Does my dog need joint supplements?16 February 2023
Written by Dr. John Ambler, former Oakfield Clinical Director, BVM&S MRCVS
Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 8 Jun 2023
Whether it’s creams, capsules, vitamins or vegetables, lots of us have developed our own self care routine to keep ourselves looking and feeling good. If you’ve experienced the benefits of taking supplements, you might be interested in introducing them into your doggies diet.
Studies show that almost 20% of all dogs older than one year and 80% older than seven years suffer from the stiff, achy joints of arthritis. John Ambler, a vet from the Oakfield Veterinary Group, answers our questions about introducing your dog to supplements.
How do joint supplements work?
Joint supplements provide dogs with doses of vitamins, nutrients and other healthy natural products (such as Omega-3s and Glucosamine) that help to soothe joints, aid comfort and improve mobility.
Just like dogs, supplements come in many different shapes and sizes. They are available in capsules, tablets, liquids and they can also be incorporated into specially developed dog foods.
Does my dog need joint supplements?
All dogs can benefit from adding joint supplements to their diet, but supplements will be particularly beneficial to your dog if it falls under any of the following categories:
- Older dogs - Just like humans, dogs aren’t immune from the side effects of ageing. As they enter their golden years, you can help to sustain your pet’s quality of life by maintaining optimum joint health.
- Dogs with arthritis - Joint supplements reduce joint pain and can help to slow down the effects of arthritis. Supplements can be used alongside additional arthritis medication to help soothe stiff joints.
- Dogs with joint injuries - If your dog has a history of joint problems, they might face an increased risk of developing arthritis.
- Working dogs - If your dog is on the go all day, it can be beneficial to keep their joints healthy, due to the large amount of exercise working dogs get every day.
- Overweight dogs - Being overweight can put a strain on your dog’s joints, alongside a nutritionally balanced diet, you can introduce supplements to support joint structure.
What are the best joint supplements for my dog?
Whether your dog has spent years running in fields, or jumping up onto their favourite chair, sometimes their joints need a helping hand to maintain their mobility. Exercise and ageing can affect the cartilage in joints, as well as the synovial fluid that keeps joints lubricated.
Here are some key ingredients to look out for and the benefits they will have for your dog.
Glucosamine: Supplements that contain glucosamine are a really effective way to help relieve joint stiffness in dogs. Glucosamine HCL is an important building block for cartilage which also helps cartilage to act as a shock absorber in the joint.
Omega-3s: Fatty Acids and Omega-3s EPA and DHA have been scientifically proven to aid joint mobility by supporting the natural systems that control inflammation within stiff joints. There are a number of trials which prove the benefits seen with supplementing a pet’s diet with Omega 3s from fish oils.
Boswellia extract: Boswellia is a plant extract that supports the body’s natural anti-inflammatory processes and plays an important role in maintaining smooth and comfortable joint movement. It has over 400 independent trials supporting its use. Benefits are noticeable on average within one week of administration.
For expert advice on joint supplements for dogs, contact your local vet.
This article is for information only, and should never replace any advice, diagnosis or treatment from your veterinary surgeon. Always contact your local vet or out of hours vet without delay if you have any concerns about your dog.
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