What can I give my dog for pain? 9 proven pain relief methods.
With joint pain ranking as one of the most common issues facing pups, it’s no surprise to find a growing range of products designed to help relieve symptoms, improve mobility, and reduce the chances of developing joint disorders.
Here are nine pet-approved products that could help your dog manage its joint pain:
Orthopedic Dog Bed
Natural Dog Food
1. Orthopedic Dog Beds
What’s the difference between a regular dog bed and an orthopedic one? Orthopedic beds are designed to support all parts of a dog’s body as they sleep.
Orthopedic beds are made with higher-density foam that contours to the weight and shape of dogs. That extra support means less pressure on inflamed joints, which should mean less discomfort and pain.
For this reason, dogs with joint disorders who use orthopedic beds may get better quality sleep – which can help their energy levels and overall well-being.
2. Non-Slip Mats
Our poor pups have a hard time navigating the wooden and tiled floors of our homes. Those shiny surfaces not only increase the risk of slipping but force dogs to spend a lot of energy, taking multiple steps and putting extra stress on their hips and shoulders.
An easy way to help your dog move around is to add carpets to the areas of your home where they like to hang out. They don’t need to be specialized rugs or mats – just make sure that they’re sturdy and have a non-slip bottom.
3. CBD Oil
CBD is a natural supplement made from non-intoxicating hemp plants. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, which in turn can reduce swelling and pain in connective joint tissues. A 2020 study on CBD and canine osteoarthritis, published in the National Library of Medicine, found that “CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility”.
With more studies and anecdotal evidence from dog owners emerging, more owners want to try giving their dogs CBD to help manage pain. However, before starting your dog on any new supplement, always consult with your veterinarian beforehand.
4. Heating Pads
There’s no fundamental difference between joint disorders in humans and dogs, so many of the remedies recommended for joint pain in humans also work for pups.
One of the go-to products for humans with arthritis or back pain is a heating pad. And, just like in humans, heat therapy can reduce dogs’ pain and increase mobility.
Several companies make heat pads designed for dogs, which they can lie down on, or which owners can wrap around their legs.
Some heat pads for dogs are made to retain dogs’ body heat, so they don’t need to be plugged into an outlet. Others work like traditional heat pads with adjustable temperature controls.
5. Car Ramps
As joint pain progresses, it can become difficult for dogs to jump or climb. That can make entering and exiting cars unaided almost impossible.
Accessibility ramps are a popular way to help bigger dogs in and out of vehicles. Whereas previously, owners might have had to build their own ramps or find a stand-in, there are now several dog-specific products on the market.
These ramps have gentle slopes and various size options, and some are even collapsible to save on space.
6. Dog Strollers
If you have a smaller dog with joint pain, a stroller can be a convenient way to get them out and about in comfort (and style!)
Dog strollers can now regularly be seen in malls and on streets, transporting older lap dogs who find it too painful to walk long distances.
One benefit of strollers is that they often include pockets and storage spaces, so you can stow your shopping and other valuables.
Diet plays a huge role in the lifelong health of dogs. Keeping your pup at a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of joint pain.
Of all food types, fats are the most important for maintaining healthy joints. Good fats, such as Omega oils, are found in fish, seeds, and plant oils – so dog food recipes containing ingredients like salmon and flax are great options.
On the other hand, it’s also a good idea to avoid recipes that contain inflammatory foods – things like corn syrup and white flour.
Sessions with a professional animal physical therapist are a no-brainer if your dog’s joint pain is restricting its quality of life. Not only will a good physiotherapist suggest exercises and treatments to help your dog in the short term; but they are also a powerful resource for tips on how to manage a dog’s health over time.
A physio session for dogs with joint pain might include working with balance discs, or a relaxing massage to relax aggravated muscles. They might also have your pup walk on a canine treadmill, which is designed to provide a safe form of low-impact exercise.
9. Prescription Medications
In severe cases of joint pain, where lifestyle adjustments or supplements aren’t providing enough relief, veterinarians may also prescribe specific medications.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are perhaps the most common medications prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain.
Other medications may include corticosteroids or disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) – but these can produce side effects and should be discussed thoroughly with a vet before a course of treatment is begun.
The final woof.
There are many ways to help your dog manage pain, and often the best plans for managing joint pain in dogs involve a combination of things. However, while some dogs can overcome pain with natural, non-prescription solutions, not all can. This is why it is important to seek professional support from a veterinarian, who can develop a routine that works for your pet’s individual needs.
Amy is the Senior Editor of CBDOilForDogs.com, a widely recognized platform dedicated to canine health and wellness, with a focus on CBD for dogs. As a proud pet parent to two vivacious dogs and an advocate for pet health, Amy provides readers with up-to-date findings, product reviews, and emerging trends in the canine CBD world.
The internet’s most dog-friendly website. Sidewalk Dog is your go-to resource for all things dog. Trusted by more than 250,000 dog people around the world.