Arthritis in Poodles: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Poodles are excellent pets and live relatively long lives when compared with other breeds. However, poodles develop painful arthritis in their joints more commonly than other breeds.

The propensity for poodles to develop painful arthritis in hips and other joints means that identifying symptoms, treatment options, and preventive maintenance routines are essential to keeping these dogs arthritis-free later in life.

Arthritis in poodles is caused by inflammation of the joints resulting from age, injury, obesity, or disease. Common symptoms include obvious pain, stiffness, or change in behavior. While arthritis has no cure, a healthy food and exercise regimen early in your poodle’s life is critical for the prevention of arthritis.

Your poodle is your best friend. Having a best friend in pain is not okay, but luckily, there is something that you can do about it. Once you identify the symptoms of arthritis in your dog, you need to provide effective care to prevent further pain and discomfort.

Read on to find out more about the symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures you should take to keep your poodle healthy and active for years to come.

What Causes Arthritis in Poodles?

There are Natural and environmental factors that cause arthritis in dogs. Common causes of arthritis in poodles include aging, joint injury, excessive use, obesity, and congenital or metabolic diseases such as hip dysplasia and diabetes.

Poodles are especially susceptible to this disease and show signs of arthritis earlier than most other breeds. When poodles are obese, hip and joint pain and swelling can begin while still puppies.

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Factors That Cause Arthritis in Poodles

As any dog gets older, they start slowing down. While injuries are more common for older dogs, age is not the only factor for determining if your poodle will develop arthritis

The most common factors that cause arthritis in poodles:

  • Old age: The decay of time slows and stiffens the joints. Joints and muscles become weaker, and everyday wear and tear begins taking its toll. 
  • Large breeds: A standard poodle is a giant dog breed and is thus more susceptible to arthritis. The aches and pains that come with large dog breeds get based on the weight that the joints of their hips and knees need to withstand.
  • Inadequate nutrition: The health of your poodle is directly linked with nutrition. If your dog doesn’t get proper nutrition, receives many fatty or sweet treats, or gets receives lower-grade dog food, he could develop arthritis.  Puppy nutrition is fundamental and could have a lasting impact on your poodle’s health and propensity towards arthritis later in life. 
  • Obesity: An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog. Dogs that are overweight wear out joints and overwork muscles more quickly than dogs of average weight. Obesity could cause early-onset arthritis in your poodle. 
  • Stress Injuries/Repetitive Actions: If your poodle is a high-energy pet, as most poodles are, you probably get him outside and play regularly. However, exercise and repetitive tasks such as flyball or running could lead to arthritis in your poodle. Varied exercise is always important. Also, make sure your dog is under control when exercising so he doesn’t overexert himself. 
  • Disease: Several diseases can affect the joints of dogs. The most common disease that leads poodles into arthritis is Lyme Disease caused by tick bites. The denigration of the joints causes arthritis in poodles and excruciating and swollen muscles and joints. Lyme disease is most common for dogs that spend much of their time outside. Make sure you comb the fur of your poodle regularly after outdoors visits and keep them shaved so you will detect ticks before they latch on. Finally, if you notice the red ring around what looks like a tick bite, seek medical advice and help immediately for your poodle. 
  • Hip Dysplasia: One of the worst degenerative joint conditions for your poodle is hip dysplasia. Although this condition is not arthritis, the weakness and stiffness that occurs during hip dysplasia stages often lead to arthritis. 
  • Severe Injury: Any ligament tears or broken bones have a possibility of turning into arthritis later on in your poodle’s life. If an injury is centered on a bone or ligament near a significant hip or knee joint, can produce signs of arthritis. Although genetics play a part in how painful this type of arthritis is, generally, the stiffness and pain are substantial and need medication and therapy. 
  • Good Conformation: Basic structure of your poodle makes a difference. A well-proportioned dog has a better chance of living without arthritis. 
  • Genetics: Sometimes, arthritis gets blamed on poor genetics. While the diet and exercise of your poodle definately play a part, a poodle with an excellent diet is still susceptible to genetics and might also develop arthritis. 

Signs of Arthritis in Poodles

When you have a poodle in pain, it’s vitally important to quickly identify the possible signs of arthritis. However, these signs can be varied and can sometimes take a period of days or even weeks to diagnose your poodle’s arthritis. 

