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9 Foods for Dogs That Reduce Inflammation

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Inflammation is not always a bad thing. It happens when your dog’s body is trying to heal from an illness or injury. It is a crucial response that is meant to protect the body. But when inflammation becomes chronic and does not seem to go away, it becomes a barrier for healing and results in pain and suffering for your dog.

There are many reasons that your dog may be experiencing chronic inflammation, such as stress, pollutants, or an injury that is not healing due to a lack of rest. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce your dog’s inflammation when necessary. First and foremost, you should determine why the inflammation is present, if possible.

For example, if a life circumstance has changed (like a big move or losing someone in the family), you should figure out ways to relieve your dog’s emotional stress. Provide them with items that smell like the person whom they are missing, or set a room up in your home that looks exactly like one in your old home for reassurance.

If your dog has been injured, make sure that they have plenty of time to rest and recuperate before allowing them to go back to their daily active lifestyle. For chronic inflammation, you can make sure that your dog is not consuming foods that are known to cause inflammation. It’s a good idea to stay away from grains, like wheat and barley, nightshade vegetables, like eggplant and potatoes, and fillers, like soy and corn.

You can also include healthy foods in your dog’s diet that are known to help reduce inflammation.



puppy eating blueberries
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

These small juicy berries are filled with minerals and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and offer your dog comfort. These fruits also happen to be a great source of vitamin C, which helps keep connective tissues healthy. Most dogs love snacking on blueberries. They can be fed as treats, added to meals, or blended into “doggy smoothies.”


Image Credit: Pixabay

This is a food that is high in antioxidants and low in fat, both of which can help reduce the impact that chronic inflammation has on your pooch. Because papayas are low in citric acid compared to most other fruits, they are easy for dogs to digest. Pups can eat papaya seeds too, which happens to be an effective treatment for internal parasites.


Image Credit: thiraphon thongaram, Pixabay

Alfalfa has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, swelling, and redness associated with inflammation. It also happens to be high in protein, which is a bonus for dogs that are feeling too under the weather to eat their full meals. Alfalfa can be added to broth or wrapped around treats for dogs that do not like eating it alone.


a bowl of kale
Image Credit: Pixabay

Not only is kale a powerful inflammation fighter, but it also delivers a variety of important nutrients that dogs need for optimal health, no matter their age. Beta-carotene is readily available in kale, which dogs cannot produce themselves but need to produce vitamin A. Also found in kale is calcium, which will help keep your dog’s bones and muscles strong and healthy.


stalks of celery
Image Credit: Pixabay

Celery is a popular anti-inflammatory food for humans, and it works just as well for dogs. It can reduce inflammation around the joints after an injury. Giving your pooch a stalk of celery every day can help them move around more easily and comfortably. Cut the stalk into bite-sized pieces before feeding, to avoid choking. Spreading a little peanut butter on the pieces will make the celery irresistible.


Image Credit: Pixabay

Coconut is known to reduce inflammation due to the lauric acid that is found in it. It may even help treat parasites, yeast infections, and viruses. Coconut also works to support a healthy immune system and correct skin problems like dryness and itching. You can feed coconut meat to your dog by itself, add it to baked biscuit dog treats, cut it up and add it to their food, or blend it up with water and strain the mixture to create coconut milk as a meal topping.


Image Credit: Pixabay

Fish is a great source of protein for dogs, and it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Fish can replace other meats and ingredients that your dog might be allergic to, so they get the calories and nutrients that they need. It is important to make sure all bones are removed from fish before serving it to dogs, as these can easily be choked on.


turmeric powder
Image Credit: Pixabay

Just like for humans, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory for dogs that can reduce chronic inflammation and keep it from returning. It is commonly found in commercial foods because it is used for coloring, but the amount is usually not enough to produce any health benefits. To ensure that your pooch gets enough turmeric in their diet to reap the rewards, sprinkle some on your dog’s food every day. A ¼ teaspoon is enough for dogs under 10 pounds. Add another ¼ teaspoon for dogs over 10 pounds.


Image Credit: Pixabay

Ginger can be offered to your dog to treat a variety of problems, including inflammation and nausea. It is also sometimes used as an antioxidant. Many dogs do not enjoy the flavor and bite of ginger, so they likely will not eat it fresh. You can try mixing a fresh slice or two with their food. But if that does not work, try sprinkling dried ginger powder on top and mixing it in.


Final Words

You do not have to feed all the foods on our list to your dog for them to experience relief from their chronic inflammation. Offer up the foods that your pooch likes the most so they will be more likely to consume them regularly. If you cannot get your dog to eat any of these foods, you may need to talk with your veterinarian about prescription anti-inflammatory medications.

Featured Image Credit: Alejandro rodriguez, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.