12 Effective Natural Arthritis Remedies for Dogs

| Modified on Dec 28, 2023
Dog Arthritis Natural Remedies

As dogs age, many experience arthritis, leading to pain and reduced mobility. This condition is more common in larger breeds due to the extra strain their weight puts on their joints. Early signs include difficulty standing after rest and a noticeable change in movement.

While there's no cure for arthritis, a combination of lifestyle changes and natural remedies can significantly enhance your dog's quality of life. Here, we explore the best natural treatments for canine arthritis.

Comprehensive Care for Canine Arthritis

The ASPCA highlights that while arthritis is incurable, effective pain management is achievable. A holistic approach, combining conventional and natural treatments, is often recommended. This includes nutritional supplements, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight management.

Top Natural Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs

The most effective treatment plans for canine arthritis combine traditional veterinary care with scientifically backed natural remedies, providing a comprehensive approach to your pet's health. Studies have shown that nutritional supplements are among the most effective means of combating arthritis in dogs. Supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C, along with various herbs, have been found to alleviate arthritis-related pain, decrease inflammation, and enhance your dog's mobility.

1. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses has emerged as a popular natural remedy for dog arthritis, especially noted for its popularity on Earth Clinic. This type of molasses is rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are believed to play a role in maintaining joint health.

  • Mineral-Rich Content: Blackstrap molasses is a concentrated byproduct of the sugar refining process, containing a high level of beneficial minerals.
  • Joint Health Support: The minerals in blackstrap molasses, particularly magnesium, are known for their role in bone and joint health. Magnesium can help in maintaining joint flexibility and reducing inflammation.
  • Natural Sweetness: Its natural sweetness can make it an appealing addition to your dog’s diet, especially for pets that might be picky about supplements.

How to Use Blackstrap Molasses for Canine Arthritis

  • Dosage: Start with a small amount, like a teaspoon, mixed into your dog's food, and observe how your pet responds.
  • Gradual Introduction: Increase slowly, ensuring it agrees with your dog’s digestive system.
  • Quality Matters: Choose organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses to ensure your pet gets a pure product without additives.

Cautions and Considerations

  • Sugar Content: While it is a natural product, blackstrap molasses does contain sugar. It should be used in moderation, especially for dogs with diabetes or weight issues.
  • High Iron Warning: Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron. Excessive or prolonged use can lead to health issues, such as kidney problems. It's recommended to use it intermittently rather than continuously.
  • Veterinary Advice: Always consult your veterinarian before adding any new supplement to your dog’s diet, especially if your pet has existing health conditions.


DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide) is a compound commonly used in veterinary medicine, particularly for horses. It has gained attention for its potential benefits in treating arthritis and joint pain in dogs. DMSO is known for reducing inflammation and relieving pain, making it a candidate for treating dog arthritis symptoms.

A Remarkable Story from an Earth Clinic Reader

Sam from North County San Diego shared an inspiring story on Earth Clinic about her16-year-old toy poodle, who suffered from severe joint pain and immobility. After conventional treatments seemed to offer little hope, Sam turned to DMSO as a last resort. They used a gel formulation of DMSO mixed with aloe, applying it to the dog's affected limbs with a cotton ball.

Within 90 minutes of applying DMSO to the dog's left front leg, it relaxed back into its natural position. After applying it down the dog's spine the next day, the other legs, previously frozen and stiff, also returned to her normal state. Over the following days, the poodle gradually regained the strength to stand and walk.

3. Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase, a natural enzyme, is gaining recognition for its effectiveness in managing arthritis in pets. It functions by breaking down proteins that contribute to inflammation and pain. This action can help alleviate arthritis symptoms, improving pet mobility and comfort.

User Experience from Canada

Lorraine from Canada shared her positive experience with Serrapeptase on Earth Clinic. She has found it exceptionally effective for her elderly, arthritic cats and dogs. According to Lorraine, serrapeptase works best when administered on an empty stomach one hour before or two hours after meals. Her consistent success with this supplement highlights its potential as a natural and effective treatment for pet arthritis.

4. Alfalfa

Alfalfa, a perennial herb, is renowned for its potential benefits in managing dog arthritis. Rich in essential nutrients, it is believed to support joint health and provide natural lubrication to aging joints.

A Testimonial from Austin, Texas

Lanehausen from Austin, Texas, shared an impactful story on Earth Clinic about the use of alfalfa for dogs with arthritis. Lanehausen recounted an encounter with Alan & Louise Shepard (the astronaut and his wife), who had a small aging Chihuahua suffering from severe arthritis. Lanehausen suggested using alfalfa tablets, a remedy passed down from their father, to help with the dog's joint issues. After incorporating crunched-up alfalfa tablets into their dog's food, the Shepards observed a remarkable improvement. The dog, previously struggling with mobility, was rejuvenated and able to walk much better. They expressed their gratitude in a letter, confirming the effectiveness of this natural remedy.

