9 Best Arthritis Medicines for Dogs

Arthritis is a common problem in dogs. It occurs when your pet’s joints are inflamed, swollen, and painful. This article will review the most common medicines used to treat dogs with arthritis and help you decide which one(s) are right for your pet.

Arthritis medicine for dogs

What is the best medicine for dogs with arthritis?

There are several different types of arthritis medicine for dogs, including anti-inflammatory medications, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements.

1. Galliprant

Galliprant is a prescription medication that is used to treat arthritis in dogs. This medicine treats inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip, elbow, or knee. It can be used alone or in combination with other medications such as Gabapentin.

A typical dose is 0.9 mg per pound of body weight, but this dose may vary depending on the condition being treated and whether or not you are giving it together with other drugs.

2. Carprofen (Rimadyl®)

Carprofen is an NSAID drug that may be prescribed as a long-term treatment for dogs with chronic arthritis. It should not be used in pregnant animals or those that have liver/kidney disease.

In general, it’s safe for long-term use and does not cause significant side effects in the lowest recommended doses. The typical dose of Carprofen is 2 mg per pound of body weight given once a day or divided doses of 1 mg per pound twice a day.

3. Meloxicam (Metacam®)

Meloxicam is another NSAID that can be used in dogs with arthritis. Meloxicam comes in liquid, injection, and chewable tablets that are easy for dogs to swallow.

Meloxicam should be used with caution to pregnant or nursing bitches, those that are dehydrated, on diuretic therapy, or those with existing kidney, cardiovascular, and liver problems.

The dosage of METACAM Oral Suspension is 0.045 mg per pound of body weight (0.1 mg/kg) once a day.

4. Deracoxib (Deramaxx®)

Deracoxib is an anti-inflammatory drug that works by inhibiting COX2 enzymes in the body. The drug was originally developed to treat arthritis, but it has also been used to treat other types of inflammatory conditions, including osteoarthritis and pain associated with surgery.

5. Firocoxib (Previcox®)

Firocoxib is similar to deracoxib, both are highly selective cox-2 inhibitors (coxibs), but firocoxib has better improvements than deracoxib.

The selective cox-2 inhibitors are also less likely to cause adverse effects on the GI, hepatic, and renal function than nonselective NSAIDs such as aspirin, phenylbutazone, and vedaprofen.

What is the best natural remedy for arthritis in dogs?

In addition to medications, there are many supplements that can help with arthritis pain. These include:

6. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are dietary supplements that have been found to be good for arthritis in dogs. Glucosamine is most effective when combined with chondroitin because they work best when taken together.

These supplements are naturally occurring substances found in cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bones. They work by stimulating the production of new cartilage and bone growth. They also help stimulate joint mobility by reducing inflammation in joints.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplement does not require a prescription from your veterinarian — it’s available over-the-counter at most pharmacies and grocery stores.

7. Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids may also be beneficial for your dog’s joints. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and krill oil, which is an important component of your dog’s diet. Omega 3 fatty acids can improve joint function, reduce inflammation and help prevent cartilage deterioration.

8. Curcumin

Curcumin is a natural antioxidant derived from turmeric, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce joint pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with arthritis.

More recently, research has shown that curcumin is a potent inhibitor of inflammatory cytokines and thus may be useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.

9. Boswellia

Boswellia is a plant-based supplement that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to help ease the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

In a 12‐week pilot study, there was a significant reduction in pain score and stiffness compared to baseline measurements. The researchers also found that Boswellia improved joint mobility and comfort without causing any side effects.

What do vets recommend for arthritis?

Your veterinarian will start with oral anti-inflammatory medication like Rimadyl® or Metacam®, depending on the condition of your pet. These drugs have been associated with an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, stomach ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

The good news is that vets are now prescribing more natural products such as Curcumin, Boswellia, Omega 3 fatty acids, Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements and others for their patients.

Can CBD Oil help my dog’s arthritis?

CBD oil is an effective treatment option for many types of pain and inflammation in dogs, but it is important to understand that the medication has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety or efficacy. To be on the safe side it’s best to avoid giving your dog CBD oil unless you know how to administer it safely and effectively.

The active ingredient in CBD oil that helps treat arthritis is called cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has a number of medical benefits, including:

  • reduced pain and inflammation
  • improved mobility and range of motion
  • better sleep patterns
  • reduced anxiety

NOTE: If your dog has an allergic reaction after taking CBD oil for dogs, then immediately stop using it. You should also consult a veterinarian before using any medication on your pet because some medicines may interact with CBD oil.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work on dogs for arthritis?

It usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks for the CBD oil to start working on dogs for arthritis.

The best way to use CBD oil for dogs is to give it orally with food, but you can also mix it with their water or treats. The easiest way is to give them some drops under their tongue, so they won’t have any problems swallowing it.

Conclusion of arthritis medicine for dogs

The medications and supplements that can be used to treat arthritis in dogs are numerous. In addition, there are also some natural remedies that have been found to help with this condition.

Dogs with arthritis should be treated with a combination of drugs, physical therapy, and other therapies as needed. The goal of treating arthritis is to improve the dog’s pain and function while reducing the chance of complications.

Finally, there is some exciting new research and development in the field of arthritis medicine for dogs. The future looks very bright for this disease.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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