Last Modified on May 19, 2016
As our beloved canine friend begins to age, it is likely that at some point a certain degree of arthritis will set in and begin to slow our pet down a bit. Arthritis affects the animal by causing inflammation and pain in the joints. Although all breeds and sizes of dogs are susceptible, it is the large and giant breeds who are most prone to the problem. The added weight due to their size puts additional pressure on the joints and results in more wear and tear. You may notice, as your pet gets older, that it is increasingly difficult for him or her to get up after sleeping, and might move more slowly or stiffly when walking.
There are a number of things that you can do at home for your pet to slow down the progression of the disease and help your dog to stay healthy and as pain free as possible.
Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs
According to the ASPCA, once your pet has developed arthritis, there is no cure for the condition. However, your veterinarian can work with you to help you devise an effective pain management program for your pet. While most conventional treatments rely initially on antibiotics, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory medications, many programs are designed to also include nutritional supplements, exercise, a healthy diet, and even weight loss if necessary.
The Best Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs
The most beneficial programs pair conventional care with researched natural remedies to treat your animal holistically. According to research, nutritional supplements are some of the most effective tools in the fight against arthritis in dogs. Glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, vitamin E, vitamin C, and a number herbs are effective for not only relieving pain associated with arthritis but also reducing inflammation and increasing your pet’s range of motion.
Glucosamine is a nutrient that helps treat arthritis by actually adding protection rather than just minimizing symptoms. Glucosamine is a glycosaminoglycans, a family of nutrients that function to rebuild lost cartilage and restore lost joint fluid. Research suggests that it is best to begin giving your dog high doses first to see if it responds and then decreasing. You can typically find animal nutritional supplements at a pet supply store or from your veterinarian.
Chondroitin is in the same family as glucosamine and actually serves to restore the natural function of your pet’s joints. This supplement helps rebuild the cushion in the commonly affected joints and also lubricates the joint to prevent friction and pain. Again with these supplements, you should begin with a high dose first and work your way down based on appropriate response. Pet-safe chondroitin supplements are typically fairly easy to find as well.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil contains important omega-3 fats. The most influential elements of fish oil are EPA and DHA, as they are the effective components of the nutrient. These compounds reduce inflammation and treat pain by lubricating the joints. When looking for an appropriate fish oil supplement, look for that contains salmon or EPA oil as these oils contain the most concentrated forms of omega-3 fatty acids. You can give your dog as much as one 300 mg supplement per 10 pounds of body weight each day. Many fish oil products actually need to be refrigerated to maintain their viability.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a supportive nutrient that your pet needs in addition to fish oil supplements. As your pet takes fish oil, its natural vitamin E levels may drop, so it is important to stabilize them with a nutritional supplement. Additionally, vitamin E has some anti-inflammatory effects that may be beneficial to arthritis treatment. The recommended doses of vitamin E vary by animal size, and range from 100 IU for a small dog to 200 IU for a medium-sized dog, and 400 IU for a large dog.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another important nutrient for treating arthritis in dogs. Calcium contains important nutritional compounds that help reduce inflammation. The nutrient also helps reestablish the appropriate function of nerve signals to better monitor pain. Look for calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate, ad these forms are easier on your dog’s stomach.
Here is a daily dosage guide for adult dogs:
Small dogs 500mg - 1,000mg
Medium - Large dogs 1,000mg - 2,000mg
Giant dogs 2,000mg - 4,000mg
Start with the lowest recommended dosage and gradually increase it once or twice per year. If the dog is producing loose stools the dosage may be a bit high so cut back slightly and increase it gradually over time.
Continue reading below to find additional suggestions from our readers for treating arthritis in your dog.
