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The fact of the matter is that at some point we may need to include German Shepherd hip pain home remedies as our Shepherds show their age.
We all want our breed to have the healthiest life possible.
And, thankfully, there are plenty of natural pain relief options if you don’t want to turn to prescription pain medication.
Let’s cover the best natural, drug-free ways to help our breed have a healthier, happier pain-free life.
1. Fish-Based Oils
Fish-based oils include beneficial amounts of fats, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep joints moving smoothly and aid in joint cushioning.
Look for fish-based oils like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and cod. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may decrease inflammation (source).
She prefers the taste of this brand over others. I use just a few pumps of the oil daily, on top of her regular kibble.
2. Keep Them
You should restrict cold weather access to prevent stiff joint pain in your German Shepherd.
Make sure outside walks are brief during colder times and keep off icy, slippery surfaces.
You may want to try placing their bed in a warmer area, use cozy blankets to cover them while they rest, or invest in a thick pad for them to sleep upon instead of the cold floors.
3. Provide a Relaxing Massage
Give your dog a daily massage to increase circulation and improve mobility. You can add in this type of brushing glove mitt to increase deshedding, plus most dogs love the brushing glove mitt, even if they usually dislike grooming.
Find a warm area in a comfortable spot in your home to begin.
Use long, soft strokes and light pressure to avoid causing extra pain. As your dog relaxes, you can apply slight pressure to their hips to help reach deeper muscles.
If your dog looks in pain, yips, or squirms, then you’re massaging them too hard. Lighten up your touch. Hips are sensitive and take a gentle hand.
Massage is one of the most recommended German Shepherd hip pain home remedies that can be performed daily.
4. Explore Acupuncture
Acupuncture is becoming more popular as a natural home remedy for pain.
In dogs, acupuncture is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders, including hip pain and arthritis.
The insertion of needles is painless and is often followed by an improvement in the animal’s condition.
Some dogs even become tired and sleepy for the next 24 hours. Look online for a ‘pet acupuncture’ near you.
5. Feed Them Green Lipped Mussels
Green-lipped mussels are a nutrient-rich mollusk from New Zealand that is a nutritious source of protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Your GSD will love these healthy soft chews that are made with green-lipped mussels and provide mobility-boosting hip and joint support.
Green-lipped mussel contains natural mobility-boosting properties and also aid in better digestion. These nutrient boosters encourage hip and joint comfort for your German Shepherd.
The chews are very soft, so a great choice for an older Shepherd with teeth or chewing issues.
6. Swim Therapy
Rehabilitation is increasingly
prescribed for dogs to address issues such as pain and joint damage, musculoskeletal
issues, arthritis, and more.
If you have a rehabilitation clinic for animals in your area look for one using underwater treadmill therapy.
If you don’t have access to a clinic and live in a warmer climate, try taking your dog for a swim to increase their range of motion without pressure on their hips.
The water takes the weight off their hips and provides better mobility for them.
7. Cover Slippery Surfaces
Avoid tile floors, hardwood surfaces, and icy patches for dogs with hip and joint pain.
If you can’t avoid slippery areas, then lay down a series of throw rugs and runners to prevent accidental falls, which may further injure your dog.
Regular slipping can cause damage that promotes hip dysplasia and increases inflammation.
You can also buy antislip traction boots for them to wear to prevent accidents both indoors and outside. Many dogs gladly wear booties.
Boots help prevent slipping and falling accidents.
Staying active is important for joint health and will help keep your dog healthy and fit.
Frequent short walks on a soft surface or play sessions indoors on a carpet or rugs are low impact activities good for aging hips.
The grass is a perfect surface to walk on since it gives cushioning and protects against slipping.
Avoid concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads, as these surfaces increase stress on the joints.
Vets recommend 15 to 20 minutes of exercise, instead of long walks that place too much pressure on the hips. Let your German Shepherd set the pace and don’t rush them along.
9. Complement Your Dog’s Diet with Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients
Some foods have natural anti-inflammatory properties and are safe to give to dogs in small quantities.
You can give your Shepherd fresh blueberries, papaya, alfalfa, or ginger. Use a handful of these anti-inflammatory fruits as tasty treats or mixed into their regular food.
Make sure the foods are dog-safe and only give them in small quantities to avoid any allergies or upset stomach.
My German Shepherd’s favorite is frozen blueberries!
10. Add Turmeric
Another popular ingredient that has shown some promising research in recent years is turmeric.
Turmeric is shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects and is now sold for pet pain.
The easiest way for your GSD to get their dose of turmeric is to use a pre-measured dose of turmeric in pill form that also tastes great.
