September is Pain Awareness Month – Sheepie Snack Sunday Arthritis Edition
We hope that our dogs will live long lives. As we see them age, the prevalence of arthritis increases. However, age is not a disease, but arthritis is.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage slowly degenerates. Joints become increasingly stiff and may lose their range of motion. Some causes of osteoarthritis are excessive exercise and obesity that can put your dog at risk.
In addition, inflammation known as rheumatoid arthritis involves putting the immune system in overdrive in which it attacks the joints, tissues and organs.
Prostaglandins are fatty acids that act like hormones. They are responsible for many functions in the body such as increasing or decreasing inflammation. The total amount and composition of carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fats, and anti-inflammatory compounds in food establish whether there will be an overload of inflammatory prostaglandins in the body.
If a pet owner creates a diet that balances inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods (list provided with consultation or seek your veterinarian), one can reduce the amount of detrimental prostaglandins, or at least not do any more damage by increasing prostaglandins. I recommend feeding a high quality food without chemicals and preservatives that can stress the digestive tract. Toxins produced by intestinal disorders and poor liver function can often cause disruption of normal processes that may lead to inflammation in the joints. Digestive enzymes along with a probiotic supplement with beneficial bacteria can help aid in restoring normalcy and health in your pet’s gut.
A better diet with less protein is the first step since Arthritis has an immune component to it. Many commercial diets contain poor-quality proteins which challenge the immune system daily.
I chose the following recipe as I felt it is easy, and many still prefer the grain-free options as their pets are not used to fresh foods and have many sensitivities. It also includes ginger which aids in aching joints.
Arthritis-Relieving Beef And Sweet Potato (R. Woodford)
- 2lbs Ground Beef (85% lean)
- 5oz frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 3lbs sweet potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons salmon oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3,000 mg glucosamine tablets with chondroitin, crushed or pulsed in a food processor (perhaps see your vet about supplementation first)
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef for 6 minutes. Add the spinach, ½ cup of the water, and ginger and cook for 6 minutes longer, stirring occasionally to break up the beef.
- Remove from the heat and allow the beef mixture to cool.
- Combine the sweet potatoes and the remaining 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe dish and cook on high power for 7 minutes. Stir the potatoes and cook on high for an additional 7 minutes.
- Allow the potato mixture to cool, and then combine it with the beef mixture, salmon oil, parsley, and glucosamine supplement in a large bowl.
Yield: 12 cups; 295 calories per cup
Divide into two meals, or serve one-half the daily portion per day with one-half the normal amount of dry food.
- 10 pound Dog: 2/3 – 1 ¼ cups
- 20 pound Dog: 1 ½ – 2 cups
- 40 pound Dog: 2 2/3 to 3 ½ cups
- 60 pound Dog: 3 ½ to 4 ½ cups
- 80 pound Dog: 4 ½ to 5 2/3 cups
All of our Sheepie Snack Sunday blogs & recipes can be found on our Facebook page in our album here.
Making the fur fly,
Danielle & Riggs
The Pet Professionals: Cert. Vet Assist, Professional Dog Groomer, Canine Nutritionist.