Complimentary post provided by Sabrina Burke at Chasing Tails
Seeing your beloved friend in pain can really tug at your heartstrings. But as with all of us, dogs are likely to experience some type of pain over the course of their lives.
There are various causes to the pain your dog experiences – whether it’s everyday aches and pains associated with aging, such as joint pain, or from an illness or injury.
In many instances, it’s essential to get your vet’s advice as to what to do, so check with them first. If you don’t want to use standard dog pain reliever medicines, you can turn to natural remedies if your vet supports this. What you can use depends on the nature and extent of your dog’s pain and the circumstances surrounding the pain.
Here are some options for natural pain remedies for dogs that you may wish to consider.
Make life easier for your pet
The first way to help your pet with pain relief is to make them as comfortable as you can. If your friend enjoys climbing up onto soft furniture to be with you, get a dog ramp for the bed or sofa.
Give your pet extra affection, as we all crave extra pampering when we aren’t feeling our best.
A common cause of chronic pain for dogs is arthritis, particularly for older dogs. Joint supplements can be very effective in helping your dog feel less pain and enjoy more mobility.
The most common kind of joint supplement for arthritis contains glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural substance found in the body. The glucosamine in supplements is usually either extracted from shellfish or fabricated in a laboratory. Glucosamine helps lower pain by repairing the cartilage in the joints, which leads to lowered rates of inflammation and, consequently, less pain.
Chondroitin and MSM
Another popular ingredient in supplements for dogs for pain relief is chondroitin. Chondroitin is an essential component of our cartilage, preventing it from breaking down. Chondroitin can even stimulate cartilage repair processes.
Chondroitin is often combined with another substance called methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. MSM is a naturally-occurring compound in our bodies, as well as in animals and plants. The essential element of MSM is sulfur, which can be produced in a lab as a powder for supplements.
Many people report the benefits their dogs get from eating food with turmeric. Turmeric comes as a powder, paste, or liquid. There are even chewable treats for dogs containing turmeric, as well as pet foods with turmeric.
Fish oil is simple to give to dogs. You can provide fish oil supplements, of course, or whole fish. Anchovies or sardines are good sources of oily fish for your friend. Some prescription dog foods have high amounts of fish oil.
Cannabis-derived oils and supplements are becoming greatly popular. Many people have reported all kinds of benefits for their pets.
CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. But before you think marijuana, CBD contains almost no THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. You’re not giving your dog something that will make your friend ‘high.’
Most of the CBD results for pets come from anecdotal reports of owners, as there hasn’t been enough research yet. But given the high amounts of testimonials, you may want to try this for your pet.
There are several alternative therapies that you could try, instead of or in addition to supplements:
Aromatherapy. As with humans, essential oils can help relieve stress.
Massage. Dogs can enjoy massage therapy to improve blood flow, lower their stress levels and relax their muscles, resulting in less pain.
Hot or cold packs. Try a hot gel pack or an ice pack for your dog. Check with your vet to see which one would be applicable for your friend’s pain.
Before trying any of the above therapies, check with your vet or with a holistic vet. Make sure the person delivering the treatment is a licensed practitioner.
Some natural herbs can help dogs with pain. A few examples – in addition to turmeric, mentioned earlier – are cinnamon, hawthorn, and Boswellia serrata (resin from the tree of this name.)
A note of caution
One thing to remember is to never give your dog friend painkillers or any other substances that are meant to treat pain in humans. If your vet or holistic vet has prescribed supplements for your pet, only give the recommended dosage.
When in doubt, or before giving your dog any new substances or foods, check with your vet.