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Let’s help you better understand arthritis in dogs, covering everything from identifying the signs and symptoms of arthritis in dogs to exploring effective preventive measures and proper treatment for arthritis in dogs.

Understanding arthritis in dogs

Dogs, like humans, can develop arthritis or joint pain for various reasons, often influenced by their lifestyle. Volhard Dog Nutrition says that inadequate nutrition is a common factor, as a deficient diet lacking essential vitamins and minerals may contribute to early-onset arthritis.

Holistic nutrition, incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, can help delay these effects. Dogs engaged in high-impact sports may be prone to joint problems due to improper conditioning and repetitive use. Additionally, genetics also play a role, with certain breeds more predisposed to joint-related issues.

What breeds are most susceptible to arthritis?

While arthritis can affect dogs of any breed, size, or age, some breeds are more prone to developing this condition due to genetic factors, conformation, or other predisposing factors.

Large and giant breeds

Great Dane

Labrador Retriever

Golden Retriever

German Shepherd

Saint Bernard


Hound breeds

Basset Hound


Working breeds



Siberian Husky

Doberman Pinscher

Toy and small breeds




What types of arthritis can affect dogs? 

Various forms of arthritis share a common mechanism, but each presents unique complications for your pet’s joints. Here are five prevalent types of arthritis in dogs:

Osteoarthritis (Degenerative joint disease – DJD)

Osteoarthritis arises when damaged bone regrows around a dog’s joints, rendering them more rigid. This progressive degeneration limits joint mobility until it eventually impairs proper function. This can affect dogs with arthritis in back legs and in the front.

Hip dysplasia

Crucial to a dog’s life, hips can become overdeveloped or underdeveloped with age or strained through excessive exercise in their youth. Fortunately, medical and surgical interventions are available to treat this type of arthritis.

Elbow dysplasia

Affecting the front legs and often diagnosed between six to nine months old, elbow dysplasia may require surgeries to alleviate joint symptoms. Unfortunately, this arthritis tends to worsen over time, particularly in larger breeds whose bodies and joints grow rapidly during puppyhood.

Knee dysplasia

Similar to hip and elbow dysplasia, knee dysplasia occurs when knees move excessively within their sockets. This type of arthritis is more commonly observed in the joints of small, toy, and teacup breeds. This can also affect dogs with arthritis in back legs and in the front.

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

OCD occurs when joint cartilage undergoes abnormal crystallization, leading to tearing and rendering the affected joint essentially useless. Larger and overweight dogs are more prone to experiencing this form of arthritis.

Recognizing signs of arthritis in dogs.

1. Changes in mobility

One of the primary signs of arthritis in dogs is a noticeable change in mobility. Pay close attention to any stiffness, reluctance to climb stairs, or hesitation in jumping onto furniture.

2. Limping or favouring a leg

A limp or favouring one leg over another is one of the common symptoms of arthritis in dogs. This can be particularly evident after periods of rest or inactivity.

3. Reduced activity levels

If your once playful and energetic dog is suddenly less active, it could be a sign of arthritis. Dogs may become lethargic as a way to cope with joint pain.


4. Behavioural changes

Arthritic dogs may exhibit behavioural changes such as increased irritability or aggression, often stemming from discomfort or frustration.

5. Difficulty rising

Observe how your dog rises after lying down. If they struggle or seem hesitant to stand, it may indicate arthritis. This is one of the more apparent symptoms of arthritis in dogs hind legs.

6. Noticeable swelling or heat in joints

Palpate your dog’s joints regularly. Swelling or warmth in the joints can be one of the indicative arthritis in dogs signs.

Seeking professional advice

If you notice any of these arthritis in dogs signs, consult with your veterinarian promptly. Early detection and intervention are crucial in managing arthritis in dogs.

Treatment Options for Arthritis in Dogs

From arthritis medication for dogs to weight management, here are a few ways how to help dogs with arthritis.

Arthritis medication for dogs

Various forms of arthritis medication for dogs can be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in your pets. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly recommended, but it’s crucial to use them under veterinary guidance to avoid potential side effects.

Arthritis injection for dogs

In some cases, veterinarians may recommend an arthritis injection for dogs such as Adequan or joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These injections aim to improve joint health and mobility.

Physical therapy and exercise

Physical therapy and targeted exercises are great forms of treatment for arthritis in dogs that can help manage arthritis symptoms in dogs. Low-impact activities, controlled swimming, and specific muscle-strengthening exercises can improve your dog’s joint function.

Weight management

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for managing arthritis symptoms in dogs. Excess weight puts additional strain on joints, exacerbating arthritis symptoms. Consult your vet for a suitable diet and exercise plan.

