If your dog has arthritis or is showing signs of stiffness there are many things you can do to help improve their mobility & slow the progress of the disease.
The most important thing you can do is to keep your dog slim. Any additional weight they carry puts unnecessary pressure on the joints and makes the pain worse, so it’s important to tackle it once & for all.
If your pooch is carrying some extra pounds, it’s worth opting for a lower fat, lower calorie food & checking that the amount you are feeding doesn’t exceed the recommended amount on the feeding guide (remember to feed according to their ideal weight not their current weight). For a gradual weight loss try reducing this ration by about 10% & be careful with the treats you feed – try to pick ones with a fat content of 5% or less & which state that there’s no added sugar. Alternatively cooked or raw carrots or unsalted rice cakes make good low-calorie snacks.
There are many supplements which tackle some or all of the three main aspects of arthritis (joint degeneration, inflammation & pain) so it’s worth trying to add some little extras even though some dog foods include 'joint support' in their recipes. The reality is that very few of them include enough of the key ingredients to provide a real improvement to a dog already struggling with arthritis so we would highly recommend buying a high strength separate supplement which includes glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM & hyaluronic acid (HA) & possibly a turmeric or hemp-based product too.
There are however things that their daily kibble CAN provide in sufficient quantities, the main ones being a high Omega 3 content & lots of antioxidants.
Antioxidants neutralise the free radicals in the body which can cause inflammation, whilst Omega 3 has been shown to reduce the inflammatory response associated with arthritis, alongside a whole host of other benefits, so it's important to increase these aspects as much as you can.
The recipes listed below all have excellent Omega 3 levels (but that doesn’t mean an extra supplement wouldn’t help!), & they have antioxidant containing ingredients such as potato, sweet potato, salmon oil, seaweed and/or dandelion.
If you’re putting your dog on a weight loss program, try to pick a food that has a fat content of 9% or less. Plese see our weight loss category for a complete list of appropriate foods.