  • Dosage: The suggested dosage ranges from 500 to 1500 mg tablets mixed into the dog’s food.
  • Benefits: Alfalfa is believed to provide natural joint lubrication and improve mobility in dogs with arthritis.
  • Nutrient-Rich: It is packed with vitamins and minerals beneficial for overall health.

Considerations When Using Alfalfa

Consultation with a Veterinarian: It's important to talk to a vet before introducing alfalfa into your dog's diet, especially if they have existing health conditions or are on medication.
Quality of Supplement: Ensure you are using high-quality alfalfa supplements to avoid any additives or contaminants.
Monitor for Allergic Reactions: While rare, some dogs may be allergic to alfalfa. Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions when introducing this supplement.

5. Glucosamine

Glucosamine, a crucial nutrient for canine arthritis, works by providing protective benefits beyond merely reducing symptoms. Classified as a glycosaminoglycan, glucosamine aids in rebuilding depleted cartilage and replenishing joint fluid, crucial for dogs suffering from arthritis. Research indicates the effectiveness of starting with higher doses of glucosamine to gauge your dog's response, followed by gradual dose adjustment. Widely available as a dietary supplement, glucosamine for dogs can be found at pet supply stores or obtained through your veterinarian. This approach ensures your dog receives the right support for joint health and arthritis management.

6. Chondroitin

Chondroitin, closely related to glucosamine, is pivotal in restoring the natural functioning of your dog's joints. This supplement plays a key role in rebuilding the cushioning within joints commonly affected by arthritis, while also providing lubrication to minimize friction and alleviate pain. Similar to glucosamine, it's advisable to start with a higher dosage of chondroitin to observe your pet's response, then adjust the dose accordingly. Chondroitin supplements designed specifically for pets are generally easy to find, ensuring your dog receives targeted support for joint health and comfort.

7. Fish Oil

Fish oil, rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, is a crucial supplement for dogs with arthritis. The most beneficial components of fish oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. These elements help reduce joint inflammation and alleviate pain by lubricating the joints. When selecting a fish oil supplement, opt for salmon or high EPA content products, as these are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids. The recommended daily dosage is up to 300 mg per 10 pounds of your dog's body weight. It's important to note that many fish oil supplements require refrigeration to preserve their effectiveness.

8. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for dogs, especially when taking fish oil supplements. Fish oil consumption can deplete a dog's natural vitamin E levels, making it important to supplement this nutrient. Vitamin E also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial in treating canine arthritis. The recommended dosage of vitamin E varies depending on the dog's size: 100 IU for small dogs, 200 IU for medium-sized dogs, and 400 IU for large dogs.

9. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is vital in the management of arthritis in dogs. It plays a key role in reducing inflammation and aids in properly functioning nerve signals, which is important for pain management. When choosing a vitamin C supplement, opt for calcium or sodium ascorbate forms, as they are gentler on your dog's stomach. The daily dosage guide for adult dogs is as follows:

  • Small dogs: 500mg - 1,000mg
  • Medium to large dogs: 1,000mg - 2,000mg
  • Giant dogs: 2,000mg - 4,000mg

Begin with the lowest recommended dose and gradually increase it, ideally once or twice a year. If your dog experiences loose stools, this may indicate that the dosage is too high. In such cases, slightly reduce and gradually increase the dose over time.

10. Herbal Tonic

Lizardhaven, from Desert Hot Springs, California, shared a valuable post on Earth Clinic detailing an herbal tea remedy used for pets with various health issues, particularly those sent home after unsuccessful cancer treatments or those too old for treatment. The focus of this remedy has been to enhance the quality of life and potentially extend the lifespan of these pets.

Herbal Tea Composition:

  • Ingredients: The tea is made from powdered neem, graviola, chapparal, and andrographis. The ratio used is two parts each of neem, graviola, and chapparal, to one part andrographis.
  • Preparation: The ingredients are brewed into a strong tea.

Effects and Efficacy:

  • General Improvement: Pets consuming this tea reportedly felt better within a few days.
  • Arthritis and Joint Issues: The tea consistently improved conditions like arthritis and other joint problems.
  • Aging Symptoms: Symptoms related to pet aging also seemed to improve significantly.
  • Use as an Arthritis Remedy: Due to its effectiveness, many have started using this tonic specifically as a remedy for arthritis in pets.

Understanding the Ingredients:

  • Neem: Known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • Graviola: Often used for its anti-cancer properties and ability to relieve pain.
  • Chapparal: Recognized for its antioxidant and potential anti-cancer effects.
  • Andrographis: A herb known for boosting immune system response and reducing inflammation.

11. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is increasingly recognized for its benefits in supporting joint health in pets, particularly those suffering from arthritis or joint issues. This naturally occurring substance plays a vital role in maintaining joint lubrication and cushioning, essential for animal mobility and comfort.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in Pets

  • Joint Lubrication: HA helps maintain the synovial fluid that lubricates joints, essential for reducing friction and easing movement.
  • Supports Cartilage Health: It aids in maintaining the health of cartilage, which acts as a cushion between bones in a joint.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Hyaluronic acid can help reduce joint inflammation, alleviating pain and discomfort associated with arthritis.

Administration of Hyaluronic Acid

  • Oral Supplements: HA is available in oral supplement form, which can be added to a pet's diet.
  • Injections: In some cases, veterinarians may recommend HA injections directly into the joint, especially for more severe cases.
  • Combined Treatments: Often used in conjunction with other joint-support supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin for enhanced effects.

12. Yucca Extract

Yucca extract, derived from the root of the Yucca plant, is gaining attention in pet health, particularly for its potential benefits in managing arthritis and joint pain in animals.

Benefits of Yucca Extract for Pets

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Yucca is known for its natural anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help reduce pain and swelling in pets suffering from arthritis or other joint issues.
  • Pain Relief: It has compounds believed to provide pain relief, making it a valuable supplement for pets experiencing discomfort due to joint problems.
  • Supports Overall Health: Yucca extract is also rich in nutrients that can contribute to the general well-being of pets.

For more advice and insights on treating arthritis in dogs, please continue reading below for additional suggestions from our readers.

Related Links:

Natural Remedies for Joint Pain in Dogs
Top Natural Back Pain Remedies for Holistic Relief


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Me (Vista) on 01/27/2018

Best thing for arthritis is alfalfa.I used alfalfa capsules wrapped in cheese and gave it to my chihuahua and it healed the arthritis in her hip.

Replied by Cathy

Hi, where can I buy these alfalfa capsules and what dosing for 5lb Chihuahua? I've given the powdered alfalfa in food before but never heard of the capsules. Thanks so much!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lanehausen (Austin, Texas) on 10/10/2011

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
4 star (1) 

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 Caren
(Highlands Ranch, Co)

There is such a person as an animal chiropractor. Her name is Debbie O'Reilly D.C./Vibrant Energy Healing Center. She adjusts humans, horses, dogs and other animals. I have gone to her in the past for my sweet Pom, Teddy. Hope this helps

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Trea (Shirley, New York) on 01/22/2010

I tried ACV for my dog today and it made it a little bit better. She hurt her leg when she went out to do her business this morning. She was limping when she came back in. She's a 3 year old Shepherd/Lab mix and occasionally limps when she's been laying down awhile. Two hours after the ACV and a little bit of sea salt in her water and she was at least able to touch her paw back on the floor again, before that she was hopping around.

In the afternoon I put some amalaki juice in with her food just two teaspoons full and about an hour after that she was able to put her full weight on her foot again. She's still limping slightly but that's a big improvement.

I had been given a few bottles of amalaki juice a few months ago by a friend and used it myself and was amazed at how much it had helped my shoulder. I had injured my shoulder at work years ago and assumed I developed arthritis in it because whenever I do yard work it acts up. It worked so quickly that I was amazed. I realized I could not afford the brand he gets but was able to find a much cheaper brand with almost all of the same ingredients and it worked too.

I figured I had nothing to lose so I tried it on the dog. I'm not sure if it was the salt in the water, the ACV or the amalaki juice but I'm happy she's doing better. I am still going to mix some ACV in with her food tonight though and some amalaki juice tomorrow morning with her food.

Apple Cider Vinegar
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!

Apple Cider Vinegar
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

Blackstrap Molasses

11 User Reviews
5 star (10) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Heather (Canandaigua, NY) on 05/15/2023

We have a 15 year old Lhasa Poo named Sofie. On good days she will still zoom around like a puppy but those good days were becoming fewer and farther between. Arthritis was setting in and you could clearly see it in her back legs, esp. She has a 4 year old lab/boxer sister and they sleep together on a giant bed in our living room. Over the past several weeks her sister would bound up in the mornings, raring to go outside, while Sofie would either continue to sleep or try to get up painfully slow, and collapse back down on the bed. She was also having issues walking up and down the stairs so we started carrying her on the really bad days.

I wanted to improve her quality of life, if I could, and I always check EC first. I am a nurse but a deep believer in holistic health and have tried other remedies from EC that have always worked. Thankfully I already had a tub of black strap on hand so I started mixing a tsp into her wet food, twice daily, along with kibble and water. She gobbles it up. I completely forgot to mention this to my husband. 2 days later he said to me, "Honey, you should have seen Sofie this morning. She was up and running around before Luna even woke up! She ran down the stairs and up again, came in the house and started doing zoomies! " I just grinned and shared with him what I had been giving her. It's been almost a week and she's still energetic, moving well and doesn't seem to be in pain. I'm so thankful! Now I'm off to try some remedies for her cataracts. If we can get that reversed then we'll have given her the fountain of youth.