Some of the most common signs of arthritis for poodles include: 

  • Lack of Desire to play: Everyone knows that poodles are full of high energy. However, if your poodle suddenly starts showing signs of slowing down, this could be a sign of arthritis developing. Also, if your poodle doesn’t seem engaged in the activities that they once enjoyed, arthritis might be getting in their way. 
  • Stiffness: Stiff joints come with old age. However, this stiffness is most often mild or moderate in nature. Severe lameness, difficulty getting up, and limping signs of severe arthritis. 
  • Obesity or weight gain: When your poodle gains weight all at once, it puts immense stress on the ligaments and joints of the legs. These joints may develop arthritis in response. Arthritis develops rapidly when poodles experience increased weight gain is over a short period of time. 
  • Change in mood or behavior: Poodles that were once carefree and joyous may turn into sluggish and temperamental dogs when developing arthritis. The pain in their joints causes them anguish, and that reflects in their temperament. A moody dog or intense change in behavior may be an indication that your poodle is in pain from arthritis.
  • Obvious signs of pain: When you pet or touch your poodle, there should not be any fear or pain. Jumping or flinching are signs that your poodle is suffering. Please take note of the area that seems tender and watch it. If the pain persists for longer than a day or two, it may be a sign of arthritis in your poodle and a qualified vet should be contacted. Also, check for signs of swelling as these may mean an additional issue is present. 
  • Losing muscle: Obvious signs of muscle loss is a likely sign that your poodle is developing arthritis. As muscles age, they become weaker. Arthritis speeds this process up, especially around the legs, hips, and spine. If you notice bones sticking out or excessive weight loss in these areas, it could be caused by arthritis in your poodle. 
  • Difficulty going potty: If your poodle is house trained and then begins peeing or pooping around the house, this could be a result of arthritis. Arthritis makes squatting and other positions painful and difficult. 

How to Treat Arthritis in Poodles

Arthritis in poodles can occur quickly and is a muscular-skeletal condition that requires preventive actions and treatment of symptoms. However, arthritis pain keeps your poodle from interacting with the world normally, so treatment of pain is an essential first step. Also, preventive measures may require full mobility and may only be achieved with pain treatments. 

Aging dogs, dogs with injuries or surgeries, bad genes, and even overuse all cause painful arthritis. Luckily, there are many treatment options for alleviating pain in your furry four-legged friends. 

Below are best treatments for arthritis relief in poodles: 

  • Padding: Bedding with padding and places for laying is critical for healing and rest. Rest is a massive part of arthritis treatment and prevention. You are giving your poodle a padded place for resting increases the likelihood of limited arthritis symptoms. 
  • Keeping Warm: Avoid putting bedding and other places where your poodle rests around drafty places or places that get damp or cold. Warmth helps alleviate some arthritis symptoms. 
  • Use Padded Steps: If your dog needs help getting up onto beds or couches, make sure you have some padded steps of a ramp. Steps and ramps help your poodle limit exertion at home. Exertion could be a significant factor in the reason why your poodle is in pain with arthritis. 
  • Provide Non-slip Flooring: Sometimes, in a dogs’ excitement, they will slip on hardwood or laminate flooring. Even tiles cause slipping for excited dogs. Adding carpeting or other non-slip surfaces for flooring helps reduce the chances of your poodle slipping and falling or hurting themselves while walking around your home. 
  • Rubbing and Massaging: Many dogs appreciate the occasional rub, which could be a massage. If you know that the hips are a particular point of arthritis pain, a gentle massage while watching TV over and around the joint area and up and down the spice helps alleviate painful arthritis conditions. There are also certified dog massage therapy options such as the IAAMB techniques. 
  • Warm compress: Heat helps loosen and soothe aching muscles. If your poodle is willing and not already too hot, placing a warm compress on the ailing joints or muscles relieves pain and helps poodles loosen up for walks, jogs, or playtime. The warm compress also helps relieve and soothe muscles after exertion. 
  • Hemp Oil & CBD: Pain relief comes in various natural options, and CBD or hemp oil for dogs is reliable and safe. Tincture gets used as an oral or topical medication for your poodle. Make sure you find a flavor that your dog loves, so they enjoy medicine time. 
  • Joint supplements: There are many joint supplements on the market, including ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and green-lipped mussel shell. Some dog joint supplements are for smaller dogs, and others are more potent. Poodles require a good dose of joint supplements. Our research suggests that poodles handle a large dosage of joint supplements well. These supplements are made from materials that contain calcium and other nutrients. The nutrients in these supplements encourage connective tissue regrowth and stability. 
  • Omega Oils & Fatty Acids: The Anti-inflammatory properties of omega oils and fatty acid-rich foods and supplements aid in recovery and arthritis prevention. Adding omega oils from fish skin and fatty acids from supplements and a balanced diet help poodles build strong bones and connective tissue early in life. This preventative protection has been shown to combat arthritis later in life. 
  • Healthy Exercise: A moderate walk or run and playing at the dog park are all great for maintaining your poodle’s dexterity, flexibility, and strength. Strong muscles surround joints are great support for arthritic joints. Extreme exercise has the opposite effect and leads to injury and worsening symptoms of arthritis. The key in arthritis prevention and treatment is moderate exercise consistently. 
  • Acupuncture: It may sound unbelievable, but dogs get acupuncture done just the same way humans do. The ancient Chinese medicinal qualities of acupuncture(along with Chinese herbs) aid in joint and muscle comfort. If your dog sits for it, acupuncture can relieve arthritis for long periods of time. 
  • Laser Treatment: Lasers are used for stimulating the blood flow in certain areas of the body. Increased blood flow raises the temperature of the area and increases the likelihood that the body repairs itself. Class IV therapeutic lasers are used on poodles that need stimulation around muscles and joints for arthritis pain. 
  • Analgesic Pharmaceuticals: Sometimes, the arthritis pain is unbearable for your poodle, so drugs are needed for treatment before more preventative actions are taken. Analgesic drugs, such as tramadol, are cheap and safe painkillers that pet owners administer on a regiment at home. 
  • Injections of Adequan: One of the best injectable treatments for arthritis and other joint diseases in dogs, adequate is potent, and works well. Adequan injections are called polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, which is basically the basis for building cartilage. The injection helps boost your dog’s response to damaged connective tissue. Though there is an increase in bleeding with this treatment, and it can be costly and take up to six injections, it is very successful at mitigating pain in arthritic poodles. 

