Of Dog Arthritis

Osteoarthritis in Dogs

The type of arthritis that is most generally associated with dogs is called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. It is a common condition that will affect one out of every 5 dogs during their lifetimes.

And this may surprise you but arthritis isn’t a disease that happens to just older dogs.

Conditions such as hip dysplasia, joint trauma, patella luxation, and other joint diseases can all result in the development of degenerative arthritis even in young dogs.

Infectious Arthritis in Dogs

A second, less common form of dog arthritis is called infectious arthritis. Tick-borne infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and canine ehrlichiosis, can all cause dog arthritis.

There is also a condition called fungal arthritis but it is a rare complication that comes as the result of a systemic fungal infection.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Finally, there is immune-mediated dog arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. It sometimes happens to toy breeds and other small breeds at approximately 4 years of age.

A condition called nonerosive arthritis can occur in midsize and large-breed dogs at about 5 to 6 years of age. No one knows what causes this form of arthritis.

Here are some causes of arthritis in dogs:

  1. Developmental disorders
  2. High-calorie diets that cause the body to grow faster than the cartilage, causing deficits
  3. Injury or trauma to a joint
  4. Bacteria or ticks
  5. Age and weight
what is dog arthritis

The Symptoms Of Dog Arthritis

You love your dog and are careful to make sure it gets the right diet and plenty of exercises. You should also watch for the signs of arthritis in your canine pal.

Your Dog May Be Limping

The most obvious of these is if you notice your dog is favoring one of its limbs or seems to have a problem standing or sitting.

Your Dog is Scared of Physical Activities

Another symptom is if it seems reluctant to jump, run or climb up stairs. The dog may also show signs of stiff or sore joints.

There are some less visible signs that your dog may have arthritis. For example, it may be sleeping more than usual, gain weight, or show a decreased interest in playing.

Lameness and stiffness in your Dog

If your dog develops osteoarthritis, it may show varying degrees of stiffness and lameness that will be more evident in the morning and when the dog gets up from a nap.

Your Dog is inexplicably Irritable

It may seem irritable and have the kind of behavioral changes you would associate with increasing disability. He or she may bark or whine when touched. It may even seem less alert and actually resist your touch.

A dog suffering from Arthritis will have a great deal of pain and naturally, you would do anything to help alleviate the pain.

If your dog exhibits the kind of symptoms described above, you can just about be sure that it has dog arthritis. However, x-raying the dog’s joints is how your vet will make a definitive diagnosis.

If the dog does have osteoarthritis, the x-rays will show bone spurs at points where the ligaments and the joint capsule attach to the bone.

With current trends, there are a number of things that you can do to help your dog dealing with the daily pain.

Symptoms Of Dog Arthritis

How to Treat Dog Arthritis

Here is a list of essential things to do when practicing dog arthritis treatment.

Weight Management for Dogs

The crucial thing you can do to help your dog is easing the load on its joints which is the center of all the pain. You can, therefore, manage the weight of the dog by checking its diet.

There are clinically approved methods to slim your pet. Minimizing its meal intake to small timely portions will help alleviate the extra weight.

Treat dog arthritis with the right amount of good quality dog food to manage your dog’s weight.

What should arthritic dogs eat?

1.Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene which fights inflammation. However, do not give sweet potatoes to a dog that forms calcium oxalate stones, a type of kidney stones.

Such dogs should be introduced to anti-inflammatory veggies and fruits such as zucchini, white cabbage, cauliflower, mango, peeled apple, cherries and peeled apples among others.

2.If your dog suffers extreme joint pains to the extent of having chewing problems, give it a bowl of soup so that it can feed with little effort.

3.It is important to supplement arthritic dogs with anti-inflammatory omega 3 on a daily basis. Leaf vegetables are a good source.

4. Organic and whole turmeric is very effective for dog arthritis. It is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. You can mix a ¼ spoonful of it with grind fresh pepper to aid in absorption. If the dog is in extreme condition, you can increase the amount to two times a day.

5.Feed your sick dog with papaya, alfalfa, and celery. These foods have nutritional value that will work miracles for your dog in the fight against arthritis.

6.Herbal remedies have proven to be one of the better options when it comes to treating your dog from arthritis. You can try these herbs to naturally treat dog arthritis:


It has the ability to reduce pain and joint swelling. It contains chemicals that are responsible for pain reduction.


It contains a number of anti-inflammatory compounds and COX-2 inhibitors. Turmeric reduces the arthritis symptoms hence your dog gets better and feels less pain.


It is a perennial herb that contains the ability to counter effect arthritis. Upon giving it to your dog, it posses anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic and analgesic actions that functions as a herbal aspirin.

Do not combine this herb with NSAIDs.


It gives a hand in your dog’s digestion and circulation. In addition, has anti-inflammatory properties.

Devil’s Claw Root

It contains anti-inflammatory properties. What can I give my dog for arthritis? The answer is Devil’s Claw Root.

Licorice Root

The anti-inflammatory compounds found in Licorice root helps your dog in the fight against arthritis. They do so by reducing joint pain.

How should you feed your pet dog?

Food and water containers must be easy to reach and kept at a comfortable height.

When feeding your dog, raise food or water bowls to reduce strain in the back or neck. This increases the ease of feeding especially to dogs not prone to bloat. Having a non-slip surface would also be useful.

Consistent Mild Exercises

Another essential thing to know when in pursuit of dog arthritis treatment is forcing your dog to exercise its joints with mild exercises so as to help in the recovery process of the joints.

If the joints are not moved through the healing period, they may clump up leading to the continuity of your dog’s suffering.

Help your dog power through the pain by providing a soft surface to move around during dog arthritis treatment process.

Arthritis in dogs can be controlled through regular exercise. Regularly, I usually take my pet dog for a short walk so that it can shed off extra weight.

Short frequent walks should be recommended. For exercise purposes, long walks are not the best.

Other helpful adjustments would be installing ramps to aid the dog to get into a car or bed and securing the ground to provide the traction needed by an arthritic dog to move around.

If the dog experiences difficulties in walking or getting up, you can provide it with slings.

Give Warmth and Comfort to your Dogs

Heat can bring relief to a dog that goes through arthritis pain so you can put a bottle of warm water wrapped in a towel or a non-electric heating device in its bed after feeding your dog his dog arthritis supplements.

Provide a supportive bed for your dog. A soft and comfortable bed eases the pain. You may want to pad the dogs sleeping area.

You can even massage joints with warm compressions. This aids in relieving the joints by increasing the flow of blood to the joints hence contributing to the flexibility of the dog’s joints.

If you can afford it, you can also get a massage therapist to help administer such massages more effectively.

Arthritis Medication for Dogs

There is a variety of drugs present in the market today known to help relieve pain in dogs. You could get a standard dosage to last the dog through the period in dog arthritis treatment.

This will also help the dog move around much more easily for a quicker recovery process.

Vitamins and Supplements for Dogs

There are additional home remedies that you can turn to for dog arthritis treatment. Consider therapy sessions and dog arthritis supplements to improve the dog’s health and life.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are supplements readily accessible to you in local outlets. These supplements improve the mobility of your dog’s joints and also help boost support on the given joints when undergoing basic dog arthritis treatment.

Glucosamine actually acts to assist the dog in rebuilding and regenerating the damaged tissues within the joints themselves.

The pain experienced by arthritis is caused by the degeneration of those cartilage tissues in the joint which thus allow the bones to rub together and cause pain.

Glucosamine is a necessary building block of this cartilage tissue that the body uses naturally to rebuild and repair the damage.

It’s important for pet owners to understand that glucosamine supplementation will show no immediate signs of benefit to the animal.

In fact, it might take several weeks or even several months before any benefits whatsoever are experienced by the arthritic dog.

It’s vital the dog owner does not give up on the process and continue the supplementation process for at least several months to determine if, in fact, glucosamine is a viable option for treating the joint disease.

You can also supplement the dog with vitamin E and C. Vitamin E reduces inflammation. A high dose of vitamin C helps with arthritis in dogs. Calcium or Sodium ascorbate is effective for anti-inflammation.

Acupuncture for Dogs

Acupuncture is a practice that can also go a long way to treat dog arthritis. You may think this is a human practice but there are experts who do this. This, however, may be uncommon to rare instances.

Your Dog’s Surroundings

To reduce unwanted stress, put efforts to prevent your dog from slipping. You can achieve this by putting carpet runners on the floors.

If your pet is accustomed to spending time alone outside, make sure you supervise him. Animals that suffer from arthritis are vulnerable – they may fall off and get easily injured. You should take care of your dog and notice his habits.

Treat Dog Arthritis

How to Prevent Dog Arthritis

Avoid over-exerting your dog at early stages of its life

More often than not, dog arthritis is often developed as a result of activities in a dog’s earlier life.

Too much exercise, running too hard too often, jumping from a high height and roughhousing too much before the bones and joints mature can lead to injuries early.

So it is very important to not be overly eager to rough house with your dogs, while they are still very young.


Exercise is very important to all living things. It helps us keep healthy and helps the bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage develop to withstand more rigorous activities.

This activity also helps strengthen the joint by pumping natural lubricants into the area, making it healthier.

Most importantly, it helps regulate the dog’s weight, because being overweight is very bad for your dog’s joints and muscles.

Don’t overfeed

Being overfed gives unnecessary weight to the joints of your dogs causing it to hurt and swell more. Our dogs are meant to be kept lean and athletic, thus overfeeding only causes more pain to your dogs.

To help with this, you can also purchase a more regulated meal dishes that only hold the proper portion of food.

Overfeeding may also cause your dogs to grow at a much faster rate, causing joints and ligaments to lag behind, causing immature joints.


Supplements help by offering the body much-needed nutrients that normal food does not. Try offering supplements such as glucosamine and dasuquin.

These can help prevent arthritis by helping nourish the joints. Omega-3 and fatty acids also help in keeping the dog healthy and fit.

A comfy environment

A well-rested body is essential for muscle repair and rest that is why it is important to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for your dogs.

A good and soft dog bed would do wonders by providing a warm and dry environment for it to rest on.

Bare floors and surfaces may cause your dog to slip and cause an injury that is why it is also recommended that your dog’s environment be slip-proof.


You and I should take care of our arthritic dogs. They require care to overcome pain and heal.

Arthritic dogs should be given a diet that has anti-inflammatory benefits. Always ensure that the dog feeds well and the right amount. Take the dog for regular exercises to shed off extra weight.

Do not despair when your dog suffers to move around, engaging it in activities that will encourage such movement restores the resilience of joints to their natural form.

Remember that your attention to your dog during the course of its ailment may be the motivating factor to the dog’s will to recover.

An environment where your dog can derive psychological support, lots of affection and little stress will enable the treatment of arthritis to be quicker.

it’s best to let your veterinarian know and ask for the best course of action. Just make sure you get him or her to the vet so that you can get the proper treatment started before your dog becomes seriously crippled.

Overall caring for your beloved dogs isn’t very hard and does not require a drastic change in the environment.

It is important to consider that during the early stages of growth, we don’t overexert them to the extent we cause injury. And that we should feed them quality food in good portions.

Dogs are like humans, they also require tender loving care for them to live a long and healthy life.

Pet Care

Hi there! I'm one of the writers here. I have dogs and cats as pets at home. 🐕🐈 They seem to be living together fine. Just don't let them meet when one is eating. 😊

Recent Posts