Try Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin brand to deliver natural anti-inflammatory relief while protecting your sensitive Shepherd’s digestive and immune systems with additional nutrients.
11. Use a Joint Pain Food that Maintains Their Weight
Maintaining our breed’s weight is especially important during their senior years.
Any excess weight puts more pressure on their hips and joints. This extra weight increases pain and discomfort (source).
Instead of feeding your regular food, use the weight-maintaining food and you’ll also get the bonus of an additional joint supplement already added.
This is great for busy owners or those owners that may forget to offer their dog a daily joint supplement.
12. Offer Orthopedic Support
Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain.
Instead, invest in an orthopedic bed to support your dog’s aching hips.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive model, as there are many quality models on the market at a reasonable price, like this quality orthopedic bed. Getting your dog onto an orthopedic bed not only gives them joint support to relieve pressure, but the bed also helps keep them warm.
The warmth from drafts or cold nights sleeping on a floor can reduce hip inflammation.
13. Heat Therapy
We know that heat decreases joint pain and works best for chronically inflamed joints from arthritis or hip dysplasia.
Using heat helps to increase circulation to their joints and provides a soothing German Shepherd hip pain home remedy.
Here’s how to use heat therapy as a home treatment:
Use a heating pad on the lowest setting as there’s a potential to burn your dog with too much heat.
Don’t allow the heat to sit on your dog’s skin for too long.
Hold the pack in place on the painful body part for about 15 minutes, frequently checking for overheating.
You can repeat heat therapy every 6 to 8 hours but check with your vet for the best options.
14. Add Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM Supplements Daily
There are many supplements to help ease joint pain and discomfort.
It’s important to choose a joint health supplement that offers a beneficial dosage for your German Shepherd’s needs.
Look for brands that offer clinically recommended levels of glucosamine and chondroitin. This potently combines ingredients to treat pain and discomfort as supported by clinical veterinary studies.
The brand made from this potent combination of quality ingredients that I feed my own Shepherd is Cosequin Max. Cosequin Max is known by vets to provide your GSD natural pain relief for their hips and joints.
Cosequin Max contains a therapeutic amount of active ingredients to have a significant impact on hip health.
15. Use a Raised Food and Water Feeder
Keeping your pet’s food and water elevated with a raised feeder takes the pressure off your dog’s neck, back and hips.
It’s also better for their digestion and can help prevent bloat.
Look for a raised food and water feeder at least one foot off the ground, like the Neater Feeder elevated model. The Neater Feeder also has a built-in backsplash to reduce food and water spillage, so your GSD won’t slip on the floor and injure themselves.
16. Keep Their Nails Trimmed
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed allows them to maintain their natural gait and smooth walking, which assists in their balance.
When their nails are too long, they may change their gait which can cause skeletal changes and arthritis in their foot/toes.
You can trim their nails at home or ask your vet to trim their nails. This is usually a small price and sometimes free with a regular visit.
17. Install Dog Ramps and Stairs
Install a small dog ramp or stairs where needed, especially near the couch if your dog usually lays there.
Stairs and ramps help your GSD get up and down off the furniture, get in and out of the car or assists them entering and exiting their home.
Dog ramps and stairs reduce strain on their knees and hips and prevent accidental slips and falls during uneven ground or jumps.
There are lift slings, rear-end harnesses, wheelchairs, and even carts that keep your dog mobile and able to take part in everyday life activity.
Also, senior dogs need to stay active to keep them mentally stimulated. Don’t allow your dog to lie around all day if they’re happier outdoors.
Help them move around outside or down the sidewalk with the specially made slings.
If your dog isn’t interested in outdoor activities anymore, or you have a medical reason to not take your dog outdoors, then try mental stimulation from the comfort of your home. You’ll find fun, free, and low-cost ideas to keep your dog happy and healthy by reading “15 Stimulating Mental Exercises for German Shepherds.”
19. Try Hemp Oil
Hemp oil has already been shown to help our pets, and it’s now easier than ever to offer your GSD this therapeutic oil in a tasty treat.
Reducing pain and inflammation, hemp oil soothes joints and increases mobility by lessening joint pain. Simply give your dog their daily dose of hemp oil and watch the pep in your dog’s step!
Try the Hemp Mobility brand which also contains glucosamine, MSM, and turmeric – a trifecta of natural hip-pain ingredients.
Using a Natural German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedy
Using a natural German Shepherd hip pain home remedy is a smart choice to provide a more natural approach than typical prescription medications, or as a complement with your vet’s approval.
Home treatments are readily available and offer owners and dogs options that are readily available and produce noticeable results.
Natural and healthy oils, heat therapy, acupuncture, preventing slips and falls, and making sure your German Shepherd is comfortable is paramount to easing their hip pain.
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