Like us, animals deal with a wide range of health issues as they age. These problems can range from mild issues such as hair loss or insomnia to more serious and debilitating issues that include memory loss, bowel troubles, diminished eyesight, hearing loss, heart problems, and weakened immune systems.
One issue that is fairly common in older dogs and which can range from manageable to debilitating is arthritis. Joint support for dogs is essential as they age because, without the right attention, arthritis, and similar bone and joint-related issues can severely impact your pet’s quality of life and even lead to other complications. Knowing how to spot when your dog is suffering from joint pain and understanding how to address it will ensure that your pet is able to stay mobile and comfortable into old age.
Let’s take a closer look at how joint problems develop in dogs and the best measures you can take to improve their bone health and prevent such problems from occurring. We will also look at the importance of natural treatments for arthritis in dogs and why this may be the avenue you want to pursue if you are wondering what you can do for your pet.
The Origin of Joint Pain and Discomfort in Dogs
Joint and bone problems are fairly common in older dogs, as about 1 in 5 in the United States suffer from arthritis. This is a huge number when you think about it, so it stands to reason that your dog may even be suffering from this degenerative bone disorder without you even being aware of it.
Unless you are specifically looking for it, your dog may not be announcing that there is anything wrong. Over time our pets learn to cope with certain issues and limitations, as animals are wont to do, and will put on a happy face despite everything. Some signs of joint issues may include lethargy, loss of appetite, sluggish movements, reluctance to play, and general stiffness. These symptoms may not be obvious, so it’s important to pay close attention to your dog to determine if there may be an arthritis issue.
Of course, arthritis in dogs can be far more serious and even become debilitating. Signs of acute osteoarthritis include lack of wanting to get up, obvious limping, lack of energy, crying when getting up or being touched in certain areas, as well as changes in behavior such as newfound aggression or temerity.
These signs and symptoms may appear all at once, but chances are the environment that has led to your dog’s condition has been in the making for years. Degenerative joint issues take a while to manifest because they typically involve the wearing away and disappearance of cartilage, which doesn't happen overnight. In most cases, your dog has simply weathered a slow and steady decline in mobility and joint flexibility until they could no longer cope with the symptoms without showing noticeable signs.
Why cartilage wears away in the first place is another story. Oftentimes, joint degeneration can be considered the result of general wear and tear. However, this is not always the case and as we learn more about nutrition and its role in keeping bones healthy, it’s becoming clear that there may be a strong correlation to what our dogs eat and the health of their joints into old age.
When we look at our pet’s health from a more natural standpoint, it seems that diet is certainly a factor that must be considered when discussing a litany of different health issues. As holds true with our health as well, nutrition is the key to understanding the formation and appearance of so many diseases and bodily issues. Without certain critical nutrients, the body is more susceptible to developing complications.
If your dog is already on in years and is suffering from arthritis, you still want to provide them with optimal nutrition. While there is no known cure for arthritis, much can be done in the way of strengthening the body and promoting healthy joints at any age, especially with the use of certain plant-based compounds.
Before detailing the importance of investigating the use of herbal extracts to help ease the symptoms of arthritis in dogs, it’s important to look at best practices for helping to keep your dog’s bones and joints healthy at any age.
Preventative Joint Care
Don’t wait until your pup is grown to support their joints. You can take certain measures when your pet is young to give them the best chance at having strong and flexible joints into old age.
When it comes to the health of your pet, keeping a holistic perspective is important because so much in health are interrelated. If your dog suffers from joint pain this may reduce their mobility, which will prevent them from getting the necessary exercise. Well, we all know that a lack of exercise leads to a variety of other health problems. At a certain point, everything begins to snowball and complications may develop at a rapid pace.
To avoid all of this as best as possible, it’s important to make sure your dog is able to stay mobile and active as they grow older. A healthy diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.
There are a few points to keep in mind when deciding on what to feed your dog in order to make sure they are healthy and happy, and free of joint pain as well. High-quality chow is a must, but just because a brand claims to be great quality doesn’t mean you should automatically take their word. Look at the labels and nutrition facts and figure out what’s actually in the food. There are far too many fillers and other substances in some mass-market dog foods that don’t do much for your dog’s health. You want to keep in mind that ideally, you should steer clear from dog foods that contain mostly meat and grain filler. While your dog is most certainly a carnivore, cheap cuts of low-quality meat are not what your dog would be eating in the wild and do not reflect a natural, healthy canine diet. An excess of processed grain, of course, is best to be avoided as well.
