Author: Fay Smith
It’s heartbreaking to see your beloved dog in pain. However, discomfort is likely to happen throughout your fur baby’s life.
Your dog may have an injury, a common cold, or a normal ache associated with aging. Fortunately, there are many options fur parents can explore to provide comfort to their dogs.
Modifying the Home Environment to Maximize Dogs’ Comfort
You can do simple things to make everyday living much more fun and comfortable for your dog. If your fur baby is in pain, you may provide raised
food and water dishes to relieve low-back pain. They also make mealtimes more enjoyable.
Make sleeping surfaces warm and comfortable by giving your dog a memory foam bed. Providing a ramp for your fur baby to assist it when entering your car may also help eliminate stress on its leg joints and back.
It’s also recommended to install security cameras to monitor your dog whenever you’re not home. You can also share the video with your vet to help with their diagnosis.
Natural Ways to Ease Dogs’ Discomfort
Aside from prescription drugs, natural pain relievers may also serve as complementary therapy to help dog owners reduce their dogs’ amount of medication.
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medication. The procedure involves inserting thin needles through the skin to stimulate specific points in the body(1). Many studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease different types of chronic pain(2).
Research shows that acupuncture combined with other analgesic modalities reduces chronic pain and improves the quality of life in dogs with musculoskeletal and neurological diseases(3).
Cold Therapy Laser
Cold lasers, especially low-level type ones, are commonly used in veterinary medicine to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing. Vets also use lasers to treat dogs suffering from tendon or soft tissue injuries and canines with specific conditions such as arthritis(4).
Osteoarthritis (OA) is common in dogs. It’s a progressive degenerative joint disease caused by the deterioration of cartilage. OA can leave dogs irritable, lazy, and reluctant to play(5). Your vet may perform an MRI to check for any abnormalities.
According to research, osteoarthritis affects at least 20% of canines older than one year old(6). Dogs with OA endure chronic pain and may not respond to analgesics. Therefore, vets use low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to treat such a condition(7).
A study shows that LLLT is beneficial in treating canine OA-associated pain. The preliminary results suggest that low-level laser therapy may also reduce analgesic administration and improve dogs’ mobility(8).
Cold and Warm Compresses
If your dog has an injury, you may use cold compresses to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Then, you may use warm compresses.
These compresses are easy to use. Apply them on the affected area for five to ten minutes, several times a day, to help your dog feel better.
You may give your dog joint supplements to help relieve OA-associated pain. Research says that glucosamine hydrochloride (HCI) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) are natural products that can help treat osteoarthritis in dogs(9).
Glucosamine regulates collagen synthesis in cartilage and may provide mild anti-inflammatory effects. Meanwhile, CS inhibits destructive enzymes in cartilage and joint fluid(10).
Although research proves their effectiveness, HCI and CS may take several weeks to reach their peak. Also, they are usually used in conjunction with traditional medications(11). So make sure to consult your vet first.
Hemp and CBD Oil
A study suggests that CBD may help dogs with OA-associated pain(12). CBD comes from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp plant. It contains high levels of cannabinoids, the main chemical found in cannabis(13).
On the other hand, hemp seed oil contains low levels of CBD and may also help your dog feel better(14). It also contains various phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that have been shown to help dogs with OA and other joint-related conditions(15).
Give your dog massage therapy to help soothe its sore muscles. Ensure that your dog is in a calm, submissive state before you start massaging it.
Some vets are specially trained to give canines chiropractic care. Veterinary chiropractors manipulate the spine to improve motion and function. When combined with acupuncture, such manual therapy may result in immediate short-term improvement in mobility and comfort among dogs with chronic pain(16).
The Importance of Talking to Your Vet
Although natural pain relievers are beneficial in improving your fur baby’s condition, using them alone may not be enough. Most of the time, holistic veterinarians offer natural remedies alongside conventional medicines in treating chronic dog pain.
Therefore, it’s best to talk with your veterinarian before administering any alternative remedies to your dog. Confirm with your vet if your preferred natural treatment has any negative interactions with the current medication of your dog.
1. Acupuncture: In-Depth
2. Acupuncture: In-Depth
3. Effect of acupuncture on pain and quality of life in canine neurological and musculoskeletal diseases
4. Preliminary clinical experience of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis-associated pain: A retrospective investigation on 17 dogs
5. Risk Factors for Canine Osteoarthritis and Its Predisposing Arthropathies: A Systematic Review
6. Risk Factors for Canine Osteoarthritis and Its Predisposing Arthropathies: A Systematic Review
7. Preliminary clinical experience of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis-associated pain: A retrospective investigation on 17 dogs
8. Preliminary clinical experience of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis-associated pain: A retrospective investigation on 17 dogs
9. Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review
10. Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review
11.Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review
12. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain
13.Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
14. Hemp in Veterinary Medicine: From Feed to Drug
15.Hemp in Veterinary Medicine: From Feed to Drug
16.Effectiveness of combined acupuncture and manual therapy relative to no treatment for canine musculoskeletal pain