Arthritis - http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/arthritis
Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms and Causes - http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/arthritis-in-dogs-symptoms-and-causes
Canine Arthritis Treatment - http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/10_3/features/Canine-Arthritis_15910-1.html
Remedies for Arthritis
The Popularity of Arthritis Remedies - Full List
|Apple Cider Vinegar||6||2013-01-28|
|Chlorophyll, Olive Oil, Broccoli||1||2009-03-07|
|Exercise, Turmeric, Glucosamine, MSM||1||2008-10-03|
|Glucosamine, Turmeric, Blackstrap Molasses||1||2012-05-18|
|Olive Leaf Extract||1||2012-01-24|
|Over the Counter||0||2011-09-05|
|Raw Goat's Milk||1||2009-08-02|
|Traumeel and Goji Juice||0||2009-01-04|
|Traumeel and Zeel||2||2010-01-15|
|Turmeric, Glucosamine, Chondroitin||0||2011-03-26|
I was friends with Alan & Louise Shepard (the astronaut & wife) through a close friend at work in 1996 or so. On a trip to Wimberley, Tx, to visit thier daughter and husband (my friend), they brought a small aging mixed chihuahua with arthritis so bad he could hardly get around. I shared with them, my dad's teachings of giving aging dogs alfalfa tabs crunched up in thier food to help give the joints natural lubrication. In the following weeks I received a letter from Alan & Louise thanking me so much for the tip as their dog was rejuvenated and walking like he had not done in years. Try it, it works. 500- 1500 mg tabs in the food will do it.
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Posted by Liv (Bendigo, Victoria, Australia) on 01/28/2013
Thought it may be helpful to share this: My 13 year old female Irish Terrier suffers from rheumatoid and osteo arthritis in her lower back/back legs. Current treatment includes: 1/4 tablet of Deramax daily (anti-inflammatory) which she eats from my hand; and an injection of Synovan (0. 7ml) under the skin every 10 days (a neighbour who is a nurse administers the drug for me, but if you don't mind injecting the dog you can do it yourself). Synovan is a synthetic joint lubrication (I'm told there is no human equivalent) and has turned my dog's life around. Four months ago she was quite suddenly unable to get up off the floor. We had to lift her with a towel and hold her up to do her business. She had stopped wagging her tail and was absolutely miserable. We quickly called the vet to the house and after assessing her administered Synovan. We were saying our goodbyes and quite distressed at seeing her condition. Within two days of the injection she was up and moving and even able to canter along. She has quite a lot of energy and is very interactive with us - so has great quality of life. I notice she still has some stiffness and hot spots so I'm very keen to try the Apple Cider Vinegar, and a neighbour was telling me tonight about the benefits of mixing Borax in some water to take away the arthritis - so I'll look into that after trying ACV. Although it's a pharmaceutical intervention, I'd recommend Synovan as a treatment option if you have a dog who is really suffering from arthritis/joint pain.
Replied by Deksman2
Posted by Katnco (Palisade, Co) on 09/20/2011
It's a miracle! I posted here on 8/03/11 that I put my 72 lb, 10 yr old dog on Apple Cider Vinegar for three days at that time and he was able to run. Since then, I've been committed to putting 1 tsp in his drinking water every morning - he has so much energy and flexibility! I wish there were a chiropractor to adjust him, because he needs it, but other than that, his youthful vigor has reappeared! THANK YOU EC for blessing us with your information. I truly thought I'd have to put my dog down he was in so much pain. Now he is free to run and play again! I also give him Glucosomine/Chondroitin every morning (1crushed pill) in his food.
Replied by Chic
Las Pinas City, Manila,philippines
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Posted by Denise (Pittsburgh, PA) on 07/23/2009
I have a 9 1/2 year old coonhound mix with arthritis in her front leg(s??). With our vet's recommendation we started her on the Rx med for arthritis. This seemed to take the edge off but not much more than that. Recently I switched from that Rx to a liquid chondroiton/glucosamine msm. Although its been only a week, it doesnt seem to be doing much yet, and maybe we havent given it enough time. I would be interested in trying the ACV rememdy if someone could tell me the dosage for a 9 1/2 year old dog who is approx. 82 lbs.
