Feeding Tips to Help Ease a Dog's Arthritis Pain

Posted on: 20 November 2017

Like humans, many dogs develop arthritis as they get older. Unlike humans, however, a dog can't understand why certain activities hurt them—nor can they be told to take it easy and avoid straining those inflamed joints.

Because you can't dish out medical advice to your dog, it's up to you to make sure they're living the easiest, most pain-free life possible. With dogs being such excitable, active animals, that can be easier said than done, but one thing that can make a big difference is feeding them the right diet.

Follow these feeding tips to help your dog stay healthy and comfortable in their later years.

Add in some whole foods

While ready-made dog food is great for keeping your pooch healthy on a day-to-day basis, if they've developed arthritis, you can throw in a few extras to help manage the condition.

Sweet potatoes are one of the most commonly discussed vegetables that help reduce inflammation, so cook some up and feed them as treats or as an addition to your dog's regular meals. You can also add in some fish oils to keep the joints working well, making life a little easier.

Keep their weight down

It's always important to stop dogs getting overweight, but never more so than when they have arthritis. Carrying around extra weight puts a lot of strain on limbs, which can make things very painful for your dog.

Although it can be difficult to control a hungry dog or resist those eyes when you've got something tasty they want, it's vital to stay firm. It's much better for your dog if they can lose a few pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Remember that, as dogs age and become less active, they need fewer calories each day.

Avoid harmful food ingredients

In large enough quantities, grains can increase inflammation in dogs. With many commercial dog foods containing varying quantities of grain ingredients, it pays to be aware of what you're feeding your pet.

If grain-based food is unavoidable, try to cut down how much you're feeding and make up the difference with fresh, whole food additions to your dog's diet.

Make sure everything is getting eaten

Dogs with arthritis sometimes find it difficult to stand for long, which can make them reluctant to stay at their food bowl long enough to finish everything. They might also be experiencing dental or jaw pain when they eat.

It's very important that they get enough calories and eat a balanced diet, so try to help your dog eat all their food, and consider softer or smaller pieces if necessary.