Top 10 All Natural Anti-Inflammatories for Dogs

Top 10 All Natural Anti-Inflammatories for Dogs

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 06.10.2020

Natural Anti-Inflammatories for Canines

As soon as you sense that your four-legged best friend isn’t quite being themselves, you instantly go into problem solving mode, as the responsible paw parent you are. It also makes you wonder if you’re doing absolutely all that you can to ensure that your pup is living their best and most healthy life. 

In so many instances, we figure out our doggo is in discomfort or distress once it’s almost too late. Canines are infamous for being able to hide their pain, thus, when they finally show signs of discomfort, the pain has most likely been occurring for a while. 

Nonetheless, when it comes to doggos in pain, there are a wide array of anti-inflammatory options to get your pup feeling better, faster. Let’s get to it!



Inflammation 101: What is it?

Inflammation can be described as swelling of a specific body part or region. It is often due to an injury or infection. The inflamed area or region of the body can become painful and may even turn reddish in color. The worst of your problems begins when this inflammation goes unnoticed and untreated, becoming a chronic issue. 

Many experts trace the underlying reasons of various health conditions to inflammation. Various concerns and issues ranging from seasonal allergies, to cancer, to heart disease, typically have inflammation as their source of origin. 



Not to get you too worried, but it is scary to think that inflammation can start and show in many forms, with or without notice. Many paw parents may not notice their dog’s inflammation until it is long developed and spread throughout their system. 

Scientists have shown that these conditions have been linked, in one form or another, to long-term inflammation:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Dementia
  • Chronic pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Hip dysplasia 

Fortunately enough for you, there are numerous ways that you can help and potentially lessen your dog’s current inflammation.

Before we get into the all-natural anti-inflammatory options for your canine, let’s first talk about what happens when you realize that your dog is in discomfort and why traditional treatment methods for pain may not be the only option.

Why Not Traditional Anti-Inflammatory Medications?

Typically, when inflammation starts to set in, so does associated pain. 

In most instances, veterinarians may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in order to help or attempt to alleviate your dog’s discomfort. 

Here’s the catch, these drugs, along with other traditional pharmaceuticals, often come with a whole slew of adverse side effects. Yikes! Paw parents need to be aware of these potential side effects. 


Once canine parents become aware of the potential adverse effects of NSAID medications, many begin talking to their vet about holistic and natural options for reducing and alleviating inflammatory issues and pain. 

How Important is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

In short, so important! With the world of natural and holistic medicine continuously blooming in today’s day and age, paw parents are discovering natural options for their pupper’s inflammation and pain. 

Diet is key - let’s start there. We can’t seem to stress this enough: your dog’s diet makes all the difference. When it comes to preventative care, your pupper’s diet can significantly help in preventing the development of health concerns, including pain and inflammation. 



Picking anti-inflammatory foods can help in preventing conditions including obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions, which may also help prevent inflammation from setting in. 

By starting your dog on an anti-inflammatory diet, paw parents can also help slow the development of arthritis and associated muscle and joint pain. 

What Foods to Avoid

Which foods should you be giving your pup? Which foods should you stay clear of? 

Time and time again, a homemade diet may take longer to prepare daily or weekly for your canine, but may provide all the anti-inflammatory agents they so necessarily need! This isn’t a black and white diet though, you don’t need to rid anything and everything that has inflammatory possibilities, moderation is key. It’s important that dog parents know how to balance the anti-inflammatory foods with the inflammatory foods, one day at a time.



The following foods are suggested to cause inflammation in canines (+ in us humans too):

  • Sausage
  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Bologna
  • Hot dogs
  • Egg yolks
  • Potatoes
  • Margaine
  • Refined grains
  • Polyunsaturated veggie oils (corn, sunflower, and soybean oils)

For dogs that aren’t necessarily experiencing inflammation, some of these foods don’t have to be avoided at all costs. But, they must be balanced with anti-inflammatory foods to help negate the potential inflammation. 