Replied by Trea
Shirley, New York
Replied by Michael
Posted by JN (Washington, DC) on 01/24/2008
Please Post this Question on the site. I have been reading about ACV remedies for Dogs. I have a 6 yr old Lab who might be suffering from Arthritis (took her to 3 Vets with X-Rays that don't show anything but she limps each time she gets up) and need to know what is the dosage and how to administer it? Any suggestions as I am desparate to make her feel better as I have stopped her from running or playing with other dogs and she loves to run!!! I strongly believe in natural cures, please help. Thanks
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Seal Beach, CA
Replied by Yolanda
Atlanta, GA, USA
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Mission, BC Canada
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Posted by Wendy (Canada)
My Chocolate Lab Sam has arthritis and was recently attacked by a dog. I had started him on ACV before but forgot sometimes. He has been on it faithfully for the past 3 weeks now and is getting better and better. He is on a raw diet and I just mix it in. For those dog owners who have dogs with failing health I recommend you look at the BARF diet. I wouldn't have believed that a dog who I was told would be dead in 3 months from liver problems would completely turn around due to diet and supplements(including ACV). We are what we eat and so are our pets. It has been 11 months and Sammy is doing great!
Replied by Ron
Tottenham, Ontario, Canada
Posted by Sandi (Rehoboth MA)
I personally use it several times day, it works for different problems. All the dogs (7) are on it, from a disabled dachsie to three young healthy dachsies. It helps with arthritis, ear problems, wounds, itching. Adjust ph levels, prevents uti's. Gives them a healthy skin and also cleans out the bodies, like it does for humans
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Los Angeles, Ca, Usa
Posted by Cathy (Cape Coral, Fl, Usa) on 07/18/2011
After reading blogs on molasses for dogs I have put our 2 older Dobermans on it. Our 10 year old female had been having difficulty getting up, and she wasn't interested in a lot of activities. Our 9 year old male still has lots of energy but I felt it would be advisable to start him on the same regimine as a precautionary measure. Our female, after 2 weeks is doing so much better, even trying to get our male to play yesterday. We haven't been able to find any information as to whether molasses for an arthritic cat would be safe? Our 16 year old Calico has been diagnosed with severe arthritis in her hips and is on a chrondrotin/glucosamine product which after 2 weeks has really helped, but I'm wondering if it wouldn't be advisable to also give her molasses. Can you advise as to whether it's safe, and if so what the correct dosage for a 10 lb cat would be?
Thank you, Cathy
Replied by Mark
Long Valley, Nj
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Tampa, Fl, United States
Posted by Kami (Virginia Beach, Va) on 12/04/2010
My 13-year-old Beagle mix has had hip problems (displaysia) since he was about 6, tore his ACL and had knee surgery to fix it at age 8, and has suffered from arthritis pain in his hind quarters for years. We were given the typical arthritis meds from the Vet, but it didn't seem to work, and we hated taking him in for blood tests all the time. This past year he really seemed to get worse - to the point of me lifting him to his feet, carrying him outside, and bringing him food and water in bed. He moaned in his sleep, and yelped when he tried to get up on his own... I was thinking it was time for that dreaded visit to the vet.
Then someone referred me to this website. I've tried a few of the remedies (ACV, tumeric, all 3 mixed), but Blackstrap Molasses, alone made the biggest difference. About a month ago, I started giving him about 1/2-3/4 tsp Blackstrap Molasses wrapped in a small piece of bread once a day (in the morning after his breakfast. He weighs 42 lbs. ) Now, he gets up on his own, goes up and down small flights of steps on his own, runs, goes on walks, plays with his doggie sister, and doesn't moan. He jumps up to get food off the dining room table, gets into the trash... He is back to his old bad behaviors. Even my husband (who was very skeptical) says it's like night and day. This site is wonderful. Thank you!
Replied by Mark
Long Valley, Jersey
Posted by Gwen (Denver, Co) on 12/15/2009
Wasn't sure if ACV or Molasses was the best place to respond, so I'll post as follow up.
I do a lot of rescue with little dogs. I have 4 right now. One is my daughter's dog that I have been babysitting while she was on a year tour in Mosul, Iraq. She is coming for xmas this weekend & will be taking her baby home with her to Fort Hood in Texas when she returns.