Preventing and managing arthritis in dogs

While arthritis in dogs can be inevitable, there are things you can do to help prevent and manage this condition. Here are other ways to answer the question “how to help arthritis in dogs”.

Early intervention

Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify arthritis symptoms in dogs in its early stages. Early intervention can slow the progression of the disease and improve your dog’s overall comfort.

Holistic approaches

Want to know another way how to treat arthritis in dogs? Holistic approaches, including acupuncture and massage therapy, may complement traditional treatments for arthritis in dogs. Consult your veterinarian to explore holistic options suitable for your pet.

Bold by Nature+ Supplements

Aside from just a healthy raw food diet for dogs, supplements can play a big role in your pet’s wellbeing. Bold by Nature+ Supplements, including Green Lipped Mussel and Bone, Joint, & Immune Health, can play a vital role in alleviating arthritis in dogs by reducing inflammation and supporting overall joint function. These supplements for dogs with arthritis are recommended as an effective method for addressing arthritis-related issues in canines, providing a tangible answer to the question of how to help arthritis in dogs.

How else can I support my dog with arthritis?

While medication is the best treatment for arthritis in dogs, there are other measures you can take to help them out.

Get nonslip rugs

Nobody wants a slippery rug, especially not when your pup has arthritis. Since they’re slippery, your dog may develop a fear of them and be hesitant to walk on one in your house. 

With the help of nonslip mats, rugs, and carpets, your dog can move around more freely without being caught off-guard by a nasty slip. By placing them at the base of places they frequent, like stairs, couches, and beds, you can help to decrease pain caused by arthritis.

Provide an orthopedic bed

The lower a dog bed is to the ground, the easier it will be for your dog to get back up after a nap without struggling. Mix that in with an extra comfortable bed and you’re golden! This is a great way how to help dogs with arthritis.

Get a raised feeder

Rather than reaching for every bite of food or sip of water, raised feeders offer dogs a more comfortable height to eat at, especially for larger breeds. The reduced and unnecessary straining that your dog avoids will give their joints a well-deserved break.

Opt for swimming over running

Encourage more swimming and less running. Swimming provides a low-impact, high-resistance activity that strengthens muscles and tendons while minimizing overall joint strain. Water therapy is a commonly recommended treatment for dogs with arthritis.

Adjust walking routine

Consider shorter, more frequent walks during the week, reserving longer walks and hikes for the weekends. This approach allows your dog’s joints to rest and recover between more strenuous activities.

Prioritize mental stimulation

If you need another way how to treat arthritis in dogs, one way you can help is by shifting the focus to mental stimulation rather than intense physical exercise. Mental activities relieve joint pressure and can be more exhausting than physical exertion. Engage your dog in brain games, reinforce basic training, or introduce new activities like scent detection for a satisfying mental workout.

What Bold by Nature+ Supplements are good for dogs with arthritis?

Green Lipped Mussel

When it comes to finding top-notch dog joint supplements, our Green Lipped Mussel pet supplement stands out. Packed with naturally occurring glucosamine, chondroitin, Omega-3, and beneficial minerals, it serves as a potent support for joint health, mobility, and function. The Omega-3 fatty acids and chondroitin act as natural anti-inflammatory nutrients, effectively reducing pain in the joints of dogs suffering from arthritis.

Bone, Joint, and Immune Health

Considered one of our top dog supplements for joint care, Bone, Joint, and Immune Health covers a comprehensive range of needs. Specifically formulated for dogs with arthritis, these supplements incorporate key ingredients to enhance your pet’s well-being.

Glucosamine aids in repairing joint cartilage and improving synovial fluid, crucial for cushioning within the joint cavity. This improvement in joint health can slow the development of arthritis, alleviating pain and stiffness associated with aging.

Chondroitin plays a vital role in preventing cartilage breakdown, offering superior support to joint swelling and degradation. It also provides essential nutrients for the development of new, healthy cartilage.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. While there are many turmeric benefits for dogs, in this case it acts as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Its absorption is enhanced when combined with black pepper, boosting its overall effectiveness.

MSM helps control inflammation and enhances muscle condition, while the Green Lipped Mussels contribute to promoting joint flexibility.

Does Bold by Nature offer any other supplements? 

Yes! We offer a variety of natural supplements that add a boost to your pet’s bowl. Our Bold by Nature+ Supplements are a terrific way to improve overall wellness, promote a healthier coat, and more.

Along with our raw pet food and supplements that support joint & bone health, we also offer prebiotics and probiotics for dogs and other pet supplements that help digestive health and more.

Where can I get Bold by Nature products?

You can purchase Bold by Nature+ Supplements, raw food for dogs, and other products either online or at your local retailer. If you’re not sure which stores carry Bold by Nature, you can use our location finder to explore retailers that carry our products.

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