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Helping Arthritic Pets Through Diet

If your four-legged friend has been diagnosed with arthritis, your vet will discuss a treatment plan with you that may involve medication such as steroids and NSAIDs. But there are many ways to help lessen the pain and inflammation of arthritis in animals, including making sure that they are getting all of their nutritional needs with a healthy diet.

How diet can help

Of course, a good diet is essential for any pet to live a long and healthy life. But for pets with arthritis, tailoring their diet can be a great way to complement other therapies such as medication or exercise. The right diet can provide essential vitamins and minerals that will promote good joint health, give them a better chance of fighting inflammation, and help maintain their energy levels. And by keeping their weight in check, you will be reducing the pressure on their joints, alleviating some of the discomforts of the disease.

The best diet for pets with arthritis

There are many factors that come into play when designing the perfect diet for your pet, so don’t be afraid to seek advice from your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist. An ideal diet will focus on three main areas: eliminating foods that cause inflammation, adding ingredients that support joint health, and balancing calorie restrictions with sufficient nutrition.

Refined grains, which are found in many commercial pet foods, can aggravate inflammation within the body, along with egg and some meats. Check the ingredients carefully or consider preparing food at home with whole grains or sweet potato. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D will help build strong bones, while sufficient protein is needed to build up muscles and take the pressure off the joints. Healthy fats such as the omega 3 found in salmon, mackerel and other fish will support joint health, as well as providing benefits for your pet’s heart, eyes, and skin.

Supplements

In addition to their main diet, nutritional supplements are available that specifically target the needs required by an animal with arthritis. These include omega 3 fatty acids, green lipped mussel, glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen, either as single supplements or combination products. These supplements are easily administered, available as powders or liquids that can be added to your pet’s meals, or as tasty chews that can be given as treats.

Other lifestyle changes

When combined with a healthy diet, making some simple changes to your pet’s environment and exercise regime can be incredibly beneficial. Making sure your bed has a comfortable place to sleep that they can get easily in and out of will help reduce stiffness and the danger of further joint injury. Likewise, do not make them do any jumping or uncontrolled exercise that will jar the joints. Controlled, gentle exercise is the best way to maintain flexibility, movement, and a healthy weight.


Helping Arthritic Pets Through Diet

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