It’s excruciating to see your Chihuahua in pain. When you take a pet into your home you promise to love and care for it the best you can for as long as you can, but arthritis and joint pain can strike at any time and leave you feeling helpless.
Prescription NSAID pain relievers certainly have their place, but they can be tough on your Chihuahua’s liver and steroids come with a host of side effects. Luckily there are natural steps you can take to keep your dog comfortable.
Here are 10 drug-free ways to help your dog live pain-free. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, exercise or medication routine.
1. Maintain A Healthy Weight
The more extra weight your dog carries, the more strain his or her joints suffer. If your dog is overweight or obese, now is the time to start a weight loss regimen. If your arthritic dog is already at a healthy weight, be sure to maintain it with a healthy diet and gentle exercise.
2. Keep Moving
If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis you will definitely want to revamp his or her exercise routine, but staying active is important for joint health. Instead of long, vigorous walks or strenuous play sessions, try frequent shorter walks and short play sessions indoors on soft carpet.
3. Add Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Your Dog’s Diet
Certain foods are said to have natural anti-inflammatory properties. If your veterinarian feels it is safe, you can try adding papaya, alfalfa, celery, or ginger to your dog’s diet. Another ingredient that has become very popular in recent years is turmeric which has been shown to have incredibly strong anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Canine Acupuncture
It may seem shocking that a dog would tolerate dozens of needles being placed into his or her body, but the acupuncture trend has become quite popular in the animal world and has shown promising results for many common canine ailments, including joint pain.
5. Physical Therapy
Many veterinary hospitals and specialty centers now offer advanced services for dogs with injuries, arthritis and mobility issues. Highly trained staff members can help keep your dog’s pain at bay with techniques like hydrotherapy. They can also teach you how to provide physical therapy at home.
6. Laser Therapy
One of the newer innovations in reducing inflammation and pain in pets is low-level laser therapy. Your veterinarian will create a schedule of treatments based on your dog’s individual needs. The treatments are easy, painless and relatively quick.
7. Massage Therapy
The same massage techniques that help relieve your stiff muscles and aching joints can also benefit your arthritic pup. Many human massage therapists also work on pets and holistic veterinarians often offer this service to their clients.
8. Prevent Slipping
Hardwood and tile floors can be like minefields for arthritic pets. Try laying down a series of throw rugs and runners to help your dog navigate the house. Keep toenails trimmed and consider friction socks to prevent slipping.
9. Provide A Supportive Orthopedic Dog Bed
An unsupportive mattress can wreak havoc on sore joints. Be sure your dog’s bed is designed for pups with arthritis.
There are lots of different glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin supplements on the market for dogs. It’s important to choose a joint health supplement that offers the correct therapeutic dosage for your Chihuahua’s needs and is made from the highest quality ingredients.