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The Alternative Approach: Three Ways To Treat Your Senior Dog's Arthritis Naturally

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If your elderly dog has developed arthritis, you may be looking for natural, drug-free solutions to ease the inflammation and joint stiffness. You may already know to provide a soft cushion for your dog to sleep on, far away from any cold and drafty location. In addition, there are alternative therapies that may help improve your senior dog's mobility and ease the discomfort. With your veterinarian's approval, you might want to look into the following three alternative therapies that do not involve pain medications or steroids for treating your dog's arthritis:

1. Aquatic Therapy

Water therapy is a form of physical therapy that has been shown to be effective for pets suffering from the joint stiffness and discomfort of arthritis. Often referred to as hydrotherapy, this method involves physical therapy exercises performed in warm water. The water creates a natural buoyancy that is low impact on the joints. If your arthritic dog has become less mobile, water therapy may also help prevent muscle deterioration due to inactivity.

The process of aquatic therapy is simple. The warmth of the water relaxes the dog's muscles and joints. A trained pet therapist will guide your pet in the water, encouraging your dog to swim against the pool's current. Alternatively, the therapist may try the use of an underwater treadmill, another approach aimed at conditioning the arthritic dog.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Just as many foods often contribute to inflammation, there are good choices that may reduce inflammation as well. Your vet may recommend pureeing fresh fruits and vegetables which may then be added to your dog's regular diet. These natural foods contain anti-inflammatory properties which may help ease your pet's arthritis pain. Try introducing squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, and cherries, either by mixing some into the dog's food, or in a separate feeding bowl. Remember to steam or cook fresh foods to ensure digestibility. As another consideration, and only under your vet's supervision, you might want to cut back on grains, as these may promote inflammation when consumed in excess.

3. Nutritional Supplements

Ask your veterinarian about adding supplements to your pet's diet, such as Omega-3 oil, as well as Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These have been known to provide benefits to dogs suffering from the symptoms of arthritis.

As a precaution, always check with your veterinarian before beginning a new alternative treatment program. Have the vet give your dog a thorough examination before attempting any form of rehabilitation or alternate therapy. For more information, you can go to sites that discuss alternative pet therapies.