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Rodrigo and Sydney were diagnosed with arthritis early in life. I found out a couple years later that the veterinarian didn't know much about herding breeds. Yes, they both had joint issues, but he missed the boat on why they were having issues at a young age.
Rodrigo's Arthritis History
Rodrigo is border collie mix and this is a breed that develops issues in their elbows due to a teeny bone that will get dislodged and cause pain and irritation; Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD). This is why he used to lick his elbows so much. Eventually, the bone floats away or dissolves in their body, but if this doesn't happen, a surgery can be performed to remove the bone.
Sydney's Arthritis History
Sydney's problem was due to inactivity. She's always been less active than Rodrigo and when she goes crazy with her zoomies, she's working joints, bones and muscles that were used to sofa surfing. A partial tear to her cruciate in 2014 and the subsequent weight gain from too little exercise didn't help.
Had I not switched to a holistic vet, our dogs would still be in pain.
Today, our dogs are doing great and I've found 4 natural ways to treat their joint pain. Rodrigo runs around the property like a border collie should and Sydney is more active, although she still loves her spot on the sofa.
1. I Transitioned Our Dogs to Raw Dog Food
A raw food diet gives our dogs everything they need naturally – all the vitamins, minerals and supplements that work together to create a healthier, active and happy dog. Although I believe dogs should eat a species appropriate diet (raw dog food), it's not feasible for all families. Improving the quality of a dog's food is beneficial too.
- You can feed your dog 1/2 raw (morning meal) and 1/2 kibble (evening meal)
- You can soak your dog's dry food in bone broth
- You can cook your dogs food – check out Dinner Pawsible and Feed Your Best Friend Better for recipes your dog
2. I Add Supplements that Support Joint Health
Ideally, the muscle, organs and bones in a raw food diet should be all a dog needs, but I believe some dogs need supplements based on their individual health history.
Rodrigo and Sydney are given the following supplements that work together to provide joint support…
- Bonnie & Clyde Pet fish oil
- organic apple cider vinegar
- green lipped mussel powder
- turmeric paste
- food grade diatomaceous earth
Because of the changes to their diet, I have been able to cut back on how much of their joint supplement I add to their meals. Instead of 2 scoops of In Clover Connectin daily, they receive 2 scoops 3-4 times a week.
In my opinion, I think all dogs should receive the benefits of a joint supplement. Many dog lovers will wait until their dog is limping before considering a joint supplement. Why wait? Remember, our dogs mask their pain and if we notice that there's a problem – it's a big problem and it's probably being going on for a while. Speak with your vet about the best time to add a joint supplement to your dog's diet.
Joint supplements for dogs that have worked for Rodrigo and Sydney…
(the following recommendations have affiliate links, I might receive a commission if you buy a product through this page)
- Nupro Joint & Immunity Support
- In Clover Connectin Chews
- WellyTails Dog Rx Cartilage Hip and Joint Supplement
3. Get More Exercise
I used to know a woman who developed pretty bad arthritis in her forties. She was surprised when her doctor recommended more exercise – starting with walks around her block and adding distance over time.
Exercising strengthens the muscles that surround our dogs' joints, giving them more support, and bones while helping our dogs gain more flexibility over time.
We have the fortune of living on 5 acres and we take our dogs outside multiple times a day to play and explore. Our landscaping includes highs and lows, giving us an opportunity to work on multiple muscles when we're outside.
On weekends, I take the dogs for an early morning walk to give them a change of scenery (and smells).
4. Manage Our Dog's Pain
Sometimes, no matter what we do, our dogs are going to have pain. Sydney loves long walks and it's sometimes hard to pull her away from something she enjoys. We can't stop the zoomies, because neither one of us is going to stand in front of a racing, 80-pound dog. Rodrigo loves racing across our property and although he's better at taking breaks as he gets older, there are times when he over does it as well.
I trust two products for our dogs. Both are effective at relieving their pain, have natural ingredients, and don't have any side effects.
Through a lot of research and the guidance of our veterinarians, I've been able to help our dogs live a pain-free life. I'm confident in what I'm doing, but will stress that I would not have been successful were it not for having a great team of veterinarians who could guide me on this task.
A Joint Supplement Regimen That Worked in 48 Hours
October 2016 – I recently tried a natural joint supplement regimen that showed improvement in Sydney in 2 days. Three weeks later, she was running around and playing after a year of not putting weight on one of her legs. In Rodrigo and Sydney's new joint supplement regimen, I combine diatomaceous earth, turmeric paste, and a joint supplement to their diet. CLICK HERE to learn the details and see a video of Sydney in action.