Joint Pain in Dogs: How You Can Help

80% of dogs show signs of arthritis by age 8, with 20% of them developing the disease as early as 1 year old.

With odds as high as these, it’s likely your furry friend will suffer from joint pain sooner or later. Since dogs are unable to help themselves, it will be your job to manage your pet’s discomfort. 

Luckily, there are many pain relief options available. Read on to discover how to treat joint pain in your dog. 

Help Around the House

The first way to ease your pooch’s pain is by making their everyday activities more comfortable.

Ensure they have a well-padded bed that is sheltered from the cold and drafts. Place nonslip rugs on slippery tiles and hardwood floors to prevent your dog from falling.

Jumping onto objects adds unnecessary impact to your pet’s arthritic joints. Buy padded steps or ramps to help your dog access beds and couches without having to jump.

Weight Management

Every extra pound of fat adds more pressure onto your dog’s joints and speeds up cartilage breakdown. Excess weight can cause arthritis to develop sooner and also leads to a variety of other health complications.

Check out this dog breed weight chart to see how much your pooch should weigh. If your dog is overweight, talk to your vet about weight management options.


NSAIDs are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These prescription drugs play a big role in treating swelling and joint pain in animals. 

While NSAIDs provide much-needed pain relief, keep in mind that continued use can lead to impaired kidney and liver function. As with anything in life, moderation is key.

It’s important to seek pet care advice from your vet before using any NSAIDs. Your vet will be able to suggest appropriate dosages and monitor your dog’s blood work for signs of negative side effects.

Joint Supplements

Oral joint supplements are prescribed by vets to slow joint deterioration and reduce inflammation and pain.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin work to increase water retention in cartilage. This helps to provide cushioning for the joints. Check out this guide to find the best glucosamine for dogs.

Green-lipped mussel, or GLM, is a very effective anti-inflammatory. DHA omega-3 fatty acids may help to boost your pet’s immune system and reduce swelling.

Most oral supplements contain a variety of these ingredients. Consult your vet to find out which supplement will work best for treating joint pain in your dog.


One of the most common joint pain symptoms is stiffness and limited mobility. Regular muscle massages can help to ease pain and stimulate the blood flow to affected areas.

A canine physiotherapist can also perform range-of-motion exercises, hydrotherapy, and passive stretches to increase your dog’s mobility. Acupuncture can also help to relieve muscle tension and joint pain.

Adequan Injections

Adequan is a chondroprotective agent, a substance that protects cartilage and prevents further deterioration.

Treatment consists of a series of FDA-approved injections that are administered twice weekly over the course of 4 weeks. The injections are quite costly and must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.

Adequan improves mobility and joint health while providing pain relief for your dog. This treatment may be expensive, but improving your dog’s quality of life is priceless. 

Use This Guide to Relieve Your Dog’s Joint Pain

With so many joint pain relief options on the market, it’s easy to bark up the wrong tree. Speak to your vet about the best course of action for your dog.

The right treatment option will have your dog’s tail wagging again in no time!

Browse through the rest of our site for more helpful hints and advice!