Arthritis Remedies for Dogs

| Modified on Oct 07, 2023
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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.

1. Glucosamine

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.

2. Chondroitin

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.

Additional Pages of Interest:

Joint Pain Remedies for Dogs

Back Pain in Pets


Arthritis -
Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms and Causes -
Canine Arthritis Treatment -


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

10 User Reviews
5 star (8) 
4 star (2) 

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)
05/15/2022 do you get your dog to take BSM (black strap molasses)?

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 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!

Blackstrap Molasses
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. 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!

Lady Gwen

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?

Replied by Gwen
(Denver, Co)

Came back to add that I quit dosing for 2-3 days as weather has gotten better, then today we are in pain again. I've started him back on the Molasses tonight. I may just have to make it as a regular supplement, instead of weekly like the other pups, with his daily meals. Would have taken him to the Vet if it hadn't gotten better, but I already know it would be x-rays & cortisone shot & am trying to not do that. If it continues I will try an animal chiropractor to check it out. I'll be back to update progress in a couple of weeks. Some kind of inflammation problem. I may also try adding Turmeric in a couple of days, but don't want to constipate him just yet. I'll research dosage for that one........and let you know or please advise.

He's probably 10-15 lbs. I started with about a tablespoon on a plate....he ate it. So I cooked some rice like someone else on here said to do, & mixed in another big spoon full. A tablespoon here, a tablespoon there, just really wanted to get it into his system. I did this a couple of times into the night, & like I said, he was his old self the next day!

I think it would be pretty hard to over dose when giving natural remedies. When your animal doesn't feel good they will let you know when they've had enough. They seem to know.

Thanks again & Many blessing to all,

Lady Gwen

Replied by Edith
(Ventura, Ca)

Hi there. When I was reading this I wondered if you would also consider getting little boots for your dogs feet in the snow? My little dog suffered through last year's blizzards in New York, and I had to get little boots to protect her feet from the snow and salt on the sidewalks and it helped her so much. Also, when she came inside, I would take the boots off and her feet would be dry--no mess at all.

Replied by Karen
(Wheatland, Wy.)

I have been using Blackstrap for years, you have to be careful with it. It is high in iron and if you use it for long periods of time it can cause kidney problems. Do not use it all the time, just when needed. Just a thought.

Blackstrap Molasses
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.

Replied by Christy
(PA, US)

I've heard NOT to give dogs white rice. Only give them brown rice. Apparently, something about the white rice is really bad for dogs. That is all I know about it. Sounds like the molasses is good though.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Christy!

I must respectfully disagree with you! I did some fact checking, and this is what I learned about it.

White rice is not really bad for dogs. In fact, because of its high digestibility, it is a good food to feed to a dog with tummy upset. White rice is close to brown rice in nutrition: brown rice has just a wee bit more nutritional benefit. White rice is superior to brown rice in terms of arsenic levels, so a better choice for young animals.

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