6 Best Home Remedies For Dog Hip Pain

Filed in Dog Health by on July 15, 2021

home remedies for dog hip pain

Did you know that one of the top reasons people take their dog to see the vet is for hip or joint pain? It’s very common and can be caused by a variety of things such as osteoarthritis, bone tumor, hip dysplasia, or injury.

The vet’s first step is usually to take x-rays to see if there is damage or a break. Surgery might be needed but if not, where do they go from there? To help with chronic pain and inflammation, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) will most often be recommended. These do a great job but often come stacked with side effects.

These days many more people are willing to try alternative or home remedies for their health problems – and for their pets, too. I know I do. Luckily, you can now choose from a wide variety of alternative therapies to help reduce your furry friend’s discomfort and treat hip dysplasia naturally.

From feeding them a healthy diet and giving them the right supplements to trying massage or physical therapy, these tips may help your pup feel so much better. You too, as you won’t be worrying about all those side effects…

In this blog post, I’ll discuss 6 of the best home remedies for dog hip pain. Technically, a few of these suggestions may require you to leave your home, but they are natural treatments. Keep in mind that depending on the cause of your dog’s hip pain, some of these remedies may have no effect.

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1. Weight Reduction and Food For Thought

Jack Russell dog weighing himself on scaleAccording to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, it’s estimated that 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. That is a stunning statistic and something that absolutely must be taken into consideration.

Managing your dog’s weight, diet, and exercise can help your dog avoid canine hip dysplasia in the first place since more weight equals more stress on your dog’s joints. If your dog is overweight slimming them down could alleviate the problem. Better still, be proactive and make sure your dog stays at an ideal weight all their life. This can be achieved by ensuring your dog is properly exercised and fed the very best food you can afford.

Daily walks, swimming, or playing fetch are great for moderate exercise; while for full-time working pet owners, doggie daycare centers can be a godsend. If you have older dogs or your dog has hip pain already, go for slow walks or take them for a swim. They start to develop arthritis when their joints deteriorate and wear out. Keep them moving to lose weight and maintain muscle mass.

Dog food is a huge topic and one that can and will take up many blog posts. At the very least, ensure the food contains glucosamine and chondroitin. These natural chemicals have been shown to help with hip pain and joint inflammation and most vets approve of their use for this condition.

Raw food is a controversial topic (see this article on the risks and benefits of a raw diet), but may help with issues like hip dysplasia, the common reason for a dog’s pain in the hip area. If you’re up for it, a biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet may reduce the risk of getting hip problems in the first place and can assist once the issue arises. How so?

Registered pharmacist Robert Mueller co-developed the BARF diet. He says: “Research studies have indicated that nutrition plays an important role in preventing and treating conditions such as hip dysplasia.” He adds: “Approximately 60% of all influencing factors for dog’s hip dysplasia are environmental in nature – one of those factors being what we feed our pets. This is the reason our clients seek the help of a raw meat diet. It supports steady growth and reduces the obesity factors critical to the prevention of hip dysplasia.”

And don’t forget that a raw diet can be bought freeze-dried. It’s expensive but highly convenient. That’s what I use by the way. I only have small dogs so it works out for me. If you have big dogs, the cost may be too high. There are some precautions you need to take but it’s something to consider for sure.

If you’re not sure what type of dog food to feed your dog because there are too many choices, this video from Dr. Karen Becker will be of enormous help.

Dr. Becker is a well-known animal advocate and a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. She’s the most-followed vet on social media. The video was made in 2015 but remains the best I’ve seen on breaking down the different types of food we feed our dogs and which are better than others. She doesn’t name brands, but her advice will help you figure out what to feed your dog for maximum health. Food is the foundation for good health.

As you will see when you watch the video, Dr. Becker loves the BARF diet and the homemade diet. If you’re interested in making your own dog food you MUST ensure it’s balanced. That’s the hardest thing. Feeding only meat and veggies won’t cut it.

Homemade diets provide a variety of fresh, healthy foods which contain far more phytochemicals (natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories) than kibble. A great resource to help you with this is the book Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.

You should also start supplementing your dog’s food – which leads us to:

2. Supplements

Dog taking his supplements as home remedies for dog hip pain

Oh boy! There are as many hip and joint supplements out there as daisies in a summer field! There are several ones that serve as home remedies for dog hip pain. Let’s look at five different types as a guide to get you started:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Oil

The AKC (American Kennel Club) says that fish oil is one of the best supplements to add to your dog’s diet because not only does it help with joint pain, it can also help with heart health, skin and coat health, allergies, and more.

I take this myself and give it to my dogs. Make sure what you buy is wild-caught fish caught by a company using sustainable methods. They recommend one from Nordic Naturals that covers all the bases.

Glucosamine And Chondroitin

Naturally sourced from the shells of shellfish, the green-lipped mussel, and cartilage, these substances can protect the joints, reduce the symptoms of hip pain and may slow down joint cartilage degeneration.

