What can I give my old dog for stiff joints? What to Know

How can I help a dog with arthritis at home?

Medical advice from your veterinarian is invaluable when you are trying to manage your dog’s arthritis pain. However, arthritis treatments like physical therapy and acupuncture are usually performed at your vet’s office, so you may be wondering how to help a dog with arthritis at home.

To address this concern, I want to share with you eight at-home arthritis management tips that can make a huge difference for your senior dog.

#7 – Provide a soft, supportive bed

Sore joints need more cushion to be comfortable. Lying on the floor with little to no cushioning causes painful pressure points. Investing in a high-quality orthopedic bed may help your dog start their mornings with a little less pain.

Acupuncture helps to stimulate the body’s own anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing responses. The tiny needles involved stimulate nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic bundles to improve blood flow, release pain-fighting enkephalins, and reduce inflammation. While it may not be a great option for dogs who dislike being handled, it can be a great supplemental treatment program that may bring your dog a lot of pain relief.

Canine massage therapy can help improve blood circulation, loosen stiff muscles, and provide relaxation. There are some techniques you can learn to do yourself. Yet, you may prefer to find somebody who has been nationally certified in canine massage and acupressure.

According to Dog Guide:

Homeopathy can be confusing to those who aren’t familiar with it. It may be best handled by an experienced holistic veterinarian.

Create a prescription medication plan with your vet and track your dog’s progress.

Based on your dog’s exam findings and medical history, your veterinarian may prescribe certain medications to help decrease joint pain. These include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Opioid medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medications to reduce nerve pain
  • Your dog may take some of these medications on a once-a-day or twice-a-day basis long term. Other medications might be used on an as needed basis. Work with your veterinarian to create the medication plan that is right for your dog and keep your vet updated on how your dog is doing. I advise my clients to keep a simple daily journal for their senior dogs because it helps us chart changes, improvements, potential medication side effects, and make more objective assessments of progress.

    By the way, I understand that getting your dog to take prescription medications isn’t always a walk in the park. I’ve been there with my own four-legged family members. That’s why I came up with my five favorite tips if your dog won’t take pills.

    Never give any human pain medications to your dog unless directed to do so by your veterinarian. Dog-specific NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for arthritic dogs because they effectively reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain. However, you must never give your dog human NSAIDs due to the risk of life-threatening side effects. Learn more in my article: Can I Give My Dog Advil?

    How To Know If Your Dog Is Experiencing Joint Pains