Treating Pet Arthritis Naturally – Book Giveaway!


We are giving away a copy of The Natural Vetís Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats by Dr. Shawn Messonnier. Read this interview with the author and comment for your chance to win the book!

What do you mean by treating pets with arthritis ďnaturally?Ē

Natural therapies include treatments including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, cold laser therapy, herbs, homeopathics, and nutritional supplements. These therapies work wonders for both preventing as well as treating arthritis in dogs and cats.

How do conventional veterinarians treat arthritis?

They rely on the daily administration of NSAID medications. While they can be effective in decreasing pain, they are associated with a number of side effects including damage to the kidneys, liver, and stomach and intestines. Additionally, in some cases they can make the arthritis WORSE. For these reasons, they should not be used as the main therapy for arthritis in pets.

Do cats really get arthritis?

Yes, and it is often undiagnosed by owners and veterinarians. This means that these cats continue to suffer until they are properly diagnosed and treated. One of the goals of my book, The Natural Vetís Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs & Cats, is to alert cat owners just how common arthritis is in their pets, and encourage them to have their pets promptly diagnosed and treated.


How can a pet owner tell if his dog or cat might have arthritis?

Pets with arthritis typically exhibit any or all of the following clinical signs: slow movement and walking, slow movement when rising were sitting or lying down, inability to go on long walks or climb the stairs or jump on furniture, discomfort when handled or attached over the arthritic body part, and for cats, having urinary accidents in the house as it becomes too painful to get into and out of the litter box.

How important is weight control for the pet with arthritis?

Controlling weight is THE most important part of treatment for a dog or cat with arthritis. Not only is extra weight put more pressure on already painful joints, but as is true with people, the extra fat produces hormones and chemicals that lead to further pain and inflammation and joint destruction.

Do joint supplements help pets with arthritis?

Absolutely, and they work as well as if not better than traditional medications without the side effects or costs associated with conventional arthritis medications. And there are so many wonderful products available in convenient and easy to administer forms for dogs and cats, making therapy as easy as giving your pet a daily treat.

Can people give their pets supplements made for people, or are pet specific therapies better?

It’s best to give pets supplements made for pets and for people to use supplements made for people. While the raw ingredients may be the same, the doses are very different for pets when compared to people. Additionally, pet supplements are usually made in a palatable and easy to administer form for the pet, which is not the case with people.

How important is feeding a natural diet in caring for pets with arthritis?

Proper diet is the foundation of any health care program. A natural diet, either homemade or store-bought, is an easy way to decrease extra inflammation in the pet’s body. Extra inflammation due to low quality byproduct ingredients in a petís food contributes to ongoing damage to the pet’s arthritic joints.

Whatís new in the natural approach to treat arthritis?

Cold laser therapy is easy to administer, painless, inexpensive, and helps many pets with arthritis. Additionally, the use of joint supplements containing hyaluronic acid often work better than supplements containing glucosamine or chondroitin for arthritic pets.

Is surgery helpful for pets with arthritis?

Not for arthritis per se, but for pets with joint abnormalities such as hip dysplasia surgery may be indicated. However, for most pets with joint problems natural therapies can be helpful in allowing pets to avoid or at least delay surgery for many months or years.


Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M., is a holistic veterinarian and nationally recognized expert on integrative medicine for animals. A graduate of Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine and the author of several books, Dr. Messonnier is a regular holistic pet columnist for the Dallas Morning News. He is author of the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and he hosts a weekly satellite radio show, Dr. Shawn, The Natural Vet, on Martha Stewart Radio Sirius 112/XM 157. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Messonnier serves on the board of the prestigious international journal Veterinary Forum. Dr. Messonnier has shared his thoughts on integrative pet care with millions of pet owners as a contributor to various pet publications including Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Cats, Veterinary Product News, Whole Dog Journal, Animal Wellness, Veterinary Forum, Whole Cat Journal, AKC Gazette, Vegas Dog, Dog Nose News, Body & Soul (now Whole Living), Natural Horse, and Pet Business magazines. Dr. Messonnier owns the Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in Plano, Texas. His website is

WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win a copy of The Natural Vetís Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats by Dr. Shawn Messonnier! Winner will be announced on October 25. Good Luck!


Paula P.

Please email Katie at to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Marlo Suderski
Marlo Suderski6 years ago

I have been giving my mixed dog breed a joint supplement made for humans and have seen great results. Prior to usage, at age 6, he was showing signs of pain during the damp or cold months, as well as humid hot days. He showed little interest in jumping into the car even though all car rides end with a walk in the woods or at least a short time at the dog park. He is an extra large mix, weighing a lean 110lbs. I watch his weight closely to avoid unneeded weight gain during the winter months hoping that this will help avoiding additional joint pain. I decided to use a human supplement after reading a review put out by a independent pill testing company ( ) who had found that some of the supplements and drugs manufactured for animals where inferior to humans produces. I thought since he is almost the same weight as me the dosage would be safe. Does any one have any thought on that? I would like to be certain that I’m not accidently hurting him. Since we started the supplements over a year ago, all is new again, we have no problem with walks or car rides anytime of the year.


Bhusta R.
Bhusta R.6 years ago

they wanna holding the form here as commoner as possible, or even maybe by allowing anyone at all to siting here they give a subtle parade of approval towards people's behaviors, as unempathizing as they might be. Or maybe they finger that if the bloggers have release to condition whatever they see fit, then readers tins trace in the same fashion...
hip joint pain

Wendy B.
Wendy Bronson6 years ago

We've used glucosamine/chondroitin supplements for our aging pets for many years now, often with better results than the most commonly recommended NSAIDs and none of the side affects.

Nadine Hudak
Nadine H6 years ago

I think natural way is the best.

Brian Hamilton
Brian Hamilton6 years ago

great article

Ann F.
Ann F6 years ago

my dog is 16 with arthritis

Jillian M.
Jillian M.6 years ago

I've recently been considering switching my dog to a raw food diet as a preventative against all types of diseases, including arthritis. I also recently took a pet massage class so that I can offer the service to my clients (I teach pet first aid/CPR classes as well as offer dog walking/pet sitting in Los Angeles).

Kimberly J.
Kimberly J6 years ago

My animals are on an all natural diet & gradually being switched to a raw diet. I also use the Young Living Essential Oils and Supplements with them. As a member of Rev. Dr. Leigh Foster's Yahoo group, The Holistic Cat, I receive Dr. Shawn's newsletters every week. I would love to have his book.

Diane Nakashian
Diane Nakashian6 years ago

I started my Shih Tzu on glucosamine a couple of years ago as a profilactic. I could hear clicking in her joints. My horse had arthritis and the glucosamine was very helpful. I also tried acupuncture on my horse and yucca & devil's claw instead of Bute, but did not see any improvement.

Lisa Lungul
Lisa Lungul6 years ago

I have two dogs with arthritis, one already had surgery and the other soon has an appointment with a specialist to see if she needs surgery. I'm doing everything nutritionally and supplement-wise to treat and manage it but not always sure I am. Always open to learning more and trying everything!