What Are The Most Effective Joint Supplements For Dogs?
Just like humans, dogs also experience body aches and pains as they get older. One of the most common problems that dogs experience is joint pains. Some breeds are even more predisposed to experiencing joint problems more than other breeds.
Thus, these breeds that are predisposed to suffer from joint problems may experience it earlier than other breeds. Although suffering from such pain is not necessarily fatal to dogs, it may still have a serious impact on their quality of life. If this problem is left untreated, it may result in dogs getting injured or other more serious conditions.
It is, therefore, highly important to prevent your dog from experiencing these kinds of problems early on. After all, prevention is always better than cure.
In a nutshell, prevention entails ensuring that your dogs have a proper diet, regular exercise, and, if needed, supplements to augment their nutritional needs.
What are the signs of joint problems in dogs?
For sure, pet owners are extra-attentive to their pet’s needs. However, it is a little harder to tell whether dogs are suffering from some kind of pain because they are genetically built that way.
Dogs are pack animals and packs are known to cut off members who are perceived as weak or those who will potentially become a liability. Thus, dogs will hide their pain for as long as they can. Dog owners, therefore, should be extra observant when it comes to their pet’s health.
Some of the signs to look out for if you suspect your dog to be suffering from joint pain include: limping that is usually accompanied by stiffness; lethargy; irritability; depression; loss of appetite; frequently slipping when in motion; and chewing, biting, or licking the area where the pain is felt.
If you see these signs in your dog, it is wise to immediately consult with your veterinarian in order to receive proper advice on how to address your dog’s condition.
What are the ingredients found in effective joint supplements?
After consulting with your veterinarian, assess whether you should give your dog joint supplements. These supplements may either prevent joint problems or help your dog deal with joint problems if it is already suffering from one.
In any case, there are ingredients you should pay particular attention to. Some of these ingredients include Cannabidiol (CBD), Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, and Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASUs).
Keep in mind, however, that the Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate these kinds of supplements. Thus, there can be risks in giving your dogs supplements. For instance, those that contain chondroitin and glucosamine may cause glucose regulation issues and gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
Nevertheless, experts who study canine supplements seem to agree that the best one to give your dogs are those that include ingredients that stimulate the production of cartilage. Glycine and proline are the building blocks of cartilage.
These are even more effective when combined with minerals necessary for synthesis like zinc or manganese as well as sulfur donors such as taurine and methionine.
How effective are joint supplements?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are a number of canine joint supplements that show potential. However, there are also those that do not have any significant impact on the problem it seeks to address and can possibly harm your dog.
Studies conducted by AVMA include subjecting dog joint supplements to potency and quality tests. Those that fail these tests are the ones that result in adverse effects or zero effect at all. Hence, it is always wise to carefully study the ingredients found in the supplements you intend to buy.
The two ingredients that appear to cause the most significant effects on dogs are glucosamine and chondroitin. Recent studies show that glucosamine can cause damage in a dog’s liver as a result of giving a high dosage of this particular ingredient.
Meanwhile, chondroitin may also cause glucose regulation problems and gastrointestinal issues. These ingredients are not essentially harmful for as long as they are given in the right dosage. Those supplements that contain high doses of these ingredients should generally be avoided.
Finally, if your dog is already suffering from joint problems, supplements alone will not solve the problem. Again, proper diet is also essential. There are foods that your dog needs to avoid in order for the joint problem to be sufficiently addressed.
Among these foods include dog fillers such as soybean, corn bran, rice hulls, grain by-products, corn starch, cottonseed and peanut; grains such as rye, wheat, and barley; nightshade vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes; omega-6 fatty acids; and corn.
There are also several ingredients that should be avoided, which include table scraps, fatty proteins, sugars, salt, and processed treats. These foods generally cause inflammation that can worsen arthritic conditions.
In contrast, introducing supplements and specific food in your dog’s diet will not only help your dog recover but will also prevent joint problems from recovering. Anti-inflammatory foods such as apples, blueberries, zucchini, mango, parsley, alfalfa, papaya, ginger, kale, lentils, carrots, and sweet potatoes will help in relieving the pain caused by joint issues.
A great way to feed these foods to your dog is by mixing the supplements with two parts quinoa or lentil and at least eight parts of the fruits and vegetables enumerated and then boiling it together to create a customized meal.
If you do not have time to make your own dog food, you can also buy quality dog food from the store that contains anti-inflammatory rich ingredients.
Meanwhile, the best ingredient to look out for when searching for a supplement that can lubricate your dog’s joints is Omega-3 fatty acids, which are usually found in fish oil as well as krill oil.
Also, there is scientific evidence from studies that glycine and proline are effective in ensuring that our dog’s joints are healthy. These are amino acids that are highly important for cartilage regeneration, which is key in having healthy joints.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard