Natural Pain Relief for Pets

Pain control for pets can be challenging. Pain medications made for people are often toxic to other animals, but there are limited drugs available for pets. This doesnít mean your pet needs to suffer unnecessarily due to injury, illness or other conditions. You can use many non-pharmaceutical ways to manage pain. The following are some natural methods shown to reduce pain in many types of pets.

Speak to your veterinarian before trying any of these treatments to make sure they are safe for your individual pet.


No matter what type of pet you have, all animals need some form of physical activity. If your pet is still physically fit, maintaining an exercise routine will help prevent injury, weight gain and other conditions that may lead to chronic pain.

Whereas, if your pet is already dealing with pain issues, gentle exercise will help to keep their joints and muscles healthy and functioning at their best. Low-impact activities like swimming or walking on grass or other soft surfaces are good options for pets with existing pain.

If your pet is in good physical condition, they might enjoy longer walks, runs or chasing games with you outside. For indoor animals, you can set up obstacle courses, provide toys and encourage ďhide and seekĒ games to get them moving.

Ask your vet what type of exercise regime they would recommend for your specific type of pet.


A good diet can significantly improve chronic inflammation and pain in many animals. As a general rule of thumb, follow the nutritional recommendations for your specific type of pet. For example, feed carnivorous animals, like dogs and cats, a diet rich in high-quality, meat-based foods. Avoid plant-based fillers, like corn or potatoes, in commercially prepared foods.

Foods with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint inflammation and the pain that often goes with it. Try adding fish oil, flax seed oil or hemp seed oil to your petís food to boost their omega-3 intake.

You can also explore various herbs and supplements that may be beneficial for pets. Although, consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any herbs or supplements because some may be toxic for certain animals.

Some common herbs used for pain relief include turmeric, cayenne, alfalfa, ginger, licorice, St. Johnís wort, feverfew and skullcap. Supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin are also said to help with pain control.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

Veterinarians trained in TCVM can advise on traditional treatments like acupressure, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and food energy therapy for pets. These can often be used in combination with other pain relief treatments as well.

Acupuncture in particular has been growing in popularity for pets. It works similarly as for people, with needles inserted into specific points on an animalís body. Itís been shown that this releases endorphins, the bodyís natural feel-good hormones. Endorphins help control pain by causing blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow around joints and muscles to bring oxygen and remove metabolic wastes and toxins.


Massage can create both hormonal and physical responses in your petís body that will help to relieve pain. Massage is shown to increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation and combats pain. Also, the physical motions of massage increase blood and lymph circulation as well as help release tension in nerves and deeper connective tissues.

Itís best to find a professional massage therapist who specializes in pets. They will know the most effective techniques to specifically target the pain your pet is experiencing.

If you canít find a massage therapist near you, giving your own pet a massage can also be beneficial. Keep it simple and focus on relaxing your pet rather than trying any complicated techniques. This will help to relieve tense, painful areas in their body. Try these tips on how to give your pet a massage and see how they respond.

Chiropractic Care

The overall goal of chiropractic care is to correct any structural misalignments in the spine in order to improve the bodyís physical function. This is typically done with manual manipulation of the spine. Pain relief is a common focus for chiropractic treatment. It can work well for many different types of pets.

Although, make sure the chiropractor you choose is skilled in pet care. Some veterinarians and chiropractors have expressed concern about the rise in professionals claiming to be animal chiropractors who in fact have very little training. Ask a potential chiropractor for references as well as details about their training program. If anything sounds suspicious, keep looking.

Related: How an Animal Chiropractor Can Save Your Petís Health

Weight Loss

Carrying extra weight can put additional strain on joints and worsen painful conditions like arthritis. It can also fuel inflammation, which is behind a lot of joint pain.

Diseases, such as hypothyroidism, can cause excess weight gain in some animals. Check with your vet to rule out any conditions that need to be treated before trying to put your pet on a weight loss plan. Then, with the help of your veterinarian, determine the ideal weight your pet should be. Briefly write down the steps youíll use to help shed any extra pounds. Weigh your pet every month to measure their progress.

If there is no underlying disease, providing healthy, protein-rich foods while limiting high-calorie foods is a good way to help your pet reduce their weight. Encouraging exercise and activity whenever possible is also important. Consider taking them for longer, more challenging daily walks or moving their food bowl upstairs or downstairs so they have to work for their meal. If your pet is asking for additional food, try giving them some extra play time and love instead.

Related at Care2



Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 hours ago

NEVER give anything for pain, even "herbals" or "natural" products to your cat without veterinary supervision. Cats have a very delicate metabolism that can react very differently than a human's or even a dog's.

Greta H
Greta H11 days ago

Thank you

Chrissie R
Chrissie R11 days ago

Thank you for posting.

Sandra Vito
Sandra V11 days ago


heather g
heather g14 days ago

You can't go wrong giving your cat or dog a good massage.

caroline lord
caroline lord15 days ago

thank you-HH the Samcat had acupuncture,but cldnt find vet doing TCM, acupuncturist and i picked kidney and heart rems out of a bk

Elaine W
Elaine W16 days ago

Good to know. thanks.

Anna R
Anna R16 days ago

thank you

Danii P
Danii P18 days ago

thank you

Ruth S
Ruth S18 days ago