What are Good Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Dogs?

Here’s where we talk about the good stuff! Many natural anti-inflammatory agents that us humans use in our everyday lives, may also benefit your four-legged friend! Of course, always do your homework and consult with your holistic veterinarian prior to giving fido anything new. Do note, some anti-inflammatory agents that us humans can benefit from may be harmful for our pets. 

As you read along, we’ve created a detailed list of our 10 top anti-inflammatory agents for your furry friends. Most, if not all, of these agents can be found in numerous products. 



Again, if you’re wanting to start your canine on new foods or supplements, always talk to your vet first, as they may recommend certain reputable brands or foods they know your pup will enjoy. 

1. Arnica 

It has been suggested that Arnica Montana (Arnia for short) may be one of the best anti-inflammatory agents on the market. 

Arnica is a topical cream, extracted from the arnica plant. It should not be used on any open hot spots or wounds, as it may circulate blood vessels and stimulate dilation, causing increased bleeding. 

This entire herb may be toxic if ingested, but it is highly recommended to be used in smaller amounts as an oral remedy. Do note, oral arnica should not be given around meal times. 

2. Devil’s Root

Devil’s claw root is another great anti-inflammatory option for canines. 

Most paw parents have claimed to see a major improvement in their dog’s arthritis and associated pain. This powerful agent’s main ingredient is harpagoside, which has been shown to help in reducing pain and inflammation.

Paw parents should know devil’s claw root may have negative effects if taken simultaneously with traditional medications. Consult with your vet first!

3. Alfalfa 

Alfalfa contains great antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and nutrients, helping prevent damage at the cellular level. 

DO NOT use alfalfa seeds though, as these contain L-canavanine, a toxic amino acid. 

4. Spirulina 

Spirulina is an incredibly nutritious algae, with volumes of benefits that your dog may love!

It has been suggested that spirulina may hosts an array of benefits, including:

  • Aiding in detoxification of the liver and kidneys
  • Decreasing the rate of cancer
  • Alleviating seasonal allergies
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Promoting GI health

Take note though, spirulina supplements are not yet regulated by the FDA, so talk with your vet about which supplements and companies you should look into before diving head first into options. 

5. Yucca

Yucca root contains saponins, which are similar to natural corticosteroids in the body. By stimulating the product of corticosteroids in our system, yucca root can help reduce pain and inflammation. 

Yucca has been suggested to help as an all-natural appetite stimulant and may help in decreasing smelly urine odors and feces. 

If you give your dog too much yucca, however, it may upset their gastrointestinal tract.

6. Horsetail

Horsetail has quickly become known for its ability to help with bone healing and connective tissue issues. Horsetail can be a great post-surgical trauma option as it can help in the building of bone, tissues, and cartilage. 

7. Green Lipped Mussel

Huh? Green lipped mussels can be found in New Zealand. It gets its name because of the green edges of the mussel’s shell. 

This mussel contains omega 3 fatty acids and can help with joint pain and inflammation. It also contains eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), which helps targeting inflammation. 

8. Ginger


Many paw parents are very familiar with ginger, especially in the kitchen. What you may not realize yet, is that ginger can help relieve canine arthritis pain. 

Ginger helps inhibit your dog’s immune system from making inflammatory responses. However, ginger can cause your dog’s blood to thin, so don’t give it to your pup prior to any surgeries or procedures. Ginger may also affect your pup if he or she has existing heart conditions or diabetes. Again, talk with your veterinarian to make sure ginger is a healthy and safe option for your pup prior to starting a daily regime. 



All-Natural Anti-Inflammatory Options for Dogs: Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, inflammation is always creepin’ around the corner. Thus, preventing and reducing inflammation before it becomes long-term is crucial. 



By simply making a few dietary changes in your doggo’s daily diet, you can rest easier knowing you’re providing them with anti-inflammatory agents to benefit them for the long haul. Incorporate some of the natural agents we discussed above into your four-legged friends diet over time, future fido will be sure to thank you!

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