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As your dog ages, they may develop joint pain, arthritis, and other cartilage deterioration—especially if they’re of a large dog breed. That’s why it’s important to include a joint supplement that will address these issues in your dog’s regular diet.
When possible, we like to pre-emptively treat issues with a nutritious, holistic diet, as this can be effective with the fewest side effects. We’ve also outlined a few of the best natural joint supplements for dogs to help complement a healthy diet.
But today we’re going to show you how you can make your own supplement to boost your dog’s joint health and save a little money. Follow the simple recipe below to make a homemade natural joint supplement for dogs. It can be used on its own as a preventative or in coordination with one of the supplements linked above to ease your dog’s pain.
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In this guide:
- Why dogs develop joint pain
- How to prevent joint pain and provide natural joint relief for dogs
- Home remedy for dog joint pain
Why dogs develop joint pain
Dog joint pain can be caused by developmental issues (a malformation of the bones or sockets) or degenerative issues (deterioration due to aging or inflammation). Both developmental and degenerative joint issues can cause huge problems for your dog’s comfort, mobility, and livelihood.
Unfortunately, arthritis and bone disease are common in dogs. And to make matters worse, dogs produce less collagen as they age. Collagen is necessary for skin and joint tissues like cartilage and ligaments, which act as shock absorbers as your dog moves around.
Dr. Pitcairn, DVM, advises that prevention is crucial with arthritis. Once the joints are distorted, the damage is irreversible. He believes that a healthy diet of natural, wholesome food is an important part of the prevention process.
This starts with the mother’s diet during pregnancy. Inadequate nutrition during gestation can have a detrimental effect on the structural tissues of the puppy (ie. your dog). But a nutritious diet is also crucial as your dog ages.
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How to prevent joint pain and provide natural joint relief for dogs
While you can’t go back in time and feed your dog’s mother a more nutritious diet, you can help prevent further deterioration by feeding your dog a healthy diet and a holistic joint supplement.
Fresh dog food, such as The Farmer’s Dog Food, is far more nutritious than kibble since it uses better ingredients and is less processed before landing in your dog’s bowl. Some fresh brands, such as Just Food For Dogs, even offer recipes designed specifically to support a dog’s joint health.
Some experts recommend transitioning your dog to a raw diet, since its lack of processing leaves in-tact some of the vital nutrients your dogs need to maintain healthy ligaments. Raw diets can be challenging to prepare, which is why we recommend reading our We Feed Raw review if you’re interested in going this route.
Typically, joint supplements for dogs are in treat, pill, or powder form and they are widely available online. We recommend trying out Rusty’s Pet Essentials’ Advanced Mobility Hip & Joint supplement or Reggie’s Morning Hip + Joint supplement if you want a professionally made option.
But below I’ll provide you with a recipe with ingredients you may already have or can find at the grocery store. This recipe can help prevent and treat dog joint pain, including arthritis.
It’s a good option for pet owners who want a more natural alternative to all the joint supplement pills available, especially if your dog has difficulty taking those supplements.
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Weight management is an important part of joint care for dogs that are obese or prone to over-eating. Make sure you monitor your dog’s caloric intake, especially when it comes to treats. You should also monitor their activity levels to make sure they’re at their ideal body weight and living an all-around healthy lifestyle.
Home remedy for dog joint pain
This homemade joint supplement recipe comes from Dr. Basko’s website. We love his work and this type of recipe because he uses food as medicine to prevent and treat illnesses and to provide chronic pain relief.
This recipe works as a natural joint supplement by building up the tissues in the joints. It also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients, which some store-bought supplements do not have. It should be inexpensive to make since it uses the leftover bones from your dinner to make a nutritious bone broth.
The process involves boiling bones, vegetables, and herbs to extract beneficial nutrients from the ingredients, such as collagen and minerals. The end result is a tasty, gelatin texture, rather than a suspicious pill or powder your dog may refuse. This recipe can be given as a treat or mixed into your dog’s food.
- 4 cups of turkey bone leftovers (about 1 turkey). You may also use fresh, raw, or previously cooked bones from lamb, chicken, pork, or beef.
- ½ cup minced celery
- 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh (or 1 teaspoon of dried) minced American parsley
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 packets of Knox Gelatin
- 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (I like to substitute nutritional yeast)
Note that this recipe is free from onions and garlic, which would typically be found in a bone broth recipe. That is because these members of the allium family are toxic to dogs.
In a stock pot or crock pot, combine the bones, celery, parsley, ginger, and turmeric with enough water to cover the ingredients (approximately 7 to 8 cups of water, depending on your pot). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Strain the broth into a glass baking pan, removing all bones and vegetables. Add 2 packets of Knox Gelatin and stir to mix well. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Once the mixture reaches room temperature, place it in the refrigerator overnight. After it has set, cut it into 1-inch by 2-inch wide pieces (smaller if you have a very small breed). Keep some handy in the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer.
Give one chunk (1″ x 2″) per 25 lbs of body weight, twice daily, as a snack or with meals.
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About the ingredients
Ginger and turmeric are powerhouse foods! They are used in this recipe precisely for their anti-inflammatory properties. They can help reduce chronic inflammation, improve blood circulation, fight against the growth and spread of cancer cells, kill parasites, giardia, and strains of E. coli. Generally, they do this all without side effects. This is the beauty of using food as medicine!
Gelatin is included not only to firm up the texture but also because it contains collagen. Collagen is a building block of your dog’s bones, joints, cartilage, connective tissues, and blood vessels. Collagen can help sustain strong and flexible joint tissue.
Gelatin also acts as a preventative measure because as dogs age, their mobility frequently becomes hindered by joint problems and joint pain (especially large breeds susceptible to joint problems).
What other natural ingredients are good for dog joints?
These naturally occurring ingredients can be found in your kitchen, at the grocery store, or in supplement/powder form.
- Glucosamine (can be sourced from green-lipped mussels)
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