You’ve probably heard the term ‘food is medicine’, this is particularly true when it comes to dogs who do not have the gamut of pain medication available that humans do. Just like us dogs experience aches and pains in their body from bouts of tummy upset, joint pain, injury or from existing conditions that put strain on their bodies.
It might surprise you to know that there are natural ways to help soothe their ailments and provide comfort to them when they are in pain.
Turmeric packs a punch with it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can treat a wide range of pain in dogs including arthritis and joint pain. Turmeric can be grated into your dog’s food, baked into treats or used as a supplement in tablet form. Absorption of turmeric is best achieved with black pepper and a healthy fat such as coconut oil.
A root vegetable that is part of the same family as turmeric, ginger also helps reduce pain and inflammation in dogs with arthritis. Ginger is also great for the digestive system and helps to relieve gas and nausea.
Fatty oils found in fish and coconut oil help promote a healthy coat, skin and overall health.
These oils also help to lower blood pressure, support a healthy heart and reduce joint pain.
Comfrey can be used for a wide variety of ailments including to relieve swelling, soothe minor skin irritations and ease chronic pain. The oil can be applied directly onto the affected area or by mixing the dried herbs with their food.
This nutrient-rich herb is particularly good at treating arthritis as well as treating digestive and kidney disorders. Dried alfalfa can be sprinkled into your dog’s food or made into a tea (ensure the tea is cool before you serve it to your pooch).
Capsaicin found in Cayenne has been shown to effectively block pain and aid in circulation to tissue and joints. Ointments and creams containing capsaicin can be used topically to reduce pain, or you can include a small pinch of cayenne powder in your dog’s food.
Your dog will inevitably experience pain at some point in their life, and when they do it’s up to you to read signs of pain from your dog. Common symptoms of pain include a loss of appetite, change in behaviour, slower movements, snapping when being touched in certain areas and a disinterest in things that used to excite them like toys or playtime. If this occurs, it is safest to visit your vet before treating the problem at home.