Your dog’s joints take a pounding, from running after tennis balls to jumping off the back deck. And for some dogs, that’s a problem. More use means more injuries and can lead to joint-related problems such as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and arthritis. Naturally, there are lots of questions that dog owners have related to their dog’s joint health. What to watch for? When to treat it? How to treat it? How severe is it?
The truth is, giving your dog some form of joint support supplementation to their current diet is a GOOD BET for preventing or delaying the onset of arthritis. If your dog is currently struggling with joint pain, you should act now! Keep reading to learn more.
Why use joint supplements?
Arthritis is a significant problem in middle aged and older dogs, (which is why supplements such as Cadaflex Easy Chews are a good preventative method) although it can occur in animals of any age. The most common form of joint disease in dogs is osteoarthritis (OA), characterized by the degeneration of cartilage and the formation of new bone at the joint margins. Most cases of OA in dogs occur in association with some predisposing joint disease or injury within the joint that produces areas of increased stress which eventually result in cartilage erosion and exposure of the underlying bone.
Clinically, most dogs with OA ultimately present with stiffness or lameness, although structural damage may exist for some time before signs are apparent. Lameness is due to a combination of joint pain and restricted movement of the joint and may be gradual in onset or may present acutely following some minor trauma or excessive exercise.
Joint supplements can prevent the onset of joint diseases and make dogs suffering with them, more comfortable.
How do glucosamine and chondroitin in dog joint supplements work?
Glucosamine provides the building block of cartilage, Studies have shown that glucosamine helps to rehabilitate cartilage and reduce the progress of dog arthritis while reducing the pain and increasing the mobility of the dogs. The glucosamine is rapidly taken up by the cartilage cells and helps stimulate the synthesis of joint fluid and cartilage. Glucosamine is very safe with no known side effects.
Chondroitin is also one of the products necessary for the production of cartilage. Chondroitin is sourced from sharks and is the major glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage. It also slows down enzymes that are destructive to the dog’s joint. Chondroitin is added with glucosamine in products like these Joint Rescue Treats by ARK Naturals because it tends to enhance the ability of both substances to repair cartilage and they work better together than either ingredient alone.
Can glucosamine and chondroitin be used in cats?
Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin are often used in cats and appear to work very well in supporting their joint health such as this fun Pumpkin Latte
How are dog joint products different from human joint supplements?
Joint supplements for dogs contain ascorbic acid to help in the uptake of the ingredients by the body. In addition, canine joint products are dosed in the correct size for dogs and are often flavoured to make them more palatable. They also come in granules, with MSM, that can be mixed with the food. It is not advisable to feed human joint supplements to dogs as they are the wrong strength. Always ask your vet for advice if unsure.
What are green lipped mussels?
Pernacanaliculi, or green-lipped mussel, are an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. The soft tissue is separated from the shell, washed several times, frozen, and freeze-dried. It is then processed into a fine powder and added to joint supplement products. It contains glucosamine, glycosaminoglycans (which are also building blocks of cartilage), and a type of omega-3 fatty acid. This Joint Power supplement is a great source of Green Lipped Mussel.
What can I do to help prevent joint injuries in my dog?
If you’re buying a puppy, especially if you’re buying a purebred puppy, check out the health problems in that breed, and check out that specific dog’s lineage. Joint problems can have some hereditary component. A good breeder will have all that information. Many will volunteer it. But you certainly have the right to ask. And you should ask, especially if you’re interested in one of the larger breeds that are already associated with joint problems.
And if you don’t care about breed, adopt a mutt. With a mutt, you’re going to have the best chance of not having those kinds of joint problems. The genetic diversity really seems to limit orthopedic problems overall.
MSM is the secret sauce!
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural, organic source of bioavailable Sulphur, an essential element found in the dogs body and needed every day for healthy joints and tissues. Processing techniques in the food industry and other factors may reduce the availability of Sulphur required for healthy connective tissue, and this may be reflected in joint and skin problems. MSMS dramatically helps with the uptake of Glucosamine and Chondroitin in your dog’s joints. Make sure your joint support supplements (with glucosamine) for your dog also have MSM included! These chews have all 3 (Glucosamine + Chondroitin + MSM) and can easily be added to your dog’s kibble or given as a treat!