How to Prevent Arthritis in Poodles

Prevention is the best way to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy throughout his life. Although your dog’s genetics is already set in stone, there are things that you as a pet owner should do if you suspect that your poodle may have some degenerative joint disease issues or is prone to arthritis. 

As with most health issues, starting a healthy regimen early in your poodle’s life is critical for the mitigation of arthritis. Below are some of the most important things that you should start doing with your dog early in life that can reduce the pain they feel from arthritis or even stop the development of arthritis altogether. 

1. Feed Your Poodle Puppy a Healthy Diet

From the puppy stage on, it is essential that your poodle is fed a healthy diet. Food designed for puppies varies greatly in terms of nutritional value. Make sure you dedicate ample time to research so you can purchase the best puppy food available on the market. 

It’s important to keep in mind that ensuring your dog’s food is not too rich. High-calorie foods result in puppies that become overweight or obese before their bones have finished developing. This extra weight in your puppy places too much stress on the undeveloped bones causing joint and intermuscular problems. 

I feed my dog high-quality food from Pet Plate. Pet Plate is a premium dog food subscription service that provides freshly cooked and pre-portioned meals completely customized for your dog. I really love the fact that Pet Plate delivers the highest quality meals to my door without me ever having to think about it! Check out Pet Plate here to see if this service is right for you too.

2. Keep Your Poodle a Healthy Weight

A puppy needs adequate nutrition in order to maintain healthy bones and joints and remain at a healthy trim weight. Obesity in dogs leads to increased stress on the joints. Poodles are naturally tall and slim, so a thin physique is fine as long as your dog is healthy and active. 

Your veterinarian can help to determine the ideal body weight for your poodle, so don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

3. Exercise in Safe Ways

Exercise is vital for the well-being of your poodle. Running, fetching, jumping, playing, and long walks are all great for the cardiovascular and muscle stimulation of your poodle. 

You should exercise your poodle on soft surfaces as much as possible such as on the grass and dirt of a neighborhood park. Prolonged exercise on hard surface areas such as basketball courts, cement, or pavement, put undue stress and wear and tear on joints and ligaments and can lead to additional pain. 

Also, excessive exercise on training courses or other extreme activities delivers joints more wear and tear than on softer surfaces.

4. Regular Vet Visits

It may seem obvious, but your veterinarian knows your dog very well. In fact, your vet may know signs of arthritis pain in your dog better than you do.

Regular visits to your local veterinarian keep early onset arthritis and swelling in check. Taking the opportunity to discuss arthritis treatment and prevention options can result in a better overall outcome for your poodle’s health.

Regular veterinarian visits may get costly, but they keep your poodle happy and healthy for the entirety of their life, not just when they get sick or become injured. 

I always recommend pet Insurance to every dog owner I meet. Vet visits, and arthritis treatments, are extremely expensive and there is real peace of mind knowing Insurance is in place to offset these expenses.

How Long Can Poodles Live With Arthritis?

Poodles are great pets for families of all kinds. While poodles are generally considered a healthy breed, canine arthritis is extremely common and can negatively impact your dog’s quality of life if left unchecked.

Most poodles live an average lifespan of about twelve to fifteen years. However, it is important to note that a number of these years may involve painful arthritis symptoms. Often, arthritis causes dogs to be less energetic in their twilight years. So, how long can poodles live with arthritis? 

Arthritis is most commonly found in senior poodles and typically progresses quickly in the last two to five years of life. While this condition can develop at any age, arthritis is degenerative and worsens over time. Poodles with arthritis can live relatively pain-free lives with proper care and treatment.

