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Supporting your arthritic dog through diet
We all know that what we feed our dogs matters, but when it comes to an arthritic pet, nutrition and diet are even more crucial to the canine's overall well-being. The type of pet food you feed your pooch makes a difference, as does the amount of kibble you feed it.
What should the food have?
The food you give to your arthritic dog should have certain ingredients that work to support healthy cartilage in the joints and decrease inflammation that is typical of arthritis. Even if you give your dog joint supplements like Dasuquin to promote healthy cartilage, certain ingredients in its food can make a positive difference.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids work to decrease the inflammation that occurs around an arthritic joint.
Chondroitin and glucosamine. The same cartilage-enhancing compounds that are found in many joint supplements are also added to pet food. Having chondroitin or glucosamine for dogs in every meal can go a long way in improving the dog's mobility.
Antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and other antioxidants have been found to improve symptoms for dogs with arthritis because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you are feeding your dog a regular diet of commercial pet food, you might consider switching to a brand that has more of these beneficial ingredients. Wellness Super5Mix Dry Dog Food is a good option because it contains fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of antioxidants.
You might also be tempted to feed your dog table scraps or human food. For the most part, this is a bad idea because it can lead to obesity and you risk feeding your pooch something that might be poisonous to it. However, many fresh fruits and vegetables are a good, low-calorie option as treats for overweight dogs.
Does quantity matter?
The amount of food you feed your dog is just as important as the quality of the ingredients. The heavier the dog is, the more pressure is being placed on the joints and the more pain it will be in. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial to arthritis support, so controlling calories is key. Discuss proper serving sizes and an exercise plan with your vet. The vet might prescribe pet drugs like Metacam or Previcox to treat arthritis pain so your dog can still exercise with ease.