Skip to main content

Over the Counter Treatments for Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Older dogs can face health issues such as arthritis.

Older dogs can face health issues such as arthritis.

Pets are living longer these days and that is great news. That gives owners more years of pleasure and love with the furry members of our family. But as pets age into their senior years, they sometimes develop issues that we as humans also face such as being more prone to certain diseases and ailments.

One of the problems that plagues both cats and dogs is arthritis. A pet with arthritis may have trouble getting around quickly, getting up and down or climbing onto places they used to go. Here are some of the signs of arthritis in pets and ways to help your pet without a trip to the vet.

Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

Older dogs naturally have less energy and sleep more. But sometimes these and other signs can indicate that there is a bigger problem with your pet.

If your pet's yearly physical with its vet does not reveal any internal health concerns, he or she may be facing arthritis. Just as in humans, arthritis can be recognizable.

Does your dog:

  • Get up slowly
  • Have trouble sitting
  • Have trouble standing
  • Walk slowly
  • Favor its back or front legs

If your dog shows any of these, it could be arthritis. While only a vet can truly diagnose arthritis, treatment of your pet can be as simple as giving them a medication you can easily purchase.

Treatment for Arthritis Dogs

Cosequin is a great, natural tablet that you can give your dog to treat arthritis. It is safe for most animals and seems to alleviate joint stress and stiffness in many dogs.

The chewable tablet is made of Glocosamine and Chondroitin. It is given everyday and has a cumulative effect meaning that once it builds up in your dog's system, it may begin to feel relief from its arthritis pain.

Using Cosequin is especially appealing because it is natural and the pills have few side effects when compared to NSAIDS which are also sometimes prescribed for dogs with arthritis. You can also try it with very little investment and always switch to a vet prescribed medication if it doesn't work.

The medication is often recommended by vets who, according to PetMD, admit that they have seen great results in their patients who have tried it.

Dog Food To Help Arthritis

Along with Cosequin, you might also consider changing your dog's food to a senior dog food or one that is specifically designed for joints. Many manufacturers have both types of food. Good nutrition and making sure that your dog gets the right nutrients can really help your dog to feel better. Some of the brands that make senior dog food or dog food that helps joints includes:

Joint and Senior Dog Foods To Help Arthritis

Dog FoodWhat It Helps

Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Healthy Mobility™ Dog Food


PEDIGREE® Healthy Joints Adult Dog Food


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dog Food


Nutro® Natural Choice® Senior Chicken, Whole Brown Rice & Oatmeal Formula Dog Food


Iams® ProActive Health™ Senior Plus


Hill's® Science Diet® Mature Adult Large Breed Dog Food


Older cats can develop arthritis as well.

Older cats can develop arthritis as well.

Signs of Arthritis in Cats

Cats can also develop arthritis. Since cats are natural climbers and jumpers, one of the big signs of cat arthritis is not being able to jump up onto their usual places. They may also walk stiffly and not be able to get up quickly. While cats do not seem as prone to arthritis as dogs, if your cat is overweight or has had a previous injury, it may be more likely to develop arthritis in old age.

Scroll to Continue

There are ways you can naturally relieve the stiffness and pain that comes with arthritis.

Treatment for Arthritis in Cats

Just like dogs, cats also benefit from the ingredients found in Cosequin. But since cats are less likely to take a pill, most of the Cosequin options for them are in a form that you can mix with their food.

The best option is the table that you can add to a bit of canned food or sprinkle over their dry food. The key is to make sure that they ingest all of the medication daily in order to benefit from the effects of Cosequin.

Just like in dogs, the benefits are cumulative. You should be able to see results in your pet in one to two weeks after starting a daily dose. Most cats take one capsule (sprinkle) a day but you can adjust up or down based on the severity of your cat's arthritis and its problems.

Cat Food To Help Arthritis

You can also try cat food for arthritis as well. Look for types of food that say they are for aging or for joint health. Some cat foods include the ingredients found in Cosequin so you can either cut back on the amount you need to give your cat, or use the food instead to help their arthritis.

Remember that you won't see the effects right away. It takes time to build up the nutrients in the cat's system and for them to get relief from the arthritis.

Here are some of the top brands of cat food that help with joint health and mobility.

Cat Food for Senior Cats

Note that most cat food that promotes agility requires a vet prescription.

FoodWhat it Helps

Blue Healthy Aging Mature Cat Food


Hill's® Science Diet® Senior Age Defying™ Dry Cat Food


Hill's® Science Diet® Optimal Care™ Ocean Fish and Rice Recipe Adult Cat Food


Cats and dogs can face arthritis and other aging issues. While these problems can be frustrating, you may be able to give your pet relief with very little out of pocket expense. A pet that feels better will be more likely to be affectionate and display those personality traits that made you bond with them in the first place.

I recommend trying the Cosequin first as it has proven results. If this doesn't help then try switching their food as well. Remember that you must switch foods gradually in order to not upset their stomachs or exacerbate the problem.

It is best to keep your pet up to date on their yearly veterinary visits and to eliminate any other causes for their mobility problems.

If it is arthritis, within a few weeks your pet should feel better and so should you.

Jack Hanna Cosequin Commercial


Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on October 22, 2013:

Glocosamine and Chondroitin is also used by humans for joint pain. I know many people who say that it really works well for them. Apparently it was first used for dogs and then approved for people, too. Enjoyed your article and voted up!

Related Articles