How A Holistic Approach Can Help Your Dog With Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect many breeds of dogs. Although it's often associated with labradors and golden retrievers. There are other large dog breeds who are more prone to it, such as german shepherds and saint bernards.

So what causes hip dysplasia?

It is hereditary and so genetics play a big part in it developing in your dog. But not all dogs will experience it as bad as others. This can be due to nutrition, exercise and weight for instance.

Many responsible breeders of certain dog breeds, who're prone to hip dysplasia will complete screening, and only breed from dogs where the likelihood of it being present in the puppies is reduced.

What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia in your dog?

First of all, dogs of any age can develop symptoms - even as young as 4 months old. Sometimes it's noticed alongside the development of osteoarthritis. It can even be mistaken for other conditions such as arthritis.

This is because symptoms include:

These symptoms are all similar to arthritis. But could also be something else like a back injury. So do speak to your veterinary surgeon for advice if you're concerned your dog has any ill health.

Can complementary therapies help dogs with hip dysplasia?

In short, yes! So what holistic approaches can you use?

  1. Joint Supplements. There are many feed supplements you can use, including those with these ingredients - Glucoasmine, chondroitin, green lipped mussel and aloe vera.
  2. Hydrotherapy
  3. Veterinary Physiotherapy
  4. Animal Osteopathy
  5. Veterinary Homeopathy
  6. Veterinary Acupuncture

Which complementary therapy will be best to help your dog with hip dysplasia?

Speak to your veterinary surgeon for advice. If your dog is on any other medication, then always get your vet to confirm a particular supplement will be not only worth using, but safe. As even natural supplements can be very powerful and may not mix with other medicine.

A complementary therapist will always want to work with your vet to give your dog the best chance of good health, and will normally need your vets permission to work with your dog.

If you want to try homeopathy, then there are many veterinary surgeons who've specialised in this therapy. If you'd like help finding a veterinary homeopath near you, please email me at info at for advice.

What else can you do to help your dog with hip dysplasia?

You can make management changes to help your dog live as comfortable and happy life as possible. This could include:

  • Using a brace - your vet or veterinary physiotherapist can help with choosing the best one. But these can be for the back or legs. And provide support to help your dog feel more stable and secure in his or her movement.
  • Changing the bedding. There's many different types of beds you can have for your dog. See if your dog seems happy in his or her current bed. Would another one that's less high or softer or more firm be better? Also consider getting a gel mat (often marketed as helping in warmer weather, but can be dual purpose if you choose the right brand), as support under the duvet or whatever your dog is laying on.
  • Support to get in/out of the car. You can get small steps or ramps to help your dog find it easier to get in the car. Or get a hoist (Orvis do great ones, which I recommend), that enable you to help lift your dog's back end. A hoist can be useful also for around the house if your dog has difficulty getting up - particularly if he or she's been laying down for a while and has got stiff.
  • Warmth - This can be linked to bedding. But also you can get mats that provide warmth. And this can be soothing and enjoyable for your dog to lay on. If your dog is getting plenty of good quality rest, it can help improve the quality of life a lot.

Veterinary Research For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

´╗┐And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.