They do this by actually rebuilding cartilage and restoring joint fluid. They are widely recommended by vets and safe to use.

You’ll often see another naturally occurring supplement called MSM appearing alongside these two giants. MSM is also anti-inflammatory and used to treat hip pain in dogs and other animals.

Find a supplement with all three and you’re on to a winner! Here is an article with some guidelines on the proper dosage of glucosamine for your dog.

Golden Paste

Thinking outside the box, let’s look at the anti-inflammatory spice turmeric! Doctor Doug English, an Australian vet, created Golden Paste for the animals in his care.

It consists of turmeric, water, coconut oil, and cracked black pepper! His website says he has been recommending it to his clients for over 10 years and that it helps with many diseases related to chronic inflammation, including arthritis.

His website provides the tried and true recipe for Golden Paste. It’s not just for animals, though. Humans may also benefit from his formula.


A relatively newer entry into the field of natural supplements for hip and joint pain is the mighty warrior CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol. This can be given to dogs in oil form or added to food and treats. You can read our article on the best CBD treats for dogs.

CBD has no psychoactive components and does not make your dog high. But it can put the spring right back into their step!

I tested it out for myself when my elderly dog Pippin stopped wanting to walk due to arthritis. CBD oil cured him of that and within a short space of time, Pip was getting around a lot better. And you know what else? Pip had a lot of benign pink tumors all over his body that also came as he aged. Those tumors all dried up and dropped off after using the oil. I was stunned.

Choosing where to buy CBD oil is very important. Don’t buy it from your local gas station! Do your research and go for organic. Make sure the company you buy from offers third-party testing and documentation to prove that what they claim to be inside their products is really in there.

I talked to Jesse Hartsog of The Golden Almond Health Store in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, before buying mine. He has been selling CBD oil for humans and dogs for six years now. He confidently told me that he has had much positive feedback on how CBD oil is helping his customers’ dogs.

“I’m finding that it helps with a multitude of issues,” he said. “Dogs with deteriorating and inflamed hips and joints benefit and I’ve even seen it help pinched nerves. Dogs that cannot walk can be up and about again in a matter of days.”

There are still many rules and regulations surrounding CBD, so your vet will most likely not want to (or be unable to by law) talk to you about it. But you don’t need a prescription so give it a whirl. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Homeopathic Remedies

Dog undergoing homeopathic treatment

Hip and joint pain can also be treated homeopathically. There are many homeopathic remedies that can serve as home treatments for dog hip pain.

Best Friends Animal Society, America’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals, offers four remedies to try. They say:

• Rhus tox – is better for pets with chronic arthritis who are in the most pain and suffer the most stiffness after they have been in one place for a while, but whose condition improves with movement.

• Bryonia – worth a go for pets who are reluctant to move because the pain is worse with motion; the painful joint may be hot and swollen.

• Silicea – try this for pets with arthritis secondary to inherited hip joint problems, such as hip dysplasia.

• Colchium – may help pets whose arthritis pain gets worse in fall and winter, with very painful joints that make it hard for them to move.

Check with the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy to see if you have a homeopathic vet near you. If not, I like the website, HomeoAnimal for their homeopathic pet care.

Another recommended homeopathic treatment is Traumeel which is a solution made up of mineral and biological extracts meant to help with pain and swelling.

It’s sold over the counter and used for both humans and dogs. It’s sold on Amazon in gels, creams, tablets, and oils specifically for dogs under the brand name T-Relief. For topical relief, Hawaiian Organic Noni is also highly recommended.

3. Physical Therapy

Your vet may offer physical therapy to treat your dog’s hip pain. He or she might even refer you to a specialist in the many different areas of rehabilitation expertise that come under the physical therapy umbrella.

It’s exciting to have so many options! Let’s take a brief look at them:

Manual Therapy

As the name implies, this is a hands-on therapy designed to mobilize joints, activate muscles and connective tissue, and stimulate nerves to restore optimum function.

Therapists use manual traction, massage, manipulation, and what they call passive movement of joints and soft tissue.

Cold Therapy

As a rule of thumb, use cold treatments for acute injuries, pain, inflammation, and swelling. Ice packs or gels can be used in the same way that humans use them to relieve symptoms caused by exercise, injury, or surgery.

Always place an old T-shirt or towel between the pack and the skin to avoid burns. If your dog shows signs of discomfort stop the treatment.

Heat Therapy

The use of heat is better for muscle pain or stiffness caused by issues such as arthritis and tight muscles. It’s also good for use before exercise or rehabilitation procedures such as stretches.

It improves circulation and increase blood flow to the areas that need help, decreases pain and spasms, and increases muscle flexibility. Again, be mindful that the heat is not too much for your dog.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

The VCA (Veterinary Centers of America) says that this form of therapy has been used on animals since the 1970s and enhances and facilitates healing.

