How to Help a Dog With Arthritis at Home

9 Ways How to Help a Dog With Arthritis at Home

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, particularly in older dogs. It can cause joint pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, making it difficult for your dog to enjoy daily activities. While there’s no cure for arthritis, there are several things you can do to help manage your dog’s symptoms and improve its quality of life at home. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to help a dog with arthritis at home.

Arthritis can be brought on by either advancing years or trauma. Also, it may cause discomfort and restrict your dog’s mobility.

Arthritis in dogs often manifests with the following symptoms:

  • Tightness in the thighs and hips
  • Trouble getting in and out of bed
  • Having less motivation to exercise or play, or both
  • Stiffness that gets worse after exertion
  • Joint inflammation
  • Walking with less flexibility

Arthritis can be treated rather than cured. If your dog suffers from arthritis, keep reading to find out about some possible treatments on how to help dog with arthritis at home.

How is canine arthritis typically managed?

The first thing you should do if you think your dog has arthritis is take him to the vet. They can verify the diagnosis and advise you on how to proceed.

Arthritis treatments aim to reduce discomfort, protect cartilage and bone, and restore joint mobility. It may take a combination of therapies to help your dog feel better.

Arthritis in dogs is typically treated with medication. Yet, numerous alternative forms of therapy may prove beneficial. Here are nine suggestions for caring for an arthritic dog.

1 – Diet and Exercise

Your doctor may suggest a weight loss program for your overweight dog. Joint and muscle fatigue are expected consequences of being overweight. Joint irritation might be exacerbated by the excess weight as well.

Your dog will benefit greatly from regular exercise and a balanced diet even if they are not already overweight. Your dog’s ideal weight will vary by breed and size, but your vet can give you more specific recommendations.

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2 – Doing Workouts

Arthritic dogs benefit significantly from low-impact workouts such as brief walks and swimming. Your dog’s joint health and muscular tone will both benefit from these routines. And they have been shown to boost vigor and enthusiasm for play.

Walks should be brief and frequent throughout the day rather than long and infrequent. If your dog responds positively to shorter treks, you can gradually increase the time spent exercising together or introduce a new activity.

Warm up your dog with a stroll before engaging in high-impact activities like ball chasing.

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3 – Rehabilitative exercise

Enrolling your dog in a recognized physical rehabilitation facility is another option. The programs tailor their objectives to each dog, considering its specific mobility issues and the owner’s motivation level.

A specialist will typically oversee your dog’s physical therapy sessions to ensure they are making progress toward their goals. But you may also learn certain activities for your dog to do at home from your veterinarian.

Rehabilitative measures may consist of the following:

  • Flexibility and range of motion training
  • Confidently navigating around and around obstructions
  • Swimming
  • Aquatic exercise equipment
  • If your dog shows improvement or requires a new focus area, the program can be modified over time.

4 – Direct physical stimulation

To treat your dog at home, your vet may instruct you in specific hands-on tactics. These methods have been shown to reduce discomfort while increasing mobility and adaptability.

Those things are:

  • You can get your dog ready for other activities, like going for a walk, by giving him a massage first. It could also ease their suffering.
  • Flexibility in the muscles surrounding arthritic joints can be improved with stretching.
  • The benefits of joint manipulation for your dog include increased mobility, flexibility, and stability. It can alleviate discomfort as well.
  • Make careful to follow your vet’s exact instructions when attempting these procedures.

5 – Pain relievers

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) are the standard treatment for dogs with arthritis. They relieve discomfort and inflammation by preventing the production of certain substances in your dog’s body.

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These drugs soon relieve the discomfort. Some treatments, such as diet and exercise, can take weeks to show results. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can immediately relieve your dog’s pain and complement other therapies.

Yet, there are drawbacks to taking NSAIDs. Your dog’s kidneys and liver could suffer from ingesting them. To monitor these changes, your vet may recommend regular blood work.

Over time, the pain relief effects of NSAIDs for your dog may diminish. Thus, your vet may also recommend other painkillers like gabapentin or amantadine.

6 – Additives

Supplements for a dog’s joints may aid in cartilage repair and decrease the progression of joint deterioration. Specific vitamins may also have anti-inflammatory effects and help bring more fluid to the joints. It may take up to six weeks for your dog to show improvement when taking vitamins.

Your vet may also recommend fish oil for your dog’s diet. Fish oil’s omega-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to ease arthritic pain and swelling.

Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) is another supplement option that can be injected into the joints. It possesses anti-inflammatory and healing qualities that aid in the repair of cartilage damage. Further, its benefits are typically more rapid and longer-lasting than those of pill supplements.

After roughly six weeks of PSGAG injections, your vet may terminate the treatment and try something else if your dog’s condition hasn’t improved.

Some alternative injections for joints are:

  • Plasma high in platelets
  • Infusions of stem cells
  • Hyaluronic acid with steroids.

If you ask your vet for advice, you’ll know what’s best for your dog.

7 – Treatments involving heat and cold

Once your dog has exercised or if they are acting stiff, ice packs can be helpful. Wrapping the ice pack in a towel will prevent it from directly touching your dog’s skin. When you’re done, remove the ice pack and store it somewhere your dog can’t reach it.

Relaxing the muscles around your dog’s joints using heat, such as from a warm towel, can increase mobility and lessen pain. This is a good idea before hitting the gym.

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8 – Non-conventional Therapies

Alternative therapies like these may provide further pain alleviation for some pets.

Arthritic tissue can be penetrated by a beam of light used in a treatment method known as laser therapy. It could help your dog’s mobility while decreasing swelling and inflammation.

Acupuncture involves inserting wonderful needles into strategic points on your dog’s body. This method has been shown to improve nerve function while reducing inflammation and pain. Arthritic joints can be treated using shockwave therapy by directing high-intensity sound waves. It helps tissues heal faster and reduces inflammation and pain.

Gel patches conductive to electrical currents are put to the painful joints to stimulate them electrically. The outcomes of the two distinct types of electrical stimulation are different. Reduced pain is one of the benefits of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Strength in the muscles that support the afflicted joints is boosted by neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).

If you think your dog could benefit from supplementing their current arthritis treatment with one of these options, discuss it with their veterinarian.

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9 – Operation

If your dog isn’t making enough progress with less invasive methods, surgery may be necessary. Surgery can restore stability and decrease the course of your dog’s arthritis, depending on the origin and location of the ailment.

If an injury, like a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), is to blame for your dog’s arthritis, then surgery may be the sole option for fixing the problem and restoring movement.


Dogs often develop arthritis as they become older, and it’s a debilitating illness for their joints. Arthritis is a typical cause of stiffness and difficulties getting up and down in dogs. The pain might be relieved by taking NSAIDs or a supplement. In addition, weight loss, exercise, and physical therapy can all aid in decreasing inflammation and restoring mobility.

Laser therapy and acupuncture are two alternative treatments that could help your dog. Nonetheless, surgical intervention is occasionally necessary to restore movement.

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