However, if your poodle was subjected to less than ideal training in extreme conditions, has had hip or leg surgery, is overweight, or has other injuries, arthritis could show up in mid-life and last for five years or more. Signs of pain are usually obvious and should get treated as soon as they show up, not just when your poodle gets old. 

Finally, if your poodle was overfed as a puppy and became obese, there is probably early-onset damage done in the limbs, joints, and ligaments of your poodle’s legs. These injuries are lifelong and painfully debilitating for a decade or more. Make sure that all pain is mitigated with some kind of treatment plan no matter the age of your poodle.

Best Supplements For Poodle Arthritis

There are many products on the market that are aimed at alleviating and preventing arthritis in your poodle. Some of the ingredients in these supplements are the same quality as human consumption supplements. 

Overall, our research found some of the best supplements on the market. These arthritis and pain relief supplements are cost-effective and work well in preventing your poodle from developing arthritis. The products listed here also wonder for mitigating the pain associated with arthritis, swelling, and other joint disease conditions in dogs. 

1. Yumove Joint Supplements

These arthritis and joint compound pills(Link to Amazon) are great for dogs and help maintain healthy cartilage and joints. This joint supplement includes ingredients found in human joint compounds such as green-lipped mussels and omega oils. 


  • Great taste for dogs 
  • Small size easy for small dogs to chew
  • improves mobility, stiffness, and discomfort within 6 weeks


  • Considerably less active ingredients than competitors

PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews

These soft chews (Amazon link) are delicious and dogs love them. The great taste makes these supplements an easy choice for dogs and owners alike. PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews contain Glucosamine which is beneficial in maintaining joint health and supporting mobility and activity in dogs of all ages. 


  • Great taste
  • Can be broken into smaller pieces
  • Quality ingredients


  • Expensive for the amount you get
  • Comes in only one flavor

Doggie Dailies Joint Supplement for Dogs

This daily soft chew supplement contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, and CoQ10 and is great for joint and muscular system health. Doggie dailies are great because they also offer a full spectrum of products to support the overall health of your poodle. Check Amazon for the current price here.


  • Promote healthy joints, mobility, and flexibility
  • Low price
  • Chews are easy to into smaller pieces


  • Product tends to crumble

VETIQ Maximum Strength Hip and Joint Supplement

VetIQ Hip and joint supplements for dogs ( Link to Amazon) contain Omega-3, Glucosamine, MSM, and krill that promote total joint health for your dog. Stiff and sore joints often accompany the golden years of your dog’s life. VetIQ Maximum Strength Hip Joint Supplement supports healthy joint function and flexibility. 


  • Supports cartilage, lubricate joints and maintains muscles
  • Made in the USA
  • Good Value for the money


  • Dries out quickly

In Conclusion 

Poodles are one of the best dogs for families. Their energetic smiles are infectious and they have wonderful personalities. However, a poodle’s tendency to develop joint and bone problems can be problematic. 

Early-onset of arthritis pain is debilitating in poodles. Luckily there are many treatment and prevention options. Make sure you read over the options for your dog and speak with your veterinarian about the best ways of keeping your poodle arthritis pain-free.

Must Have Products For Poodles And Doodles

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here are some products that I personally believe every owner should employ to help ensure the best quality of life for their dogs. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact products that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family.

Lemonade Pet Insurance: Lemonade Pet Insurance has enabled me to afford a very high level of veterinary care for my dog, Angus. Even after he was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. Lemonade is a great company, and I can’t recommend them enough!

Brain Training For Dogs: Brain Training for dogs is an amazing online training program I found that actually helped me to understand and ultimately stop my dog’s separation anxiety and destructive behaviors when I left the house. This program actually works, and at a small fraction of the cost of hiring a dog trainer!

Pet Plate: I first learned of Pet Plate when the company was featured on the TV show “Shark Tank” back in 2016. Pet Plate is the dog food subscription service I use to provide extremely healthy, pre-portioned meals for my dog. Pet Plate gives my dog Angus the highest quality nutrition at a very affordable price.

BarkBox: Without a doubt, my dog enjoys Barkbox more than anything else I buy him. BarkBox delivers a customized box of themed toys, treats, and other products to your door each month. In addition, I like that a percentage of proceeds is donated to local animal shelters. Pawp is not insurance. It’s a membership program that gives you access to unlimited video calls or texts with a licensed vet 24/7 and includes up to six pets on a single membership! I Purchase this service for my dog Angus and have saved hundreds of dollars over visiting his local vet with questions or more minor health concerns. Pawp will even pay up to $3,000 if your pets experience an emergency situation! Check out Pawp’s website to see why Pawp can help you save money and increase your pet’s quality of care.

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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