Dogs actually thrive on lean, high-quality meat, as well as nutrient-rich organ meat, fruits such as apples and cranberries, and certain herbs and vegetables. There are certain plant-based compounds and nutrients that are difficult if not impossible to come by in many common meat products used in dog foods, so it’s important that the food you are using has at least some nutrients derived from plants in order to compensate. The added fiber from plants can also help keep your dog regular, which is an important part of maintaining their overall health, especially as they age.
You might be wondering if it’s realistic, natural, or practical to be feeding a dog plants because this goes somewhat against the common line of thought in regards to what a carnivore is. The truth is however that dogs thrive on a varied diet in the wild that includes everything from bones to vegetable matter. At their core, dogs are scavengers, which means that they are biologically adapted to derive nutrients from a multitude of sources. While they are not technically classified as omnivores, they do benefit highly from a regular amount of plant-based nutrients.
What this means is that if you want to help keep your dog’s joints as healthy as possible, infusing their diet with a little vegetable matter may go a long way. In the wild, they would be able to forage for these nutrients on their own, but while they are in our care, our pets rely on us to make the best possible decisions for them in regard to what they eat on a daily basis.
Providing your dog with optimal nutrition throughout the course of their life is certainly one way of preventing possible joint issues, but you also want to consider other measures such as regular exercise that will help them build strong supporting muscles. Without the proper support in terms of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, the joint itself winds up taking the brunt of the force, which quickly wears down cartilage and leads to joint pain and inflammation.
Getting enough exercise is beneficial to the overall wellbeing of your pet for a number of reasons, including heart health, strong bones, weight optimization, and more. Unfortunately, once your pet gets older, if they are already suffering from the symptoms of arthritis, there is a good chance that they won’t be able to exercise like they used to. This means it’s important to know how to relieve their pain and symptoms naturally and gently so that they can at least reclaim some of their quality of life and go about their day without discomfort.
Natural Joint Support For Dogs
If your pup is dealing with painful, inflamed joints, the good news is that there is some relief to be found in the natural world. Certain herbal compounds may be able to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and enable your dog to once again move around the house and eagerly await their walks like they used to.
Here at Animal Essentials, we make it our business to provide impactful herbal extracts for dogs that address a number of different ailments and health issues. It’s important to make sure that you are getting your dog with everything he or she needs to stay strong and active, even if it means introducing a few plants into their diet!
Our Joint Support for dogs includes several key ingredients, such as alfalfa herb and licorice root, which have gentle anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with diseases like arthritis. Rather than relying on steroids and other harsh treatments in an attempt to ease the pain your dog is enduring, it’s better to first investigate natural alternatives that work alongside your dog’s body and have a very low risk of possible side effects or chances of complications.
Licorice root for instance has been extensively researched and at this point is known for its mild anti-inflammatory properties. Yucca root, which is also a featured ingredient in our Joint Support herbal blend for dogs, has also been revealed as a solid natural means of reducing the symptoms of arthritis. These plants approach the issue of joint pain from a more holistic perspective, not only relieving joint pain directly but aiding the liver as well, where toxin buildup may lead to joint pain.
Regardless of the health issues, your pet may be dealing with, learning how to address them in a gentle, natural fashion is important. Not only because trips to the vet can often be stressful for your dog, and many of the common treatments that vets provide aren’t always the most practical in terms of sustained health and wellness. This goes for joint pain and inflammation as well as many other health problems that could better be addressed through the use of plant-based compounds and a more aware approach.
When our senior pets are dealing with certain issues, whether it’s mild pain or something more debilitating, it’s worth investigating alternative methods that will not only take care of the issues at hand but will also nourish their body with beneficial compounds that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Herbal extracts like the kind we formulate here at Animal Essentials are full of natural active ingredients that work gently and that don’t have the kind of glaring side effects that so many other kinds of treatments do.
If you are concerned about your pet’s ability to get around and enjoy themselves, you need to consider natural joint support for dogs that may be able to ease their symptoms and get them running around again. If you have any questions regarding our herbal blends and whether or not they can help your pet, you can reach out to us at 888-551-0416.