Natural Treatments for Arthritis Pain in Dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

Just as arthritis occurs in humans, it also occurs in dogs. Arthritis is a painful condition that causes swelling and discomfort of the joints, making walking, running, climbing and even sitting or lying down uncomfortable. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to relieve the symptoms of arthritis in your dog. However, you can also take a natural approach to treating your dog's arthritis.

Herbs and Supplements

Certain herbs or vitamin and mineral supplements can improve your dog's condition naturally. Glucosamine, chondroitin and modified chondroitin are popular natural remedies for arthritis and overall joint health. Green lipped mussel (or perna) is often recommended by veterinarians for canine arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory and joint lubrication properties. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for joints as well as skin and coat health. Vitamin C, zinc and selenium provide support to the tissue surrounding the joints to ease inflammation.


A gentle massage of the painful joint helps ease discomfort due to arthritis. Massage should be done for 10 to 15 minutes using small, circular motions. Massage increases blood flow to reduce inflammation, pain and tension. It also helps slow the degeneration of the joint.

Hot and Cold Packs

Hot packs are useful for relief of muscle spasms and pain. Soak a towel in warm water and apply it directly to the painful joint for 10 minutes twice daily. If you wish to keep the dog dry, place the wet towel in a plastic bag and apply it to the joint in the same manner. Cold packs help swelling in the joints. Wrap a commercial cold pack or baggie of ice in a towel and apply to the joint for 15 to 20 minutes three times daily.

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