Holistic Remedies for Stiff Joints in Pets
As the years pass, you might notice that your cat or dog has slowed down. They may take longer to get out of bed in the morning, and they may hesitate to climb furniture or jump into your arms.
Stiff joints due to arthritis may affect up to 90% of senior cats and dogs in at least one joint. Though it's a widespread issue, the beginnings of joint stiffness does not have to mean the end of your pet's healthy, happy years. Using holistic remedies can help relieve pain and support your pet's joint health.
Why Do Pets Get Stiff Joints?
As animals age, the cartilage that cushions their joints starts to deteriorate. This wear and tear on the joints is what we know as osteoarthritis, and it's the most common form of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis can also affect younger animals, and may be brought on by injury or infections like Lyme disease.
Why Should I Seek Holistic Remedies For Stiff Joints In Pets?
There are effective conventional treatment options for stiff joints, but you still may want to seek holistic remedies.
Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as steroids can cause undesirable side effects such as gastric upset, ulcers, and kidney and liver damage.
Even over-the-counter painkillers should be used under the guidance of your veterinarian, and you should never use medications indicated for humans unless your vet says it's okay.
Injections, acupuncture, and laser therapy can all be effective treatments for osteoarthritis, but they cannot be given at home, and for some, they may be expensive. Most veterinary treatments can be used in conjunction with holistic remedies, but you can call your veterinarian to make sure that it's safe. Turmeric, for example, is a popular holistic remedy for pain, but it should not be used with blood thinners.
Which Holistic Remedies Are Effective For Stiff Joints?
Holistic remedies are derived from naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents found in foods and plants.
Yucca Intensive Holistic Animal Care is one good example. It has similar anti-inflammatory effects as conventional steroids without the side effects.
Boiron Rhus Toxicodendron 30C is a homeopathic remedy made from an extract of poison ivy. It's prepared in a way that eliminates the toxic effects and helps relieve pain that improves with movement, and worsens with humidity.
You have probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids as a joint health superfood. You can add some tinned in water, low sodium sardines or salmon to your pet's meals to supplement essential omega-3s. You can also give Super Pure Omega 3 Bite-Sized Chews for a mess-free way to ensure your pet gets some omega-3s every day.
Improving your pet's joint health isn't just about what you give them, it's about what you don't give them. Feeding a less processed diet can help control their weight and supplement more natural sources of essential nutrients for better bioavailability.
A commercial raw or freeze-dried food like Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Meal Mixers make it easy to feed a fresh diet. You can also talk to your vet about preparing a complete and balanced homemade cooked or raw diet.