Arthritis is no different for pets than it is for people:
The symptoms and treatments are similar, but there’s a big difference, your pets can't tell you when they’re hurting.
Dogs and cats are actually very clever at hiding their pain because animals in the wild know that weakness makes them a target.
You have to be a bit of sharp by observing your pet to recognise the signs, a stiff walk, a favourite couch that they no longer use, hesitation jumping into the car or even a groan when they lie down and get up are all clear signs of arthritis or at least the beginnings of bone discomfort.
About 20% of middle-aged dogs and cats have arthritis in at least one joint, and nearly all will be affected at some time in their lives.
The good news is that arthritis often can be prevented and pets that already have it can get relief without taking expensive or masking drugs.
Using bone broth when your pet is fit and healthy is one of the best things to ensure your pets bone and cartilage structure are well looked after with proteins like glycosaminoglycans, glucosamine, chondoitin, gelatine to name but a few.
Bone broth is packed with the natural proteins and minerals extracted from fresh bone and cartilage and easily absorbed into your pet’s blood stream, these proteins don’t leave your pets body in the normal fashion but instead go to work, your cat or dogs body will employ these proteins and minerals to help maintain and reconstruct damaged areas.
Keep a close watch on your pet’s weight:
A recent study found that 53% of dogs are overweight or obese. Among cats, the percentage is even higher.
Those extra pounds accelerate degenerative joint disease, the breakdown of cartilage that surrounds the joints. Cartilage damage triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals that cause pain and stiffness.
Because dogs and cats come in different sizes, you can’t count on the feeding portion guides that are listed on food labels.
If your pet is overweight, start by reducing food amounts by about one-fifth. Keep at that amount for a few weeks. If your pet still seems heavy, reduce the portions again.
There is no need to give your cat or dog treats, we all know treats can be used as a reward when training as a way to mark good behaviour and that’s the only reason we should be feeding treats at anytime.
Along with weight loss, exercise is the most effective way to prevent and treat arthritis. Regular exercise increases synovial fluid, the natural lubricant that allows joints to glide rather than grind together.
Exercise also reduces pressure by strengthening the muscles that surround the joints.
It’s usually easy to get dogs to exercise just snap on a leash and take a walk. Cats need more encouragement or at least something that engages their interest such as a ball or a moving piece of string. Walk/play with your pet for at least 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day.
BETTER THAN DRUGS:
The standard arthritis treatments for dogs and cats include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by veterinarians.
We recommend drugs only as a last resort.
You usually can treat arthritis with natural and safer remedies like bone broth or cbd oil and a good diet.
Although cbd oil has great reviews at the moment I’d like to see some proper peer reviews and papers on the outcome of cbd oil, having said that if cbd oil is working for your pet then being a pet owner myself I’d be jumping at it if my dog was in pain.
This is a system of medicine that uses extremely small doses of natural substances to alter the body’s energy. I have found it to be quite effective in the past with my own dogs.
It’s my first treatment choice because it causes no side effects and can help reduce cartilage damage and inflammation.
Homeopathy is complicated because there are hundreds of potential remedies and doses and because the treatments vary widely from one pet to the next. You can give the remedies at home, but only after they’ve been chosen by a veterinary homeopath.
If you’re pet limps when it first gets up, but the stiffness improves with movement, your veterinarian might recommend Rhus toxicodendron.
Arthritis that gets worse in cold/damp weather might respond better to Calcarea carbonica.
Moving the limbs in certain ways can markedly reduce pain and improve your pet’s ability to stand, walk and run.
When your pet is lying on its side, for example, you can gently grip the knee and move the leg through its full range of motion.
Your veterinarian can recommend exercises for different joints.
You might be advised to work with a veterinary physical therapist who might use specialized equipment (such as underwater treadmills) to get your pet moving.
Over-the-counter joint supplements contain small amounts of proteins and minerals such as glucosamine and chondroitin are effective but expensive. Bone broth contains gelatine and collagen in abundance and these are the proteins and minerals used by your pets body to manufacture cartilage and bone.
Studies have shown that it improves flexibility and can relieve joint pain. Add a couple tablespoons of bone broth added to your pet’s food every day will not only future proof your dog or cat but also help with recovery and pain should your pet already be suffering.
Has the most bone-building proteins and minerals than any supplements on the market, and pets love the taste.
Make it yourself:
You can make it yourself by slow-simmering chicken, pork, beef or lamb bones until they’re soft and fall apart. (It might take two or three days using a slow cooker is best, as it can stay on safely for that length of time.) Strain the broth carefully so that no bone bits remain. Store the broth in the refrigerator, and give your pet a little taste with each meal,
At this point you might be wondering why we would encourage you to make your own bone broth?
We would encourage you for many reasons and the first would be for the health of your pet as that has to be looked after and your top priority, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this for the good of your own health.
So here’s a few tips from us on how to go about it:
Firstly it’s taken Scottish canine 16 months and loads of sampling sent off to laboratories for analysis.
There where loads of times when we thought we would never get the right bone, temperatures or cooking times to achieve consistency batch after batch.
Bone broth isn’t an exact science as we don’t start with an empty vessel and measure exact amounts of ingredients.
One thing we do know is that no two batches will ever be the same quite simply because no two bones are the same just like us humans.
The first thing to do when making bone broth is to ensure that all cooking pots and utensils are completely clean.
If possible use clean fresh bone as this plays a vital role in the final outcome.
We use raw apple cider vinegar to leach the minerals and proteins.
Now here is the hard part the part:
everyone thinks is the easy bit, Your bones should be brought to the boil for at least one hour to kill off any bacteria colonies and brought down to 94c to simmer.
I’ve read some people can produce bone broth in 4 hours and this is something that’s confused the life out of us as it’s virtually imposable (we should know)
Bone broth should be cooked for at the very least 24hr and even at that the quality can be poor in most cases.
36 to 48 hours would be the recommended timescale for a decent broth that will hold the proteins and minerals in the liquid.
The hard part of all this cooking time is the adjustments; good quality bone broth needs to be heat and time adjusted and not just during the day.
By quickly dropping the heat down to room temperature every 4 hours and then back up to 94c you are in effect contracting the bones to move and expand therefore allowing the release of the proteins and minerals into the water to be leached.
When your broth has cooled strain all the bone mush and debris and chill down in the refrigerator, don’t worry if your broth fails gel.
most people think the more jelly like texture the broth has the better it is and that’s not the case at all, gelatine in the broth is still there no matter if it goes all wobbly or not as it depends a lot on temperatures, to cold and it crystallises, to worm and it thins out and again we have to remember each batch is different and yours will certainly be different than everyone else’s, as long as you stick to the cooking and temperature times the gelatine will be there and your pet will still get all the benefits.
We haven’t provided you with a recipe but more of our methods, however we will add that your bone content should fill your pot right to the very top and remember fresh bone where possible (it matters)