Prevention is fundamental for joint care in dogs. This means that regardless of your dog’s age, whether or not they are limping or having trouble jumping up on the sofa, you should be giving them a joint supplement.
Supplements are most effective before symptoms of joint pain appear. They decrease inflammation, improve flexibility, strengthen the cartilage and joints, and provide natural pain relief as needed. The supplements proven most effective in joint care for dogs are those that contain glucosamine, MSM, or chondroitin.
As your dog ages, their body’s capacity to generate the crucial proteins that build and strengthen their joints diminishes significantly. As a result, they are at risk for several issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis. Furthermore, dogs are known for not showing their pain. It’s a product of their pack mentality. In a pack, pain is a sign of weakness. Dogs who show pain in a pack are seen as a liability and often left behind. For this reason, your dog might hide that they are experiencing any pain. This is why it’s so important to start supplementing your dog in their younger years.
Healthy weight plus joint supplements
Joint supplements aren’t the only way to care for your dog’s joints. Ensuring that your dog maintains a healthy weight is also crucial. Obesity in dogs significantly decreases their quality of life. The extra weight causes joint pain, which leads to your dog being less active, which causes more weight gain. So it’s a vicious cycle.
While supplements can help, making sure your dog maintains a healthy weight is more critical. The best way to ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight is to work with your vet to make sure you’re giving them the right amount of food. The quality of food is also essential. You’ll want to choose a food that has the right balance of protein, calories, and nutrients. Exercise is also crucial. Make sure your pup exercises every day to keep their joints healthy and their weight maintained.
Making a choice
Choosing the right joint supplement is essential. There are a lot of joint supplements on the market, and you must choose the right one.
The first thing to look for is the amount of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin that the supplement contains. Cheaper options will often contain a lot less of these active ingredients.
The way the supplement is made is also essential. A lot of tablet forms of glucosamine are made with methods that utilize high heat manufacturing. This is less than ideal because heat tends to destroy nutrients, making supplements less effective. Cold-pressed manufacturing methods ensure that the nutrients are more effective.
Lastly, you should choose a supplement that has a mixture of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin, rather than just one. A combination of active ingredients will be more effective than only one.
Know your breed
The question of when in a dog’s life to start giving them joint supplements depends on their breed. Certain breeds are prone to experiencing joint issues. These breeds are:
- Basset Hounds
- Golden Retrievers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- French Bulldogs
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Pit Bulls
- Saint Bernards
- Shih Tzus
- German Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Great Danes
- Old English Sheepdogs
- Chow Chows
- Norwegian Elkhounds
- Neapolitan Mastiffs
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
- Catahoula Hounds
If your dog is one of these breeds, then you should consider giving your dog a joint supplement when they are a year old. It may seem early, but a dog’s body stops growing at one year, and so it’s at this time that it becomes advantageous to take preventative measures.
Your dog’s quality of life depends a lot on the health of their joints. In addition to supplements, making sure your dog maintains a healthy weight is also crucial. Ensure they get plenty of exercise and eat the right amount of food. It’s never too late to start giving your dog a joint supplement, but it’s always best to consult a veterinarian before giving your dog any supplement.