As in people, there are many outside factors that can have an impact on your dog’s arthritis. You may find he enjoys playing more in warmer, drier weather, or that he is more active after taking joint supplements for a few months. Diet is another crucial component for arthritis in a dog. Obesity can put additional stress on the joints and certain foods may help control arthritic flare-ups. Additionally, certain foods can promote or decrease inflammation levels, which contribute to arthritic pain levels. By monitoring your dog’s diet and eliminating certain foods, he may be able to live a more comfortable life. Here are 4 foods to avoid if your dog has arthritis.
(And if you’re interested and your dog has arthritis, we’ve put together some additional comprehensive information on dog arthritis medications to help you along).
Dogs who are arthritic may want to avoid these two types of carbohydrates: nightshade vegetables and grains/starches. These both contribute to inflammation, a main component of arthritis. Grains like wheat, rice, barely, and corn can fluctuate the blood sugar levels and increase swelling. Nightshade vegetables including potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers can also contribute to arthritis symptoms. If you are using pet store food, check the ingredients carefully. Some foods that are grain-free use potatoes as a substitute.
2. Fatty Proteins
Meats that are high in fat contain high levels of omega 6 fatty acids – which contribute to inflammation. Giving your arthritic dog a lean protein source is ideal. Protein is important because it supports strong muscles. Feeding your dog a lean meat, or grass fed meat, can supply calories in the form of healthier omega 3 fatty acids.
In a diet, fats supply the most calories, therefore their levels and qualities must be closely monitored. Obesity is directly linked to the onset and severity of arthritis. If your dog is overweight, you should first promote weight loss. Each extra pound of weight your dog carries leads to further breakdown of the joint. The quality of fat you choose for your dog’s diet is important. Some fats can cause inflammation in the body, leading to pain and discomfort, while others balance out the system and decrease inflammation. Adding omega 3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet will help balance the potency of omega 6 and decrease its inflammatory effects.
It’s best to avoid plant-based oils including sunflower, safflower, corn and vegetable oils. These oils contain arachidonic acid – an omega 6 fatty acid. As mentioned before, omega 6 fatty acids increase inflammation. More specifically, the arachidonic acid in the oils changes into inflammatory compounds and high levels of these are associated with elevated inflammation.
Many times arthritis in your dog can be hard to spot. Subtle changes such as a decrease in desire to play, shorter walks, and more time sleeping could seem like nothing, but may actually be the start of arthritis. Diet is just one outside factor that can contribute to the symptoms of arthritis in your dog. To support overall joint health in your dog, we recommend seeing a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis, as well as incorporating an all-natural daily joint supplement into your dog’s diet. This will ensure your pet is on the path to aging gracefully and living a long, rewarding life.
Want more information about arthritis in dogs? Check out our detailed info on arthritis medication for dogs.