Thank you so much, EC!

Replied by dar

FYI kibble is 4D -‘Dead, Diseased, Dying, and Disabled


It's Not Pet Food, It's a Waste Disposal System

June 3,2018 in Pet Food Ingredients
Susan Thixton
...The FDA openly admits these types of animal feed/pet feed ingredients are illegal – remain illegal. But the agency makes it clear they are CHOOSING not to enforce law. The agency is CHOOSING to allow pets to consume diseased animal material, CHOOSING to allow pets to consume decomposing, dead, non-slaughtered animal material.
The agency is CHOOSING to allow the pet feed industry to profit from the sale of illegal ingredients. And significantly – illegal ingredients are allowed by FDA with no disclosure on the pet food label. No warning to any consumer.
...FDA's own testing found dog foods to contain pentobarbital – a drug used to euthanize animals (can't get more toxic than that).


Horrifying – Laboratory Animals rendered into Pet Food

The rendering of laboratory test animals into pet food ingredients is simply unacceptable. Untested drugs, euthanasia drugs, and various species of test animals, all to possibly become part of a family pet's food, is inexcusable.

The carcasses of these test animals and the drugs and chemicals within them should never become rendered into pet food.

Please look at the label of your pet's food and treats for the ingredients ‘animal fat', ‘by-product meal', ‘meat and bone meal', ‘meat meal' (not ‘chicken meal' or ‘turkey meal' or any other specific named meat meal), and ‘Animal Digest'; feeding your pet a food or treat with these ingredients could mean you are feeding the remains of a laboratory test animal and the drugs within that animal.

Unfortunately, many Rx pet foods designed to treat a pet illness contain some of these ingredients.

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by Kim (Colorado ) on 04/03/2019

Can cats handle blackstrap molasses? My 14 yo cat has really bad arthritis in his back legs. Thank you!!

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by Maggie's Dad (Cedar Rapids, Ia) on 03/08/2017

After reading the blackstrap molasses reviews I figured I would give it a try on my 12 yo Golden Retriever. She has arthritis in her hips and is on an anti-inflammatory. Over the past few weeks she has been declining to the point where she needed help to get up off the floor and could not do a short set of steps to get in and out. Was thinking we were getting near the end with her so I tried the molasses. She has been on it for 6 days and she is doing amazing! Still a little slow to get up, but gets up on her own with no problems. I am amazed. I started out giving her 1 Tbls twice a day on a piece of bread but after a couple of days I backed off to 1 tsp twice a day and she is still doing very well. Thank you to all who posted on here before me, if it had not been for the posts I would have been making a very hard decision now instead. Hope my review helps others!

Replied by Apryl
(Aiken, Sc)


Did the Molasses make your dog puke? Cause ever since I've been giving it to him. He has vomited twice this week! But, his Arthritis has been a lot better. He weighs 80 pds, and I have been giving him 1 TS twice a day.Can't figure why it makes him sick??

Replied by Kaybeebee
(Gulf Coast)

curious...how do you get your dog to take BSM (black strap molasses)?

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by Roxie (Emporia, Kansas) on 12/31/2014

I have a 10 year old pug and since the weather got cold he could barely get himself up from a laying position, I mix black strap mollases, coconut oil, peanut butter and he licks it off my finger. He can now get up by himself and does not walk stiff legged anymore. I also give him 1 low dose asprin a day for the pain and have added esther c to it also, I am amazed at how well he is doing now.

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by Norak (Tampa, Fl, United States) on 11/13/2012

I give my 70-lb boxer/pit mix 1 TBSP. In the morning for arthritis and that seems to last all day. It's amazing how quickly it transformed him. In fact, when I saw what it did for him, I started taking it myself for arthritis and it works!

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by Blistersister (Brampton, Ontario Canada) on 08/01/2012

Thank you for information about the blackstrap molasses I started my 12 yr old lab on this and within 2 days I can already see a difference. I live in a basement apt and she has to go upstairs to go out. Before it took her almost 5 min to climb up the stairs today she bounded up like a little pup. Thank you so much for giving me back by baby.

Blackstrap Molasses
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.

Blackstrap Molasses
Posted by April (Hollidaysburg, Pa) on 03/20/2011

Thanks to everyone who posted on here. You have helped my eleven year old Rottweiler in ways you can never understand. I've been reading up on natural products for arthritis, began giving her organic black strap molasses and organic extra virgin coconut oil and in twenty-four hours she has become almost completely pain free and feeling like she is getting stronger each day. Thank everyone so much for your notes on what you have tried.

Replied by Misty

How much coconut oil have you been giving your dog?

Blackstrap Molasses
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!

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