Nat­u­ral ways to help your dog or cat over­come joint aches and pains

Amazing Wellness - - HEALTHY PET - By Ju­lia Sz­abo


our pets, en­joy­ing full range of mo­tion is as vi­tal as breath­ing fresh air and drink­ing clean wa­ter. Dogs and cats are never hap­pier than when they’re run­ning and romp­ing. But os­teoarthri­tis, a com­mon cause of joint pain, cru­elly robs pets of their mo­bil­ity and di­min­ishes their qual­ity of life. It’s es­ti­mated that 25 per­cent of dogs su er from de­gen­er­a­tive joint disease (DJD), and 90 per­cent of se­nior cats.

For both pets and peo­ple, con­ven­tional medicine o ers non­s­teroidal anti-in am­ma­tory drugs. How­ever, more of us want to avoid these phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ ad­verse side e ects on the kid­neys and liver by opt­ing for nat­u­ral so­lu­tions.


Arthri­tis, by de ni­tion, is joint in am­ma­tion, so feed­ing an anti-in am­ma­tory diet is the most im­por­tant thing you can do for your arthritic pet. at means a grain-free, dairy-free diet that strictly avoids gluten and any­thing con­tain­ing it (i.e. most bread, pasta, cake, cook­ies, and crack­ers). For be­tween-meal treats, in­stead of dog bis­cuits or cat treats that con­tain gluten, share tasty morsels of eggs, sar­dines, mack­erel, leafy greens, and raw or steamed veg­gies (such as car­rots and broc­coli). Avoid sat­u­rated an­i­mal fat, es­pe­cially red meat, as it ag­gra­vates in am­ma­tion; steer clear of white pota­toes, too, as the sa­lo­nine they con­tain can cause mus­cle pain.

Sup­ple­ment a healthy diet with anti-in am­ma­tory spices such as turmeric and cin­na­mon; I give my four-footed se­niors a tea­spoon of Cey­lon cin­na­mon mixed with two tea­spoons of raw honey, plus a lib­eral sprin­kling of turmeric, with each meal. (I al­ways use Cey­lon cin­na­mon, a.k.a. Cin­namo­mum zey­lan­icum or Cin­namo­mum verum; it’s harder to nd than the more com­mon cas­sia cin­na­mon, but un­like cas­sia cin­na­mon, it does not con­tain the chem­i­cal coumarin, a blood thin­ner which may be harm­ful to the liver and kid­neys in large doses.)


In terms of nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments, savvy pet par­ents have known for years about the joint-lu­bri­cat­ing bene ts of glu­cosamine and an­tiox­i­dantrich omega-3 fats from sh oil. And now, we have even more nu­mer­ous and so­phis­ti­cated sup­ple­ments to add to the anti-arthri­tis arse­nal. To give pets the max­i­mum bene t of nat­u­ral anti-in am­ma­to­ries, sup­ple­ment com­pa­nies o er vet-for­mu­lated, holis­tic reme­dies for dogs and cats, eas­ily ad­min­is­tered orally with a drop­per bot­tle. Anti-in am­ma­tory herbs such as turmeric, gug­gul, as­tra­galus, and al­falfa are some­times in­cluded in arthri­tis for­mu­las for pets, along with cayenne and gin­ger to ease pain.


Re­mem­ber that it’s tough for arthritic dogs and cats to move around the way they used to: pets may have a hard time as­cend­ing and de­scend­ing stairs, and ac­cess­ing high places. Re­mem­ber to give pets an as­sist when­ever they want to share the sofa, bed, or other cozy spot. A ramp, box, or step-up is al­ways wel­come.

Hu­mid days are es­pe­cially rough on sti joints. Fur­nish pets with warm, cush­iony bed­ding to pro­tect achy joints from cold, hard oors, and when­ever pos­si­ble, treat dogs and cats to a warm re and/or the sun­ni­est spot in your home.

Ex­er­cise hap­pens more slowly now, but it should de nitely still hap­pen. Go­ing for swims and walks with your dog is good for you both. Take pre­cau­tions, how­ever. When swim­ming, con­sider out tting your dog with a ota­tion de­vice, and when walk­ing, keep your gait slow to pre­vent overex­er­tion. Strate­gi­cally place mats in­doors on slip­pery oors to pre­vent slips by pro­vid­ing a se­cure grip for pet paws. And yoga is as good for your dog as it is for you. Place an ex­tra yoga mat by your side for Spot or Flu y: the asanas (poses) are some­thing

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