I want to talk about managing canine arthritis holistically.
Arthritis in dogs, much like in humans, involves the deterioration of joint cartilage and synovial fluid, leading to pain and reduced mobility. While some breeds are more prone to this condition, and factors like age, weight and injury play a role, there are proactive steps we can take to manage it.
Diet plays a crucial role. A natural food diet, rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, can greatly aid in reducing joint inflammation. Foods high in antioxidants help combat oxidative stress associated with arthritis such as spirulina or turmeric. Remember, maintaining a healthy weight is essential, as excess weight can strain the joints.
It’s imperative to look at things to remove from diet. It’s not always what you put into a bowl that counts, and often removing certain foods can play a major role in reducing inflammation.
Foods like rice, potatoes, cereals (wheat, corn, maize) can be extremely inflammatory, especially when oversupplied in a diet. Not only this, but they break down into sugars and that leads to weight gain. A lean dog is less likely to suffer from arthritis, so start taking things out as well as looking at adding fresh and healthier ingredients.
In addition to diet, consider these supportive measures:
- Comfortable bedding in a warm environment to ease joint discomfort.
- Low-impact exercises, such as gentle walks or swimming, to maintain mobility.
- Accessibility modifications, like ramps, to help your dog move around easily.
Arthritis may not be curable, but with the right diet and lifestyle adjustments, we can significantly improve our dogs' quality of life.
If you're seeking personalized advice or have specific concerns about your dog's diet and arthritis management, please see my consultation service.
The best thing any dog parent can do is proactively look after their dog’s health with a great diet. The best place to start is this recipe book.
- Cam, The Dog Nutritionist.