If your canine companion has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, you’re likely searching for ways to make their life easier. With being such a painful condition, hip dysplasia can seriously impact a dog’s quality of life. It’s up to us to find ways to support our furry friends, and offering them a non-inflammatory diet can do just that!
In this article we’ll dive into the properties of the best diets for a dog with hip dysplasia and offer you other suggestions in supporting your beloved pup as well.
Hip dysplasia: The basics
So what is hip dysplasia and why does it result in so much discomfort for dogs? Since the hips play such a huge role in each step our dogs take, it makes sense as to why this condition can have such a drastic impact on their lives.
Canine hip dysplasia is the abnormal alignment of the hip joints, causing the ball and socket joint to rub and grind instead of gliding smoothly. Not only can this cause pain with each step, but it can also cause the hip joints to wear down over time.
Due to the inflammatory effects and pain that hip dysplasia can inflict on our furry friends, many dogs will begin to show signs of lameness and discomfort. Dogs with hip dysplasia may limp, struggle to get up and down, slow down with time, experience stiffness, have a change in their normal gait, have a decrease in their range of motion, and more.
Hip dysplasia is a largely hereditary condition, meaning the susceptibility to this condition is passed down from dog to dog. Irresponsible breeders have resulted in hip dysplasia being quite common in our canine friends, and increasing the need to find diet options and supplements that target their painful inflammation.
Your dog’s diet: The best dog food for hip dysplasia
Diet plays a huge role in our dog’s overall health, and can even aid in promoting longevity in our canine companions. With diet having the power to do so much good in our dog’s life, that means an improper diet can have just as much of an impact as well. When your dog has an inflammatory condition like hip dysplasia, a proper diet can make a huge difference.
When searching for the best diet and supplements for a dog with hip dysplasia, there are a few ingredients that you should be on the lookout for. These ingredients include:
- Ingredients known to target inflammation such as omega fatty acids, super green foods, ginger, blueberries, and other ingredients that are rich in antioxidants.
- Diets free of inflammatory ingredients like white potatoes, wheat, barley, fillers such as grain by-products, corn starch, and more.
- Additives that support joint health such as glucosamine, chondroitin, colloidal silver, green lipped mussel, MSM, omega fatty acids, and more.
Since it can be tricky to maneuver the pet food market, we’ve done some of the research for you. Let’s discuss some of the best dog foods for pups with hip dysplasia.
Raw diet options
Raw diets are a wonderful option for dogs that suffer from hip dysplasia. Many dry kibble options are known to contain artificial preservatives and fillers, many of which can lead to excess inflammation. They also contain ingredients that are known to exacerbate allergies and other underlying conditions, all of which can lead to an inflammatory response that your dog does not need.
A raw diet is species-appropriate and rich in whole ingredients that support immune and joint health, making it a wonderful option for hip dysplasia. Some of the raw food diet options that we trust include:
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Food
- Darwin’s Natural Selection Raw Food
- BARF World Raw Dog Food
- Answers Pet Food
You can also choose to create a homemade raw diet for your furry friend, but be sure to check with your vet on the ingredients before serving. Homemade diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies if they are missing essential ingredients, so it’s imperative that you ensure you’re feeling complete, balanced meals.
Lightly cooked whole foods
If you’re unsure about feeding raw, opting for lightly cooked whole foods can be a good choice. Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and duck are all great options—though remember to always remove bones first, as feeding cooked bones can pose a serious risk to your dog.
For those who prefer to feed dry dog food, there are some better options (and some worse ones). In general, avoid prescription diets that are supposedly geared toward mobility support. These often contain a whole host of ingredients that are known to contribute to inflammation in the body.
Instead, look for a grain-free dry dog food option that is lighter on the carbs and heavier on the protein. Common picks include brands Orijen and Carna4, which have higher-quality ingredients and include real proteins rather than ‘meal.’ Freeze-dried food is also a good option for those who prefer the convenience and ease of feeding kibble.
Supplements are a benefit for all aging or large breeds dogs, but are essential to dogs that suffer from hip dysplasia. Daily supplements, such as those with glucosamine and chondroitin, are a great way to target the inflammation in your dog’s painful hip joints and promote healing in the damaged cartilage. Daily supplements are a way to ensure that your dog has added support on their side, and can help to protect them against future damage in their hip joints.
Some of our favorite supplements for dogs with hip dysplasia include:
- Dasuquin DSM (prescription needed)
- Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus MSM
- Doggie Dailies Glucosamine For Dogs
- Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Oil Supplement
- Sovereign Silver Colloidal Silver Supplement
Foods to avoid for dogs with hip dysplasia
Now that we’ve discussed the best diet options and diet additives for dogs with hip dysplasia, let’s discuss some of the food you should always try to avoid. Some diets can result in excess inflammation and weight gain in our furry friends, both of which can make your dog’s chronic pain even worse.
In general, avoid the following:
- Diets that contain a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce or are unaware of what they are. These ingredients are often chemically altered or unnatural fillers that can cause excess inflammation.
- Diets that contain fatty proteins. Though proteins such as salmon or tuna contain omega-3s, you can always offer your dog a supplement or add a whole fish to their bowl instead. Focus on lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, lamb, etc.
- Diets that include inflammatory ingredients such as white potatoes, barley, wheat, fillers such as grain by-products, corn starch, and more.
Other ways to support a dog with hip dysplasia
Aside from offering your dog a balanced and nutritious diet, there are other ways to offer them the comfort they deserve. Since hip dysplasia has such a negative impact on their mobility and strength, the best support targets these aspects from every angle.
- Therapy options such as acupuncture, mobility therapy and stretching, laser therapy, hydrotherapy, and more
- Low-impact exercise such as short walks, swimming, indoor games and activities, and other vet-approved activities
- A prescribed pain management protocol from your veterinarian, as necessary
- Changes around your home to make your dog more comfortable, such as rugs for traction in slick areas, steps to relieve the need for jumping, and raised food and water bowls
- Help your dog maintain a trim figure, as excess weight can put stress on their already painful joints