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The fact of the matter is that at some point you may need to include German Shepherd hip pain home remedies as your companion begins to show their age.
There are plenty of natural pain relief options that you can use at home.
And, knowing how to help your German Shepherd’s hips doesn’t mean you need to turn to costly prescription pain medication.
On the contrary, here are the best natural, prescription-free ways to help your GSD have a healthier, happier pain-free life.
How can I help my German Shepherd’s hips?
After a vet examines your German Shepherd for hip pain they may prescribe medications to relieve their discomfort and help improve mobility. Some veterinarians advocate the use of many hip pain home remedies that are safe, natural, less invasive, and more economical than prescription medication. In addition, you can help your German Shepherd’s hips by giving your GSD beneficial oils, organic-based supplements, herbal remedies, and adjust their physical lifestyle to reduce hip pain in your German Shepherd.
Always follow the advice of your vet when dealing with a German Shepherd with hip problems. Never try to diagnose hip problems in your German Shepherd yourself.
German Shepherd Hip Problems
Watching your German Shepherd suffering from hip pain really breaks your heart! Especially when you don’t know what to do for your dog’s pain.
Hip pain and German Shepherd hip problems can cause your once active, high-energy dog to suffer from:
difficulties getting up
hesitation to jump
lack of activity
reluctant to move very much
tired and listless
Even the fittest and most athletic German Shepherd are vulnerable to the same sorts of injuries and accidents as people are. And, just like you, your dog also may experience the downfalls of an aging body that loses its tone and resilience.
German Shepherd Joint Pain
Nearly all dogs get a little stiff as they get older due to gradual wear-and-tear on the joints that take its toll on their body. Furthermore, as your GSD ages, they generally become less active, so their muscles, tendons, and ligaments lose some of their flexibility and strength.
While there are many reasons why your German Shepherd has hip problems and hip pain which can make them stiff there are some common health issues that you should consider.
German Shepherds, even puppies, may develop conditions that can cause long-term, fatiguing pain, such as:
age-related joint or muscular degeneration pain
Did you know that 20% of the canine population over one year old is affected by arthritis (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)?
Or that 19.8% of German shepherds born between 2011 and 2015 suffer from hip dysplasia in some form (ofa.org)?
But, hip problems aren’t the end of an active life for you and your dog. There are many home treatment options available to you, even for hip dysplasia.
German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia Home Treatment
Use the following easy natural remedies for German Shepherd hip dysplasia home treatments. Hip dysplasia can benefit from the same type of care used for general dog hip pain home remedies.
You may tell German Shepherd hip dysplasia from other hip problems because GSDs with hip dysplasia have a slight sway when they walk.
Whether your dog has hip pain, arthritis, or hip dysplasia you’ll need to get a vet exam and start with home treatment to help them live a comfortable life as pain-free as possible. The best course of action after your vet’s exam and consultation is to start pain management early to reduce any long-term stress and damage (aaha.org).
1. Fish-Oil Supplements
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, which is especially useful in treating hip dysplasia and arthritis in German Shepherds.
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 (akc.org).
Look for a joint supplement oil that contains both salmon and hemp oils, like this holistic, dog-safe food additive, Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil.
2. Keep Them Moving
Regular low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, stretches muscles and connective tissues, helping decrease pain and stiffness. The gentle movement also stimulates the body to release natural lubricating fluid to help the joints move smoothly and freely.
To help reduce pain:
Aim for two 20-minute walks a day, preferably on grass or dirt paths.
Use paths and trails that vary to give your dog’s body a full range of movement, instead of walking routinely on asphalt and concrete.
Make sure outside walks are brief during colder times and keep off icy, slippery surfaces.
During hot weather avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Regular walks at your dog’s chosen pace (no running or jumping) will not only help your dog feel better but may also help prevent arthritis or further hip pain from forming.
Give your dog a daily massage at home to increase circulation and improve mobility. Massaging around your German Shepherd’s hips will increase blood flow and help their body get rid of pain-causing substances from the joints.
Try the following for your dog’s home massage treatment:
Find a warm area in a comfortable spot in your home to begin.
Use long, soft strokes and light pressure to avoid causing any 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. Continue your home massage treatments, preferably for 10 to 15 minutes daily.
Massage is a common complementary treatment for a German Shepherd’s hip pain (petnurture.com.au). This home remedy uses touch to improve emotional and physical well-being and improves stress and anxiety. Dogs with arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, and other orthopedic conditions benefit greatly from this German Shepherd home remedy treatment.
4. Cover Slippery Surfaces
Walk throughout your home and inspect the floors where your dog has to walk.
Are they slippery, do they provide traction, can your dog easily walk on them?
If your dog 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 and cause unnecessary pain. Regular slipping can cause damage that promotes hip dysplasia and increases inflammation.
Additionally, think about yourself walking on slippery surfaces. Does your walking style change?
It probably does to compensate for balancing on the surface. The same goes for your dog’s movements.
Any walking or moving that causes your dog to adjust their balance too much can cause more pain to them as they try to avoid slipping and falling.
The biggest area to watch out for is the entryway where water and snow tend to build up and…
The kitchen, generally next to the refrigerator and your dog’s favorite cookie jar. 🍪
5. Add Turmeric
Another popular ingredient that has shown some promising research in recent years is turmeric. A 2020 scientific paper show that the use of turmeric given to dogs as indicated is non-toxic and has many protective benefits (frontiersin.org)
Turmeric is shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects and the easiest way for your GSD to get their dose of turmeric is to use a pre-measured tablet of turmeric that meets the therapeutic standards for health treatment.
It also helps if it tastes great, like the Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin brand which delivers natural anti-inflammatory relief while protecting your German Shepherd’s digestive and immune systems.
