Skip to Content

Best Treatments for Dogs With Arthritis at Home

This post may contain affiliate links. Read more here.

Seeing your dog getting old isn’t easy. Many problems come with age and arthritis in dogs and humans is probably one of the most common diseases.

Arthritis usually affects the joints of the elbows, knees, and hips which makes any movement less smooth and painful.

If you want to know how to treat your dog with arthritis at home, rest assured that there are solutions to relieve your dog’s pain.

Even though immobility cannot be cured, the quality of life will be heavily improved.

Natural Solutions to Treat Your Dog’s Arthritis at Home

To relieve pain caused by arthritis, glucosamine supplements can help paired with buying an orthopedic dog bed and dog ramps for inside the house, as well as the car.

Other solutions include switching the diet and an individual exercise plan that may include watermill therapy for dogs with arthritis to keep them healthy.

Senior pug
Photo by Potae Thanachai on Shutterstock

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

Before we dive deeper into any solutions for treating your arthritic dog at home, closely monitor your dog throughout the day and see what he struggles with the most.

The common signs and symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Limping
  • Problems catching up during walks (may look like a refusal to walk)
  • Leg shaking
  • Unable to climb the stairs anymore
  • Growling when being touched
  • Excessive licking
  • Panting from the pain

Write down any problems that occur when your dog gets up from a nap, goes into the car, or climbs up the stairs.

Maybe he is also unable to hold his position while eating and leash walking might become harder for him.

Another indicator is a weird sitting position with which your dog might try to relieve the pain caused by arthritis.

These symptoms are often caused due to a puppy’s rapid growth.

How to Care for a Dog With Arthritis

You could buy the best arthritis products in the world but without general care, your dog won’t feel any better.

Before you purchase anything, make sure that you set the right foundation for a healthy dog.

  1. Monitor the rooms in which your dog spends most of his time and adjust the temperature for comfort. A dog with arthritis shouldn’t be laying outside in the cold or heat, nor should he lay on hard surfaces all day.
  2. Regularly weigh your dog and always ensure a healthy and normal body weight. Obese dogs face a lot of problems, including mobility issues that will cause them much more pain due to excess weight.
  3. Controlled and regular exercise is a must to ensure that your dog won’t hurt himself while running. He should always be kept on a leash and discouraged from racing through the fields. Suitable exercises for a dog with arthritis include swimming and moderate walking as well as brain and puzzle games.
  4. Trimming your dog’s nails should have a high priority. Toenails that are too long will impact your dog’s movements and will make it harder for him to get up or climb the stairs.

If you don’t know how to cut your dog’s nails, read the last part of this blog post that also talks about the potential consequences of overgrown dog nails.

Must-Have Products for a Dog With Arthritis

Let’s start with the activity that your dog spends the most time of his day with – sleeping.

Dogs spend the majority of their day fast asleep either on the ground, couch or dog bed.

A dog with arthritis should have a high-quality orthopedic dog bed that is specifically tailored to his needs.

I can highly recommend the PetFusion Large Orthopedic Dog Bed with memory foam to soothe sore joints.

It’s water-resistant, easy to clean and most importantly, very comfortable.

A mobility-impaired dog should always be able to feel supported and have a stable grip on every ground throughout the house.

Consider laying out area rugs on cold and hard surfaces and fixate them with rug gripper pads.

If your stairs are very slippery you can either prevent your dog from going up and down or you may want to buy non-slip carpet stair treads.

Another alternative would be to invest in anti-slip dog boots that provide your dog with stability and traction everywhere he goes.

Even if you don’t have a dog with mobility issues, providing your dog with support on slippy surfaces can prevent diseases like hip dysplasia.

Think about any obstacles around the house that your dog might have problems with getting around.

Jumping up and down the bed is impossible for some dogs and can hurt their joints in the process. The couch and armchair might also become unreachable for your dog.

The PetSafe Solvit Wood Bedside Dog Ramp does a great job of carrying your dog safely up and down the bed or couch.

A dog ramp should be very durable and layered with carpeting to provide traction and confidence.

Occasional or regular car rides should always be accompanied by a car ramp.

If your dog is too big to be picked up then you should consider buying a ramp that makes it easier for your dog to get in and out of the car.

The ramp should be strong enough to safely carry your dog and easy to clean, like the PetSafe Solvit Pet Ramp.

A dog with back issues cannot and should not lower his head to reach the water and food bowl.

Elevating your dog’s bowls will make it more comfortable and accessible for your dog to drink and eat his meals.

I recently bought the Pet Zone Adjustable Elevated Dog Bowls as I don’t like seeing my Rottweiler crunch her back when eating on the ground.

Large breeds are simply too big for that, no matter if they have arthritis or not.

All the products that help your arthritic dog with relieving pain:

What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis?

After your dog has been diagnosed by a veterinarian, treatment will follow in the form of drug and physical therapy and maybe even surgery.

Before you give your dog anything at home, you should always consult your vet first.

There are different joint supplements available that are offered as a drug-free alternative to help with arthritis.

I am giving my dog fish oil every day to augment her raw diet. Two of the many traits of fish oil are anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.

What your dog eats on a daily basis greatly influences his health. Make sure that you have a balanced diet.

  • Consider changing your dog’s diet to an anti-inflammatory diet to treat chronic inflammation. You can find out more about all the anti-inflammatory foods here.
  • Ask your veterinarian about a rehabilitation specialist that is working with water treadmills. Water therapy is incredibly effective in treating joint problems. It keeps movements smooth and is less painful and more comfortable for a dog with arthritis.
  • Glucosamine has been reported to have benefits for dogs with arthritis.

If your vet suggested Prednisone or you’ve heard about it and would like to know more, feel free to check out this article written by the veterinarian Tammy Powell.

How Long Can a Dog Live With Arthritis

Arthritis in itself is not a deadly disease. However, the induced pain can make it very uncomfortable for your dog to live at some point.

That’s why proper care and treatment are a must to ensure that your dog keeps having a happy life.

Do not try to perform some physical therapy by yourself. Massages and acupuncture should only be practiced by a professional as you might cause your dog more damage than good.

Medication and supplements should be consulted with your veterinarian first.

Don’t completely stop the exercise routine. Especially in the early stages, your dog must stay active to ensure longer mobility by maintaining muscle strength.

If you discontinue exercising, your dog might be at risk of completely losing his ability to walk.

With the right diet, treatment, and care at home, your dog will able to continue living a healthy and happy life despite having arthritis.

Pin This:

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.


Friday 20th of September 2019

I would really like to hear your opinion on CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.

Shelton Enockson

Thursday 19th of September 2019

Thank you, Danielle for sharing these tips. This will help my old boy a lot!


Sunday 22nd of September 2019

Thanks for the comment Shelton, I wish you the best!


Thursday 19th of September 2019

I hate seeing my dog with all this pain ever day but we recently bought the new bed and doggy boots and I feel like they are already helping a lot!


Sunday 22nd of September 2019

I am so glad to hear that Jolynn. The products available for dogs with arthritis are amazing.


Wednesday 11th of September 2019

Started with the swimming therapy three weeks ago. We have a local veterinary center that offers rehabilitation programs. I can recommend dog swimming to every owner it helps the joints and muscles so much.


Sunday 22nd of September 2019

Thank you for these insights! I deeply believe in swimming therapy, it's definitely an option to consider even if you have a dog without joint problems.