There’s a lot of options with treats and supplements to help your dog with arthritis, but some aren’t very good. It’s better to understand what to look for, so we’ll cover that in this article.
I’ll give recommendations of products I consider good in Australia, but also why they’re good compared to other products.
This article won’t cover your dog’s main diet, but I urge you to read the reviews and make sure you’re feeding something decent. I can’t stress this point enough, as your dog’s main diet will be their best medicine and offer the best comfort and longevity.
Recommended treats for dogs with Arthritis
I’ll start with recommendations for any readers who simply want the best arthritis treats for their dog. So here you go:
Eureka offer a wide range of excellent treats. For arthritis, take a look at the Joint & Mobility Bone Broth which is a supplement, but also the treats such as Rockin’ Roo Chews which include sardines and green lipped mussels – great for joint support.
The best thing about the Eureka range of treats is they’re exactly what they say on the tin (or packet). Dried meat, dried fish, and naturally digestible and beneficial for your dog.
The Eureka dog food itself is an excellent way to support your dog’s health all round, including joints, so read the Eureka dog food review here.
The Hemp Pet HEMP treats are very well formulated, being organic beef liver and various hemp ingredients like hemp oil. These should work well as a daily treat to alleviate your dog’s joint inflammation.
Vetalogica are a popular Australian brand, and the Vetalogica Vitarapid treats for arthritis look to be the biggest seller.
On closer inspection these treats have a lot of potato, peas, and tapioca starch, even if meat is listed first. This means the smaller inclusions are more beneficial – namely glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to benefit joints and arthritis.
Bell & Bone offer a range of collagen treats. Like the Vetalogica Vitarapid treats, these contain some tapioca and vegetable matter which aren’t overly beneficial for your dog. There’s some meat in there too, which is good, but the real benefit is the small inclusion of collagen.
I’ll discuss shortly how many treats use fairly pointless ingredients and throw in a small amount of something beneficial to market it as a joint or arthritis-specific treat, but out of the options above I find the Eureka and Hemp Pet treats the best in terms of nutrition.
Beneficial ingredients in treats for dogs with arthritis
Glucosamine and chondroitin are the most common inclusions in an arthritis/joint supplement or treat, but there are other beneficial ingredients.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin:
- Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage, and chondroitin helps maintain cartilage elasticity.
- These ingredients help improve joint health by supporting the regeneration of cartilage, reducing inflammation, and lubricating joints.
- Commercial products often contain these substances in specific ratios designed to promote joint function.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly sourced from fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties.
- These fatty acids can help reduce joint inflammation and relieve pain associated with arthritis.
- Commercial supplements often contain precise doses to ensure your dog gets the right amount.
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane):
- MSM is a sulfur compound that aids in reducing pain and inflammation in arthritic joints.
- It can enhance the effectiveness of other joint-supporting ingredients in commercial products.
As well as the above core components, you may find treats include various sources of the components without specifically listing them.
For example, shark cartilage treats – cartilage is good for supporting cartilage. The hemp oil treats I mentioned earlier provide fatty acids from hemp rather than fish oils, but research has shown this to be beneficial for arthritis.
What treats should you avoid?
Please keep in mind many dog treats claim to benefit conditions such as arthritis, and many are branded “joint treats”, when the ingredients suggest they may not be as beneficial as you think.
A good treat for dogs with arthritis should not be made from cereals, starches, and sugars. It is common for treats made from these inappropriate ingredients to have glucosamine or chondroitin in a small amount, and this allows them to market the product as a treat for joint support. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy, or you should feed many of them.
Why not make homemade arthritis treats?
While commercial products can be effective, some pet owners prefer to make homemade treats for their dogs with arthritis.
Here are some ingredients commonly used in homemade treats:
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Including turmeric in homemade treats can help reduce joint pain and inflammation in dogs.
Bone broth is so easy to make at home with a slow cooker. It’s rich in collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin, making it a natural joint-supporting ingredient and superb for your dog’s health (and yours if you share!)
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation. Adding fresh or frozen blueberries into homemade treats not only adds flavor but also provides nutritional benefits for joint health. Or you can simply give your dog the odd blueberry!
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that have anti-inflammatory properties. Mixing a small amount of coconut oil into homemade treats can be a beneficial addition for joint health. Most supermarkets offer coconut oil in a jar, and it’s easy to add some to your dog’s regular meals – choose a good brand.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins and fiber. Although you should keep carbohydrates to a minimum in your dog’s diet, sweet potatoes can create tasty and nutritious treats if you slice them and bake/dehydrate them.
When it comes to managing arthritis in dogs, there are various options available, including both commercial and homemade treats and supplements.
Why not give your dog a combination of all of these, and consider their main diet as well?
Quality commercial products like Vetalogica Vitarapid Joint Treats offer convenience and targeted joint support, but be wary of cheaper treats in the supermarkets which claim to be for joint health but may not be very effective.
If you opt for homemade treats, keep them to a moderation unless you’re confident you’re giving your dog a balanced diet. If in doubt, use the 10% rule of thumb – don’t make treats more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
Remember – arthritis management is not one-size-fits-all, and a combination of treatments, including diet, exercise, and veterinary care, will put you on the right track to help improve your dog’s quality of life.
In summary, the key to helping your dog with arthritis is understanding their unique needs and providing them with the care and support they deserve. Whether you choose commercial or homemade treats, your dog will appreciate the love and attention you give them in their time of need.
If you feel you can add useful information, hints, or tips, which can benefit other Aussie dog owners, then feel free to say so in the comments!
What treats do you give your dog with arthritis?