Turmeric is recommended as a daily dietary supplement given for at least 3 months to evaluate your dog’s pain reduction.
6. Maintain Their Weight
Maintaining your breed’s weight is especially important during their senior years and when they are growing puppies.
Any excess weight puts more pressure on your Shepherd’s hips and joints. If your dog has arthritis or hip problems now, then keeping him at a healthy weight makes it easier to manage the discomfort associated with pain (avma.org).
More shocking is that excess weight can reduce your dog’s life expectancy by more than two years!
So keeping your dog trim gives him the best chance of a healthier, longer, and more pain-free life.
A diet made especially for maintaining weight while helping joint problems is a solution to feeding a German Shepherd with hip pain. And thisweight-maintaining joint care dogfood is scientifically based to have noticeable results.
In fact, it’s so beneficial that clinical results show improved mobility in as little as 21 days and reduce body weight by 13% in 60 days. 💡
Instead of feeding your dog their regular food, substitute the weight-maintaining food and you’ll also get the bonus of an additional joint supplement already added.
7. Provide a Comfortable Bed
Hard floors and thin dog beds are no place for a German Shepherd with hip and joint pain to relax or sleep for hours on end.
German Shepherds with arthritis or hip dysplasia often have their worst moments:
after they’ve been lying down for a while
first thing in the morning after a night’s long rest
You can help your German Shepherd with the transition from the floor and reduce their hip pain by providing them the right bed. Invest in an orthopedic bed to support your dog’s aching body that is thick and well-padded and made for dogs with aches and pains, like this plush orthopedic dog 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 inflammation and help support the joints while your dog sleeps comfortably.
8. Heat Therapy Helps
Research shows that heat decreases joint pain and works for chronically painful joints from arthritis and hip dysplasia (ofa.org). Using heat helps to increase circulation to their joints and provides a soothing German Shepherd hip pain home remedy that is noninvasive.
Heat pads are an essential tool for helping your dog with joint pain all year, but especially in the winter months when floors and sidewalks are cold and wet.
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.
If you’d like a warming bed that regulates the temperature control more safely and efficiently, or your dog frequently spends their time outside and refuses to come in, then offer them the comfort of this outdoor heated dog pad to give them joint relief while they enjoy their surroundings.
The outdoor heating pad offers another benefit — it covers more widespread areas of pain or stiffness (like arthritis of the hip) better than smaller store-bought heating pads.
9. Keep Their Nails Trimmed
Many owners don’t know this, but your dog walks on their toes or digits, called digitigrade walking. This means they need to feel the surface beneath their toes in order to provide feedback for their balance and prevent falls.
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed isn’t only healthy paw care, but it allows them to maintain their natural gait and smooth walking, which assists in their balance.
Ignoring your dog’s foot health, especially when they have hip problems, can create a multitude of additional health and joint pain down the road. When their nails are too long, they may change their gait which can cause skeletal changes and aggravate arthritis in their feet and toes (caninearthritis.org).
Don’t let overgrown nails cause your dog pain!
You can trim their nails at home or ask your vet’s off to trim their nails. This is usually a small price and sometimes free with a regular visit.
And many dog groomers offer mobile services that cater specifically to older dogs or dogs with special care needs. It’s not as expensive as you think and it’s free to call and ask the groomer for a quote.
Trust me, it’s better than keeping your dog in pain with overgrown nails.
10. Install Dog Ramps and Stairs
Consider adapting your dog’s environment to prevent pain from jumping on and off furniture or in and out of vehicles. High-car entrances and having to impact their hips to get in and out of bed to sleep with you can make your dog uncomfortable or worsen their joint problems.
You can get a slanted ramp so your dog can hop into your car the way he used to and make it possible to still enjoy your trips to your favorite hiking spots or coffee shops. Not to mention the obvious, but you might not be able to lift your large companion in and out of your car without having help, which isn’t always available or suggested since you could hurt them.
A car ramp helps take the pressure off you and your GSD and make their usual routine a breeze as they simply walk up the ramp to sit next to you like your copilot on the passenger’s side.
And your favorite couch buddy won’t be able to get himself up on a couch with their hip pain.
prevent accidental slips and falls during uneven ground or jumps
Getting around your home and into your car when your German Shepherd has hip pain is like asking them to perform an obstacle course. Instead, adapt the environment to make your dog’s days easier on them.
11. Give Them the Gold Standard – Glucosamine
If you’re looking for the gold standard in joint pain relief for German Shepherds here it is…
Glucosamine helps relieve disease symptoms, such as pain and stiffness, and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate combined are especially effective against arthritis.
There are two popular forms of this potent supplement:
The tablet is by far the easiest to give your dog, and the best known of the supplements manufactured on the market for home use is this maximum strength Cosequin Max.
As a matter of fact, Cosequin is a number one veterinarian-recommended brand. Cosequin Max contains a therapeutic amount of active ingredients that are shown to have a significant impact on joint care, specifically made to reduce joint pain.
If you’re looking for one of the best German Shepherd hip pain home remedies, this is a must-have product to treat pain and discomfort as supported by clinical veterinary studies.
Using German Shepherd Hip Pain Home Remedies
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 produce noticeable results.
A German Shepherd’s ability to get around is likely to diminish when he becomes a senior or impacted with hip dysplasia. But that doesn’t mean his activity should stop or his life becomes less interesting for him.
With you by his side using these dog hip pain home remedies he can still get on the couch to keep you company. Of course, I can’t stop him from requesting to watch Animal Planet… again! 💗
Catherine Krasavin owns Shepherd Sense, a dog website aimed at German Shepherd owners and lovers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, and has been training dogs for over a decade. Catherine’s currently attending continuing education courses to keep up with the latest in animal science, as well as earning her diploma in dog training. She owns a plush coat German Shepherd who was awarded Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award - the highest level of achievement.
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