Best People Food (Yes, People Food!) for Arthritic Dogs + 5 Natural Recipes

Best People Food (Yes, People Food!) for Arthritic Dogs + 5 Natural Recipes

Who hasn’t heard the famous Hippocrates quote, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”? Although we usually think of this as applying to us humans, it’s just as relevant for man’s best friend. And it especially holds true if your canine companion is suffering from arthritis.

Here at TopDog Health, we believe food is food. There are no special “dog food” crops – it’s simply “people food” that has been processed, packaged, and marketed in a different way. And with the exception of a few harmful foods to avoid, there are a variety of “people foods” that can bring a world of benefits to your arthritic dog – safely and naturally.

Here are our favorite inflammation-fighting people foods for your arthritic dog, plus three simple recipes to help ease their joint pain naturally. But first, let’s look at the real culprit behind your dog’s arthritis pain…

Inflammation: An Arthritic Dog’s #1 Enemy

For a dog suffering from arthritis, increased inflammation = increased pain. When your pup ingests something that causes an inflammatory response in their joints, this causes the tissues to swell, which then puts painful pressure on the nerves. Luckily, there are several natural solutions to decrease inflammation in your dog’s joints.

While processed dog foods can contain refined ingredients, added sugars, and harmful preservatives, and anti-inflammatory drugs can have harmful side effects, nature provides an arsenal of inflammation-fighting powerhouses to get the job done – naturally. While we often think of these ingredients from nature as “people food,” they are both safe and extremely beneficial in managing your dog’s arthritis pain. 

Best “People Foods” for Arthritic Dogs

Whole Foods

  • Fiber-filled veggies: Sweet potato, acorn squash, pumpkin
  • Antioxidant-packed fruits: Blueberries, cherries, peeled apple, cantaloupe
  • Vitamin-rich veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, collards
  • Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines
  • Lean protein: Chicken, turkey

Oils

  • Omega-3 oils: Fish oil, green lipped mussel oil
  • Coconut oil (mix in with dog’s food or use to sauté dog’s veggies)
  • Flaxseed oil (drizzle over dog’s food)

Herbs and Spices

  • Fresh ginger root
  • Turmeric (fresh root or powdered)
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley (bonus = breath freshener!)

5 Natural Recipes for Your Arthritic Dogs

Here are three simple recipes using the inflammation-fighting foods above to help decrease your dog’s joint pain and manage their arthritis naturally.

Recipe #1: Sautéed Ginger Salmon and Veggies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 can (3 oz.) skinless, boneless salmon, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and diced.

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small nonstick pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the broccoli and ginger and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and salmon and cook until heated through, about 3 more minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly before serving to your pup.

Recipe #2: Chicken and Veggie Slow Cooke

Recipe adapted from www.thedogbakery.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 cups zucchini, cubed
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cubed (no seeds!)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place chicken in the crockpot and add water so that it just covers the meat. Then, add sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower, and apple.
  2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  3. When finished, drain off excess liquid, add coconut oil, and stir to mash (or place in a food processor).
  4. When cooled, scoop daily servings into individual ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.

Recipe #3: Anti-inflammatory Dog Biscuits

Adapted from www.ProudDogMom.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Add blueberries, water, and egg, and mix until combined.
  4. Knead for about 3 minutes. Dough will be sticky.
  5. Let dough sit for 15 minutes to dry.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out flat to about 1/4″ thick.
  7. Stamp out biscuits with a cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
  9. Store in an airtight container for 1 week on counter, 2 weeks in fridge, or 3 months in freezer.

Recipe #4: Turkey Blueberry Kale Medley

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 large or 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cubed (no seeds!)
  • 5 eggs

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté coconut oil and ground turkey until turkey is browned.
  2. Add all other ingredients except eggs and add water to just cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until turkey is fully cooked through, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the eggs, mixing thoroughly.
  5. Let cool and then drain off any excess liquid.
  6. Scoop daily servings into individual ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.

Recipe #5: Easy Sweet Potato Chews

Recipe adapted from www.17apart.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large sweet potatoes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to the lowest possible setting (usually around 175ºF).
  2. Slice one top off the sweet potatoes (for easier balance when slicing).
  3. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick lengthwise slices of each sweet potato.
  4. Lightly grease two baking sheets using coconut oil or olive oil. Arrange sweet potato slices flat on the sheets.
  5. Place sheets on the top racks of the oven. Leave to dehydrate in the oven for about 8 hours, or until sweet potato chews are dried and shrunken but still a tad moist and pliable.
  6. Cook less time for softer, chewier treats and more time for drier, tougher treats.
  7. Store in ziploc bags, packed as full and airtight as possible, for up to 6 months.
  8. Give to your pup for a healthy treat that will keep them occupied!

There you have it – the best simple, natural, and effective foods to help decrease arthritis pain in your dog, without any nasty side effects. So get cookin’ with these inflammation-fighting powerhouses – your pup (and their joints!) will thank you.