It uses waves of high-frequency sound to penetrate deep into the body where it increases blood flow and vibrates tissue to reduce inflammation and swelling. It’s used for pain relief, muscle repair, healing scar tissue, and wound healing.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrotherapy is used for muscle building and pain management. Therapists use two kinds – Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). Both use low-level electrical currents to promote healing.

NMES is best for regenerating muscles by improving muscle memory and strength, while a TENS unit helps with pain relief and reducing inflammation in localized areas.


Dog in a hydrotherapy clinic

If you can find a hydrotherapy facility near you, it would be well worth checking out. Low-impact exercise in water takes all the stress off muscles and hip joints and reduces stiffness making exercise possible again.

An underwater treadmill also aids weight loss which in turn promotes mobility.

Dr. Tari Kern, DVM, is a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner. The AKC quotes her as saying: “Hydrotherapy can be used as part of a structured program with the goal of easing arthritis discomfort in pets and improving function after injury or surgical procedures.”


A licensed animal massage therapist can improve an animal’s overall physical well-being with the aid of their hands. Massage increases blood flow which improves circulation, relaxes muscles, and helps with pain.

It also reduces stiffness and increases the range of motion so your dog can move more freely with less stress on their hip joints. The AKC even shows you how to do it yourself!

4. Chiropractic

Chiropractors for dogs use the same techniques as they do on you – they make adjustments to help relieve stress on the spine and joints.

Your vet may refer you to an animal chiropractor for help with musculoskeletal ailments such as bone and joint issues (hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, stiffness, and arthritic joints in the spine between the vertebrae), disc issues, soft-tissue disorders, and more.

Animal chiropractors also do neurological exams and look at how your dog walks. The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to give better movement and less pain.

With the correct adjustments, your dog may not need common anti-inflammatory drugs that can lead to harmful side effects.

Holistic veterinarians may also seek a certification that allows them to integrate this type of care into their practice.

Spinal manipulation can greatly benefit your arthritic dog with results sometimes coming quickly.

5. Acupuncture and Acupressure

Acupuncture for dog

Arthritis and degenerative bone disease can both be helped with these complementary therapies. They should be administered by professionals trained in Chinese veterinary medicine and work well alongside traditional vet care.

Alternative therapies acupuncture encourages the body to heal itself by correcting energy imbalances. To do this, needles are inserted into the body at specific points along meridians (or energy channels) throughout the body where nerve bundles and blood vessels merge.

Acupressure is used in situations where it might be easier or more effective to use hand, elbow, or knee pressure to get to the points instead of needles.

To find a qualified practitioner, you can search on the website of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture.

6. Elevated Dog Beds

Another one of my suggested natural remedies for dog hip pain is to buy an elevated dog bed. Dogs that have arthritis and hip pain will usually feel better when they’re not lying on the ground – either on the floor or inside a crate.

An elevated bed will provide firm, even support and allow them to sleep in a more comfortable position that doesn’t put stress on their hip joints. You can read more about the benefits of elevated dog beds in another blog post.

Elevating the bed from the floor also allows air to circulate underneath it thus preventing your dog from getting too hot or too cold. It will also keep them up from cold drafts that creep under doors in the winter.

You can also use orthopedic dog beds. Long periods of lying down can worsen stiff joints, making it difficult for your dog to get out of bed in the morning. Designed to distribute the pressure around your pet’s body, it can help to overcome problems with the dog sleeping at night or resting during the day caused by hip dysplasia.

Orthopedic dog beds are also great as they are built for support but will be harder to keep clean.


If your dog has hip dysplasia or his breed is prone to it, you can start planning ways and routines to streghthen dog’s muscles and promote joint health to help him maintain mobility and quality of life.

Alternative and home remedies for dog hip pain can be a blessing when your dog is in pain but always remember to check with your vet before starting any of them.

Your dog will need a physical exam and/or x-rays to rule out a serious diagnosis that only a vet can help you with.

It’s a lot more common these days for vets to suggest to dog owners alternative and/or complementary therapies for dogs. They may have someone they trust to refer you to or even administer them in their practice. Holistic vets will always offer them.

If you’ve tried any of these methods with success, or have any other ideas to share, we’d love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment below. And share this blog post so others can benefit from it. Thanks!

About the Author

Wendy Hollandsworth is a contributing writer to Dog Endorsed. She is a freelance canine copywriter who specializes in blog posts, content articles, product descriptions, and sales emails. An experienced editor and writer, she’s worked in four countries, has had hands-on experience with dogs in boarding, grooming, training, and pet-sitting, and loves what she does. When she’s not creating content she’s usually taking her three dogs Finn, Meg, and Ziggy Stardust to the dog park or making them a home-cooked meal! Sometimes her husband gets one, too.

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