Natural pain relievers for dogs and their types
Natural pain relief for dogs is a hot topic for pet parents. You probably came across this article because you are looking for additional options for controlling your dog’s pain beyond traditional medications.
Your dog may be experiencing negative side effects from a drug, perhaps you want additional pain control for your dog’s wound, or your dog is getting little chronic pain relief with his current medications.
Do your homework and make an appointment with a veterinarian who is experienced in integrative methods or traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) before giving your dog anything new, whether natural or over-the-counter.
Here is some helpful information on the different types of natural pain relievers for dogs and how and when to use them
What is natural pain relief for dogs?
Natural pain relief may not be an accurate description, because not all pain control options outside of pharmaceuticals are “natural” and have potential side effects.
There is a more comprehensive way to see natural pain control through the lens of integrative medicine. This means combining traditional Western medicine with additional treatment options and taking advantage of the best each has to offer to provide the best care for your pet.
Alternative options for pain relief are often helpful for chronic pain. Often, dogs who are already taking common pain medication still need extra rest.
Find a vet who can help relieve pain naturally
If your dog has a chronic injury or illness and you have already spoken to your regular vet, try to find a vet specifically trained in alternative treatment options.
When meeting with a vet about pain control options, bring a list of any medications, supplements, vitamins, or herbs you give your dog, so the vet can be sure there are no known adverse interactions.
Types of natural analgesics for dogs
Several treatment options can be used alongside traditional medications and surgical procedures. The combination of treatments often results in the best pain relief for dogs.
Before giving your dog any new treatment, medication, or treatment, talk to your veterinarian. This is especially true if your dog has a new problem or injury.
Natural pain control options can include:
Nutrients / Supplements
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF).
Alternative veterinary treatments
Veterinary spine therapy (similar to a chiropractor)
Dogs can greatly benefit from a range of treatments and their treatment plan is likely to change to include different things over time. Some treatments will be given as homework for pet parents (such as home exercise or a PEMF treatment), so it’s important to learn the correct technique and check in regularly with your prescribing vet.
Home remedies should only be given after your vet has shown you how to do them correctly. Using any of these the wrong way could lead to negative side effects for your dog.
One of the benefits of integrative medicine is that veterinarians trained in this type of medicine love to give pet parents treatments they can do at home to help their dogs.
That said, it’s extremely important to see your vet regularly.
Sometimes cold therapy is recommended for dogs at home, while heat therapy is not. Heat therapy requires veterinary supervision and advice, as dogs can easily get heat burns from heating pads. This is why home heat therapy requires veterinarian permission.
Cold therapy usually involves placing an ice pack near the injury or area of discomfort to help narrow the blood vessels. Applying cold therapy for a predetermined amount of time can increase your pet’s comfort level by reducing inflammation.
When using cold therapy, place a barrier like a piece of cloth between your dog’s skin and the cold pack, as they can’t tell you if the cold packs are too cold or cause discomfort.
Boswellia is traditionally called Indian incense and has been used in veterinary medicine for many years. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and studies have shown that it can be beneficial for lameness and other painful conditions.
The DHA and EPA fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in some medical conditions. They have been widely used for pets with arthritis or skin conditions.
It is important to use a veterinary product and make sure it is from a reliable source, as some fish can contain high levels of toxic metals.
The green lipped mussel is a fairly new addition to the supplement offering and appears to provide a unique source of omega-3 fatty acids that have been helpful in the management of some cases of osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
There is more than one form of glucosamine, so it’s important to talk to your vet about the right type for your dog. Studies have shown that glucosamine may be beneficial in the growth of cartilage cells, and thus may be beneficial for dogs suffering from pain due to joint disease.
Chondroitin works by blocking cells that can damage cartilage. It often works concurrently with glucosamine, and the combination works best to prevent joint injury. It has also proven useful in circumstances where an injury has already occurred.