Lagging behind on walks? Mood swings? Trouble getting on and off the couch?
If your dog has arthritis, chances are these things are an everyday challenge.
You can help keep your aging pet mobile and happy, however, by incorporating a few key nutrients into their diet. Let’s take a look at the ideal dog food for arthritis and explore this condition a little more…
What’s arthritis, and can the right dog food help?
Arthritis is a painful condition for many dogs. Without enough cushioning between their bones (due to cartilage in their joints breaking down), daily functions like walking, sleeping and playing can become very uncomfortable.
A healthy lifestyle plays a part in preventing arthritis, but unfortunately age is also a huge factor – so it’s no surprise arthritis is most common in senior dogs.
There’s no magic cure, but the good news is that the food your dog eats can impact some of the underlying elements of arthritis (including inflammation) and provide the nutrients their joints need to heal and strengthen.
What nutrients are most important?
If your dog has arthritis, the goal with their diet is to reduce inflammation (less joint inflammation equals less pain!).
Here are some key nutrients you’ll want to get acquainted with:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin, which are abundant in New Zealand Green Mussels and have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (particularly Eicosapentaenoic acid or ‘EPA’), which are also found in New Zealand Green Mussels as well as oily fish such as mackerel. These acids are great for overall joint health as well as skin, coat, and heart health.
What’s the best dog food for arthritis?
It depends on your dog’s taste buds!
Kibble can be hard on senior dogs’ teeth, whereas wet dog food is gentler and often more tempting. Taste is crucial as your dog ages, as you want them to keep their appetite up to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
Wet food can also be a lifesaver if your dog needs medication – simply bury the tablet in their bowl of food and it will be gulped down before you know it.
Air-dried food is a delicious meat-rich alternative to kibble, and can also be gentler on teeth due to the unique air-drying process in which it's made. The other great thing about air-dried food is that it’s as nutrient-dense as a completely raw diet, but can be safely and conveniently stored (when sealed) for up to 21 months.
The entire ZIWI® Peak range (both wet and air-dried recipes) makes it easy to feed your dog a diet rich in nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids are also found in all ZIWI® Peak recipes, but are highest in the Mackerel & Lamb recipe.
Dogs with arthritis can still enjoy long, full, happy lives when their condition is managed effectively through diet. Now that you are armed with ‘nutrient knowledge’, we encourage you to try both wet and air-dried dog food varieties and see what your four-legged friend likes best!
Think your dog might have arthritis? Consult with your vet for further advice.