Is it safe to share your favorite joint remedy with your arthritic dog? That question is important, since dogs should never take at least one popular arthritis remedy for humans–gin-soaked raisins. Nor should they ever slurp grape juice, with or without plant pectin such as Certo added. Veterinarians suspect that grapes and raisins cause kidney injury in dogs (Frontiers in Veterinary Science, March 22, 2016). Other remedies might be helpful, though. Veterinary doctors sometimes recommend glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate for canine joint pain, though a double-blind trial did not demonstrate effectiveness (Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Sep. 12, 2017). What about Boswellia?
Would Boswellia Help Arthritic Dog?
Q. I have a nine-year-old Doberman with sore joints. When I read about Boswellia for human arthritis, I wondered whether it would work for an arthritic dog.
A. Boswellia is a resin from a tree, Boswellia serrata, that grows in hilly regions of India. A related tree provides frankincense, Boswellia sacra. For centuries, traditional medical practitioners in India have been using Boswellia to treat a range of ailments. Within the past two decades, scientists have confirmed its anti-inflammatory activity (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2016).
Canadian veterinary scientists did a randomized placebo-controlled trial of a product containing the Indian botanical medicine Boswellia with other herbs (Research in Veterinary Science, Dec. 2014). The trial included 16 dogs in each group. According to the researchers, dogs receiving the herbal product moved more and had more power after two months than when they started. Dogs in the control group did not get the same benefit.
There are several canine formulations that include Boswellia. Unfortunately, these supplements may vary significantly in their boswellic acid content (BMC Veterinary Research, Aug. 1, 2019). Consequently, you should check with your veterinarian regarding an appropriate dose and to get medical supervision. We hope that this will help your best friend.