We live in Colorado & am just coming out of a deep freeze for 2 weeks! During the last weekend, my Silky Terrier started whining in pain! ( 6 or 7 years old?) Even though he loves his walks outside & play in the snow, he couldn't even make a full walk around our building. The sever cold was doing something terrible to him! We've a 2bdrm upstairs townhouse, & he couldn't make it up or down the stairs, up or down on couch or bed. He'd just stand there & stare. He's never been through anything like that. His eyes were clear, gum color good, eating, drinking, peeing, but not pooping so well! I think it was too painful. I kept giving him massages & found a small bump on his lower spine. He goes really stupid when we see other dogs on our walks, so I thought maybe he did something to his spine. Looked for animal chiropractor, but too cold to get him anywhere, so kept looking as that was all I could do besides keeping him comfy.
I was freaking out as it was a weekend, everyone's car was in the deep freeze, & the Holistic Vet is about 15 miles up the mountain from me. Luckily, I had some Rimadyl, pain killer left I dosed him with even though I don't trust pharm med's while I research the web for solutions......
I use earth clinic for holistic remedies for me & my pets, & believe me I've saved $1,000's in Vet bills.....& I haven't been to a Doc since 2001. I'm 60.
I also comb through the people section & adjust the dosage for pets.
I ran across "Molasses for Arthritis", pets & humans. My neighbor dug out to go to the store so I had them pick some up for Sparky. OMG! It worked! I dosed him pretty good the first 24 hours & I was just amazed how well it worked for him! He was soon back to him ol'self within 24 hours later. I also gave it to the other 3 dogs in smaller dosage. They are all now so full of energy they are driving me crazy, lol!
I already put h2o, ACV, pinch of Sea Salt in their daily water bowl, but am just amazed how well the Molasses worked for the cold weather Arthritis!
I wanted to post a Thank You follow up to earth clinic & all the wonderful people that share their experiences here!
Happy Holidays & Much Love & Blessings to All!
EC: Thanks for the great feedback! Can you let us know how much blackstrap molasses you are giving your dog and approximately how much he weighs?
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Posted by Kassewss (Louisvillle, Ms) on 11/14/2009
hey, i am new tothis site and have read about bms for dogs with arthitis and want to try it as i have 3 elderly dogs. stormy is a boxer(13), kansas-mixed(15), rainey (11) suffer from stiff joints and storm can't jump on the bed by herself sometimes.
how much do i start out with as i don't want to overdo it. i will probably try 2-3 tbsps. a day until advised otherwise.
i sure hope this works. kansas also has severe ear infections and i am going to try the apple cider vinegar, water & alcohol mixture to cure the fungus in her ears. wish us good luck. thanks to all that have contributed.
Replied by Dara
Newport Beach, Ca
Posted by ArtsyWench (Las Vegas, NV) on 04/28/2009
I have a 9 year old, 88lb, female Akita. She stopped eating, was listless and had trouble getting up. Since she had cancer a couple of years back, we rushed her to the vet fearing the worst. $1700 in vet bills later, nothing was found (bloodwork, catscan, xrays, stool samples, urine samples, the works). So the doctor thought maybe she had a case of cold weather joint pain or arthritis. I wasn't willing to start her on medication until I did some research. A friend told me her dog had the same symptoms and her holistics vet gave her Blackstrap Molasses, (and this site backed it up) so I tried it and within 2 doses (24 hours) she was up and around... now only 2 weeks later, she's pulling me up hills on our walks.
I give her a tbsp in the morning and another tbsp at night... and if I miss a dose, I can tell. So, I don't know if it's doggie crack or what, but she is very close to being back to her young self.
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Escondido, Ca. Usa
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Posted by Amelia (Hattiesburg, Ms) on 09/12/2008
I read the email about the dogs being given the Blackstrap Molasses and how they are vibrant and doing fine, so I decided to give my pomeranian who is suffering from arthritis some BSM on some cooked white rice. Well I'm glad I did and I am giving it to him and my other dogs over white rice every 2 days and boy do they have energy. My Pom has been jumping like he use to jump before the arthritis pain. I have a miniture chihuahua and 2 American Stafford Shireterriers and they all seem more vibrant and happy. I myself take BSM and it has worked wonders for me. My anemia is over, my tiredness is gone, I feel so much better since reading this BSM Info on this site. Thank you guys so much and may God forever Bless each of you that shared.
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Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
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San Ramon, Ca
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Kern County, Ca