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Natural Remedies for Your Pet's Joint Health

Medication such as steroids and NSAIDs may be the most effective way to treat the acute pain and inflammation of arthritis, but like all medications, they come with side effects, some of which can be damaging in the long term. So many pet owners turn to natural remedies to help provide their fur baby with some relief.

Dietary changes

Don’t underestimate just how much diet can affect an animal’s wellbeing, regardless of whether they have health problems or not. Adding foods that promote joint health such as calcium, omega 3 and healthy protein can maintain joint health, and promote strong bones and muscles to take the pressure off the joints. And for pets with arthritis, it’s not just the quality of the ingredients that matter but the amount they are being fed. Being overweight is problematic as the excess fat can exacerbate inflammation within the body, plus the extra weight puts pressure on the painful joints.

Dietary supplements

Along with the food itself, there are non-medicated supplements available that are designed specifically for joint support in cats and dogs. These can work in a number of ways to help your pet, including reducing inflammation, repairing damaged cartilage, improving lubrication of the joints. Supplements include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin and are available as powders, capsules or chews.

Acupuncture

Though it may sound strange, acupuncture for pets is one of the more common natural therapies used to treat the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Acupuncture consists of placing very small needles at certain pressure points on the body – but don’t be alarmed, it’s not a painful process. The procedure helps to reduce pain by inhibiting the nerve pathways for pain signal transmission, as well as stimulating the immune system to help reduce inflammation.

Physical therapy

Keeping your four-legged friend fit and mobile will give your pet the best chance of coping with arthritis and other joint problems. Massage or physiotherapy can be great for relieving pain and stiffness, especially where the limping has caused your pet to put additional strain on the muscles of the other legs. Hydrotherapy is an excellent way to maintain fitness in animals with advanced arthritis, as it allows them to exercise without putting any pressure on joints or ligaments. Strengthening or balancing exercises can be helpful to build up the muscles around the joint, which again reduces wear and strain.

Preventative measures

Of course, the best treatment is to prevent joint problems from developing in the first place. Unlike medications, all of these natural therapies can be used on young or healthy dogs to ensure their joints are in the best possible conditions. Avoid joint injury by reducing activities that cause jarring of the joints, and adding rugs to slippery surfaces within the home. Where injuries do occur, make sure that they are treated promptly by a vet to reduce the danger of recurring issues. Also take care that your dog or cat does not become overweight, as this places unnecessary strain on the joints and increases general inflammation within the body.


Natural Remedies for Your Pet's Joint Health

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