Champion stick-fetcher. Renowned squirrel-chaser. And best dang running buddy this side of Main Street. Your furry friend always has that get-up-and-go enthusiasm, so when your veterinarian diagnoses him with osteoarthritis, you want to do everything you can to help him get back to doing the things he loves.

Canine osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs, affecting as many as 1 in 5 in the U.S.1 It’s a painful disease with symptoms that include inflammation and swelling in a dog’s joints.1 To treat it, most vets recommend a combination of therapies—often called a multimodal treatment plan, such as the one pictured below 2,3 — that work together to help reduce pain and inflammation, and improve your running buddy’s quality of life.

While every dog’s osteoarthritis treatment plan will vary, here are six strategies your vet might include in your pup’s care.

Galliprant infographic

Weight management

Obesity and excessive weight gain have increased in dogs by 158% since 2007.4 That’s a whoppingly big number. While poor diet and lack of exercise can certainly pack the pounds, some diseases and dog breed-specific attributes can also contribute to a tipping scale.

Regardless of the reason, extra weight puts stress on your running buddy’s joints, which can lead to and exacerbate painful osteoarthritis. Lucky for him, you can change his diet and increase his physical activity to improve his overall health. This will help trim your pooch’s paunch and prevent additional OA pain and inflammation.


Some things are so important they’re worth mentioning twice.

So let’s talk about exercise one more time.

Daily activity can help manage your furry friend’s weight, which minimizes and reduces stress on his joints. It also helps him maintain strong muscles, limber joints, and healthy cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Staying active is great for reducing stiffness, keeping his mind sharp, and it can actually help delay the progression of his OA. Plus, if he’s out exercising, then you are too. Throw that stick, take that walk, go for a swim and hit the dog park. It’ll do you both a world of good.

Joint supplements

Oral supplements can be a great part of your running buddy’s treatment plan, but make sure to talk with your vet before you try any over the counter products. While many supplements may claim to treat canine OA, trust your vet to know which ones work, which ones don’t and which ones are best for your dog. Next to you, your vet knows your dog best, and is always the best source of information and recommendations for your furry friend’s health.

Prescription NSAID medications

Not only does your buddy run, he jumps and wiggles and darts and rolls around. That’s a lot of movement for the joints of his body, which can be extremely painful when he’s suffering from canine OA.

Any veterinarian will tell you that prescription medications are the cornerstone of a multimodal treatment plan, and that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) play an important part in osteoarthritis care. NSAIDs work by treating the pain and inflammation associated with canine OA.

Galliprant® (grapiprant tablets) is a first-of-its-kind, targeted NSAID that’s convenient and safe to use daily. It provides pain relief for your running buddy every day, helping him stay active and on the move.

Not all NSAIDs are created equally, so be sure to talk with your vet about Galliprant and if it’s right to help your furry friend get back to the running trail.

Physical rehabilitation

From aquatic therapy to cryotherapy to neuromuscular stimulation to massage (lucky dog!), physical rehabilitation therapies can deliver pain relief for your pup. There are a lot of options out there, so talk to your veterinarian about the condition of your buddy’s joints and the severity of his symptoms to help steer you in the direction of the physical therapies that are best for him.

Additional therapies

While we’ve explored several treatments for your dog’s OA, we’ve really only scratched the surface. There are many other therapies your veterinarian may suggest to include in your furry friend’s multimodal regimen. Talk to your vet about what’s right for your dog.

With a comprehensive osteoarthritis treatment plan, your companion can continue to live a happy and active life. Be proactive. Arm yourself with information, and consult with your vet to find the best multimodal approach for your dog. Then, lace up your shoes, and grab your running buddy.

About the Author: Elanco Animal Health provides innovation and veterinary support to help pets live longer, healthier, higher-quality lives. Please visit or to learn more.


Galliprant is an NSAID that controls pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.


Not for use in humans. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Monitoring is recommended if used long term. Should not be used in dogs who are allergic to grapiprant or with other anti-inflammatory drugs. The safe use of Galliprant has not been studied in dogs younger than 9 months of age and less than 8

pounds, breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs, or dogs with heart disease. The most common adverse reactions were vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite and tiredness. View full product label for complete safety information or contact your veterinarian.

© 2019 Elanco. Elanco and the diagonal bar logo are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates. Galliprant is a registered trademark of Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.



1Johnston SA. Osteoarthritis: joint anatomy, physiology, and pathobiology. Vet Clin N Am-Small. 1997;27:699-723.
2 American Veterinary Medical Association. Senior pet care (FAQ). Available from: Accessed December 3, 2018.
3 Lundgren B. Arthritis in dogs and cats: what can be done. Available from: Accessed May 15, 2019.
4 Banfield Pet Hospital. State of pet health 2018 report: pet obesity. Available at: Accessed Apr 29, 2019.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]