In many cases, these supplements are more important than even food or grooming! A healthy diet can help maintain healthy joints but it doesn’t always compensate for wear-and-tear on the joints from years of activity. Joint supplements work to soothe pain and inflammation caused by arthritis in old age or injury during their younger years.
Some of the most common causes of joint pain are obesity, age, injury, and breed. Many larger breeds are prone to arthritis as they age due to their size. Older dogs are also beginning to show signs of arthritis at an earlier age because of increased activity in their younger days.
The good news is that there’s no shortage of great joint supplement brands out there – all you have to do is find one that suits your dog!
How Do These Supplements Work
The main function of joint supplements is to protect against or help treat arthritis. They do so by lubricating joints to increase mobility, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain.
Typically made from natural ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussels or MSM, these supplements are considered safe for most breeds when used as directed. While they don’t cure arthritis, the supplements do reduce symptoms and keep your pet active for longer.
Best Dog Joint Supplements
What Ingredients Are in The Best Dog Joint Supplements
The best ingredients for canine joint supplements typically include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and green lipped mussels.
Glucosamine is a building block of cartilage and thus both helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage and stimulates its regrowth – these effects help reduce pain in arthritic joints.
Chondroitin is another compound that preserves the function of cartilage. MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is a sulfur compound that also helps to preserve the integrity of cartilage in joints.
Finally, green lipped mussels have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in both dogs and humans.
How to Choose the Right Supplement for Your Dog
When you’re selecting the best joint supplement for your dogs, there are a few things to keep in mind. Some supplements are specifically designed for dogs with arthritis while others are more general-purpose joint pain reliever.
If your dog is suffering from an injury or inflammation rather than arthritis, make sure to choose a supplement that isn’t just for arthritis. Also, even if your dog has arthritis, you’ll want to get a different joint supplement than what’s given by the vet – these supplements are generally not powerful enough so you may need to speak with your vets about more aggressive treatments.
When selecting the best joint supplement for your pet, you’ll want to look for a product with high quality ingredients and one that has been proven to work.
Unfortunately, not all joint supplements are created equal. Some products on the market don’t contain the ingredients they claim – for example, there have been reports of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements containing little or none of these ingredients.
The Benefits of Using a Dog Joint Supplement
Joint supplements have many benefits for both older pets with arthritis and younger dogs recovering from injury.
Arthritis supplements significantly reduce pain by helping to repair cartilage damage in the joints. They also increase mobility, allowing an arthritic pet to move more easily at home or on walks.
Injury recovery supplements help speed up the process of tissue repair – many are taken orally, but some are applied topically. This can help a pup get back to their regular activities more quickly.
You might be wondering how long it takes before you see the benefits of using a joint supplement for your dog. Well, while some dogs show signs of improvement within weeks, others take a bit longer – typically about four to six weeks. In order to see the full benefits, most dogs need to take a joint supplement for at least three months so it’s recommended that you stick with one brand long-term.
Of course, if your pet doesn’t notice any changes after three months of taking a supplement, you may want to speak with your vet about switching brands or trying a different dosage. In some cases, very small dogs need to take larger doses than what’s on the package directions so make sure you speak with a vet before making any changes to your pet’s supplement regimen.
Do These Supplements Have Side Effects?
Though most joint supplements are safe and effective, there can be some mild side effects associated with them.
One possible side effect is gastrointestinal upset as both glucosamine and chondroitin have been linked to nausea or loose stools in dogs. In general, this occurs only when a dog takes unusually high doses of the supplement – so as long as you follow the package directions, you should be good.
Some supplements may also cause drowsiness, so if your dog is taking a supplement and then has difficulty getting around or staying awake, it might be time to switch brands.
Joint supplements are generally safe for dogs but still speak with your vet before starting any new supplement. If your dog is currently taking medication for an unrelated condition, you’ll want to talk with your vet before adding a joint supplement since they can cause problems when taken together.