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DOG / nutrition

Your Dog's Hip and Joint Health

Diet may help arthritis symptoms in aging dogs


Arthritis and the older dog

Aches and pains, creaky joints, stiffness — aging dogs can suffer the same problems some aging humans do.

As dogs get older, they lose cartilage in their joints, which can lead to inflammation. This is osteoarthritis, the most common cause of joint or musculoskeletal problems in dogs older than seven.

Some big breeds are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis than others. They include:

  • Great Dane
  • German shepherd
  • Labrador retriever
  • Golden retriever
  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman pinscher
  • Mastiff

Dog diets that help arthritis

Some studies suggest that certain ingredients may provide some relief to dogs suffering from joint pain. For example, Omega 3 fatty acids, a healthy fat found in some fish, may help reduce inflammation. Look for dog foods labeled “hip and joint health,” which contain Omega 3, plus other ingredients that may benefit achy dogs.

There’s another way you can feed your dog to cut down on the chance of arthritis or other joint problems: No matter what food you give your dog, don’t overfeed — make sure your dog maintains a healthy weight. Even a few extra pounds, especially on a dog prone to joint problems, can be painful.