Natural Pain Relief For Dogs [What Actually Works]

When your dog is in pain, all you want to do is help! One of the best ways to help a hurting pup is to go natural.  Thankfully there are quite a few natural pain relief remedies that are safe for dogs.

We will be discussing several natural pain relief methods below, along with our favorite method that has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years.

The Dangers of Self Diagnosing

We understand taking your dog to the vet can be inconvenient, but when your dog is in chronic pain, it’s important to take them to the vet instead of self-diagnosing. When you see your dog having trouble standing up, you might assume it’s arthritis, but it could also be something more serious like a tumor or a torn ligament.

Once your doctor confirms that it’s nothing serious and doesn’t require heavy medication, then you can begin testing natural methods.

Keep a Journal

Speaking of testing, you’ll be testing quite a few methods. It’s best to keep a journal and record what worked and what didn’t work for your dog. Make sure you write down what the method was, how long it took for it to start working, and if it eventually stopped working. It’s also a great idea to look through the journal and begin combining the methods that worked. When you go with natural pain relief methods, there’s typically no harm in combining a couple of methods.

Avoid Human NSAIDs

We recently wrote an entire article on the topic of NSAIDs for dogs, so we won’t go into detail here. But when your dog is in pain, it’s tempting to open your medicine cabinet and find a human NSAID to give them. This should ALWAYS be avoided. These are toxic to dogs and can cause serious problems. There are NSAIDs explicitly designed for dogs, but even those carry a level of toxicity with them, so we only recommend those if it’s vet prescribed.

Natural remedies typically take longer to work, but they are less addictive, and in the long run, are much better for the health of your dog.

Our Favorite Method – Massage Therapy and Acupuncture

If bad joints are what’s causing your dogs pain, this is the first thing you should try. Just do a quick google search for massage therapy and acupuncture for dogs in your area, and you’ll likely have multiple options. There’s a chance your vet may be able to do it as most vets now practice acupuncture because of how effective it is.

Along with acupuncture, massage therapy does a great job stimulating blood circulation, which will help the joints.

Although it’s not cheap, it’s very effective for most dogs.

CBD

This is another one we have been experimenting a lot with lately, and the results have been astonishing. Unfortunately, CBD is not legal everywhere, but if it’s legal where you live, then take advantage of it!

We recommend using CBD laced treats. They make CBD pills, but it can be hard to get your dog to take the pill, it’s much easier to get them to eat a snack.

Herbs

Herbs have become a popular pain relief method for humans, and it turns out they work well for dogs as well!

Here are our top 3 herbs for pain relief

Turmeric 

This is a potent anti-inflammatory which helps pain caused by inflammation (almost all pain is caused by inflammation).

When it comes to dosing, you do have to be careful as too high of a dosage can thin the blood and cause digestive issues. The recommended amount is 15-20mg per pound of bodyweight.

Cinnamon

This is a highly debated one. Some studies show that it works great, other studies show that it’s not as effective as something like turmeric. It all depends on how your dog responds to it, so it’s always worth a try. Make sure you record in the journal if it works or not.

Cinnamon has shown to be most effective for stomach pains, so if your dog has pain for digestive issues, this is an excellent method to try. For joint pain, something like turmeric is better.

Just sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon over your dog’s food twice per day. They will love the new flavor!

Hawthorn

If you know your dog has arthritis and turmeric wasn’t sufficient, Hawthorn is something you’ll want to try. Hawthorn works differently than turmeric does. It stabilizes the collagen found in the joints. This will significantly reduce joint pain for your dog

Aromatherapy

Next up is aromatherapy. If you’ve ever used essential oils on yourself, you know how well they can work. Personally speaking, lavender oil cured my insomnia. After that, I was a big believer in aromatherapy.

Regardless of which essential oil you choose, the best way to get your dog to smell the oil is through a diffuser. You can purchase diffusers for 20 dollars on Amazon.

Make sure your dog is in the same room as the diffuser, the closer they are to it, the better.

Here are the best essential oils to try for pain relief

  1. Lavender
  2. Peppermint
  3. Frankincense

Give all three of them a try and see how your pup responds.

Supplements

The three supplements we will be talking about below have been proven effective when it comes to reducing inflammation and supporting joints. In other words, if your dog has arthritis, the following three supplements may help.

Chondroitin

When your dog has arthritis, their cartilage is full of damaging enzymes. Chondroitin helps fight against those enzymes. The only downside is because it’s tough to extract; it’s a bit expensive.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is an amino acid that stimulates and encourages the growth of cartilage cells, the very thing that arthritis is destroying.

It takes at least 6-8 weeks to see the effectiveness of glucosamine because you need to put your dog through a loading phase. When going through the loading phase, follow the instructions on the bottle. Typically it will be 500-1,000mg twice per day for six weeks during the loading phase. After that, you can cut the dosage in half and give it to them just once per day.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3’s are something that should be in your diet as well! These fatty acids help lubricate the joints, which provides support for dogs that have bone hitting bone. Not only is Omega 3 excellent for the joints, but it also helps keep the heart and liver healthy.

Consider Homemade Foods

In most situations, chronic pain in dogs is caused by chronic inflammation.  You can help cut down on the inflammation by changing your dog’s diet. There are anti-inflammatory dry dog foods out there, but they are expensive and aren’t nearly as effective compared to homemade.

Shredded chicken and white rice should always be included in your dog’s meals. You can add herbs such as turmeric and cinnamon to increase the anti-inflammatory effects.

Other great foods to feed your dog

  • Blueberries
  • Leafy greens
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash

Keep Exercising If Possible

Dogs in pain won’t be able to move nearly as well as healthy dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should stop moving them. It’s essential to keep moving to increase blood circulation. Blood carries nutrients and nutrients help us recover.

Instead of taking your dog on one or two long walks per day, take them on more frequent shorter walks. You may notice that each walk they can go a little longer. Movement and mobility are crucial when joint pain is present.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of natural remedies. We have noticed an overwhelming amount of success with two of the methods mentioned above. First is acupuncture and the second is CBD. You can even combine the two for maximum effectiveness.

Regardless of which method you choose, you’ll want to make your pup as comfortable as possible when they’re going through pain. This means providing them with a cozy blanket and pillow at night and bringing a water bowl close to their bed, so they don’t have to get up to take a drink of water.

Again, at Dogdorable, we do support the use of natural remedies for pain relief, but we always recommend going to the vet first to get the proper diagnosis and asking for their advice.

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