The Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

The Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

Joint Supplements for Dogs

It's great to have a dog – they provide companionship & cuddles, plenty of fun, lots of laughs, and they become part of the family. Owning a dog also has many benefits to human health – as well as encouraging you to get outside and go for regular walks, pets help to lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and can even improve your immune system. But dogs are vulnerable to some of the same health problems that plague humans, especially in their later years – including joint problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia.

It can be hard to diagnose health problems in dogs until the condition is advanced enough to affect their activity levels and range of movement. Look out for these signs that your dog could be suffering from joint conditions:

  • Struggling with common activities e.g. getting up onto the sofa or going up the stairs.
  • Favouring one side while walking, carrying itself unevenly and developing a limp
  • Holding up a paw frequently for no apparent reason
  • Less interested in playing with toys, going for walks, or socialising with other dogs
  • Walking slowly and stiffly, and avoids running wherever possible
  • Excessive panting
  • Swelling of the joints

Some breeds are more prone to these issues than others, and often purebred, pedigree dogs have a higher chance of inherited health conditions due to lack of genetic diversity – a mixed breed or ‘mutt' is less likely to suffer from health problems. Larger dogs are especially prone to hip dysplasia, particularly dogs like German shepherds, Labradors, pointers and others that grow rapidly during puppyhood. Just like humans, dogs that are overweight are more prone to joint problems, due to the extra strain placed upon the joints.

But don't despair – there are plenty of treatments that can be very effective for dogs with joint conditions.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the joints of both humans and dogs, and over time it can deplete as we grow older. Many people have found relief from joint pain by using glucosamine supplements, and they appear to have the same effect in dogs – this is especially significant, as animals are immune to the placebo effect! Adding glucosamine supplements to your dog's diet can help to decrease inflammation, and aid the body in repairing and strengthening damaged joint tissues and cartilage.

Fish Oils

Fish oils are rich in omega-3, an essential fatty acid with anti-inflammatory effects. Supplementing your dog's diet with fish oils can help to relieve inflammation and pain in swollen joints, and can also help to support your dog's general health, including healthy skin, a glossy coat, and improved immune system. Be sure to choose a high-quality fish oil supplement formulated especially for dogs, and ensure your dog gets the right dose for his size, as too much fish oil could have adverse effects.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is just as healthy for dogs as it is for us, and as well as having important antioxidant properties, vitamin C is vital for the maintenance of healthy joints and for the production of collagen – another substance found in the joints which decrease with age. Dogs who are old, sick, or stressed may have low levels of vitamin C or other important nutrients, so a multivitamin containing vitamin C and more can be very beneficial for your dog's overall health.
 
As well as including these important nutrients in your dog's diet, their joint health and overall well-being can also benefit from regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and annual inoculations and check-ups at the vet. Always consult with your vet if your dog appears to have any health problems, and also before supplementing your dog's diet with any nutritional supplements.