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Arthritis in Dogs – Foods to Consider

Arthritis is common in dogs, just like it is in us humans. So what can we do for our furry friends who are feeling achy, inflamed and sore from arthritis? There are some dietary and lifestyle adjustments we humans can use — look into them for your dogs too!

What is arthritis?

Depending on its form, arthritis can cause swelling, pain, joint damage, reduced activity and lessened quality of life. Often it happens simply as a by-product of age, or can be a result of previous injury, overuse or underlying viral or bacterial causes

Often, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed and likely provide some relief, but also can come with their own potential problems.

What’s a good diet for a dog with arthritis?

An antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is crucial. As a holistic minded vet I know once said, “all commercial pet food is inflammatory.” This is true for many reasons, including heavy processing, nutrient depletion, poor quality and many other potential factors.

Transitioning to a clean, human-grade, homemade diet can work wonders for the body in numerous ways including reducing inflammation.

Recipes for dogs with arthritis

Pet parents can do this easily, using any of numerous healthy recipes found on my website.

You can help your dog by cutting out processed foods and poor quality items and replacing them with fresh ingredients that help curb inflammation. A clean, high quality diet in general will help with this, but specific foods that are known to reduce inflammation include many vegetables and fruits, healthy oils (real olive oil, unrefined coconut oil) wild fish, sardines and other high quality meats your dog’s body needs.

Other natural approaches to arthritis

For a more comprehensive summary of natural approaches to arthritis in dogs, you can order my e-booklet, Natural Approaches to Arthritis in Dogs.

Glucosamine with chondroitin is also a popular, likely beneficial supplement. Many other supplements have been reviewed, and I am working on a report about this. Contact me for more information.

Improving your dog’s diet, taking him for regular walks and providing him with a low-stress, love-filled environment can go a long way.

Outside of diet, there are other natural approaches that can really help. These include acupuncture, homeopathy, massage and more.

Exercise is beneficial in arthritis management, and can help keep weight in check – another beneficial aspect. Start slowly and gently, as your dog may be sore.

Feel free to contact me if you need help finding a holistic vet.


Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Beef, Chicken, Cantaloupe, Fish Oil

Recipe of the Month - Chicken, Beef and Cantaloupe
This recipe for dogs uses beef, chicken and cantaloupe, along with nutrient-packed cod liver oil.

See recipe.


Cod Liver Oil for Dogs – Vitamin D, Omega-3 and More

The more I thought about it, the more I thought, hmm, if vitamin D deficiency is so common in humans — especially northerners who don’t get adequate sunlight, and those who wear sunscreen — then what about in dogs?

Vitamin D is also rare in foods. Only a handful of foods contain it. Some varieties of seafood are included in that handful.

Salmon is one relatively rich source. But a more efficient vehicle? Cod liver oil. The same stuff our mothers, grandmothers or great-grandmothers made kids take (choke down?) back in the day is still available now. Many human varieties are flavored with lemon, orange or other palatable tastes to make it tolerable. But regular, unflavored cod liver oil is available as well, and is a better choice for dogs than the flavored stuff.

The brand I used to research this article has vitamin D, E and A — all important fat-soluble vitamins — along with omega-3s. The human serving size of this particular brand is one teaspoon per day.  So a little goes a long way, and most dogs will need less.

One thing to watch for with fat-soluble vitamins is that they can build up in the body and become toxic. Too much vitamin A, for example, can harm the liver. But if your dog is low in vitamin D, like so many of us humans are, then it is useful to build up the body’s reserves. After all, the more research that’s done on vitamin D, the more it is being linked with health, and its deficiency linked with disease.

So check your dog’s current diet to make sure he is getting enough vitamin D. If not, consider using small amounts of cod liver oil, for not just vitamin D but other nutrients and beneficial omega-3s.


Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Fish and Beef Stew With Vegetables

homemade dog food fish beef vegetables
This recipe for dogs uses fish, beef stew meat and vegetables.

See recipe.