The Preferred Supplements Used To Combat Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Arthritis and hip dysplasia are very common illnesses in dogs. Though they are very different illnesses, often times a dog with hip dysplasia will develop arthritis so they both require similar treatment. One out of every five dogs will develop arthritis in their lifetimes. It is a degenerative joint disease that causes stiff painful joints. Arthritis develops when the cartilage protecting the bones of the joints wears down or is destroyed. Without cartilage, the joint has no cushion so the joints rub against one another causing pain and decreased mobility.

Hip dysplasia is when the hip joints do not develop normally. The hip joint lacks the cushioning required to function and will eventually cause deterioration, lameness, and loss of mobility. Hip dysplasia is typically a genetic disorder but can be caused by a variety of environmental factors.

Finding the best dog food supplements for arthritis and hip dysplasia can also help your dog manage these uncomfortable health issues.

Hip Dysplasia Supplement InfoWhat are joint supplements for dogs?

Joint supplements for dogs are pills that can be taken in the attempt to improve your pup’s mobility. They will contain something that is believed to keep them from having movement problems like arthritis in the future or to decrease current symptoms.

Three different basic types of joint supplements exist. You need to ask your vet which might be the most appropriate for your dog’s current and future joint health needs. It is advised to take help of the vet before providing any of the supplements.

  • Preventative supplements aim to keep your dog’s joints healthy and strong so joint problems do not develop in the future.
  • Treatment supplements work to repair joint damage.
  • Nourishing supplements support your dog’s body and immune system to continue building healthy joints.

These are some of the best known and most popular joint supplements for dogs.

1. Glucosamine / Chondroitin joint supplements for dogs

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two key ingredients in almost all dog joint health and arthritis prevention and reduction supplements. They each have benefits for your dog on their own, but when you combine them together; you can get a more powerful overall formula that can help to reduce your dog’s arthritis symptoms.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that forms in cartilage. In the body, its responsibilities include fighting inflammation, nourishing cartilage and creating the cushioning fluid around the joints. Glucosamine can also be made synthetically as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. It helps to reduce any previous damage done to your dog’s joints by injury or arthritis, and it helps to strengthen the cartilage that is there.

Chondroitin also occurs naturally in the cartilage, and can also help with reducing inflammation and forming new cartilage/reinforcing existing cartilage and connective tissues.

As your dog ages, their natural Glucosamine production slows down, and this is one of the factors that can lead to an increased wear and tear on the joints. Along with this, your dog’s cartilage cells are always renewing, and damage can lead to inflammation and the cells releasing enzymes which can lead to even more joint damage.

By giving your dog a joint supplement that contains Chondroitin or a mix of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, you may see several benefits including:

  • A decrease in inflammation and swelling.
  • Improved flexibility levels.
  • Hydrates the joint cartilage for better shock absorption.
  • Protects existing cartilage from further damage.
  • Assists with preventing any stress injuries due to damaged ligaments.

2. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring component in the body that helps to create and support the skin, eyes, connective tissues, joints and joint fluid, as well as other body systems.

When it is used as an injectable supplement for joint issues in dogs during clinical trials, Hyaluronic Acid delivered similar positive results to traditional conservative canine joint treatments.

However, researchers concluded that additional trials with more stringent controls are needed before making a firm statement that HA in supplement form can help canine joint pain and mobility issues. It is highly advised not to use it without proper suggestion from the vet.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

Omega-3 fatty acids sometimes called simply “fish oil,” have shown some promise in reducing inflammation—certainly there is more positive research to support the use of fish oil overdosing your dog with glucosamine, making this one of the best arthritis supplements for dogs, at least in theory.

Many commercial dog foods already contain fish oil, but not always in sufficient quantities to treat existing joint inflammation. Be sure any supplement you choose contains both EPA and DHA.

You can talk with your veterinarian about the proper dosage.

4.  ArthriSoothe-GOLD Level 3 Advanced Joint Care for Dogs:

This highly rated supplement for dogs contains glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid (HA), plus Boswellia serrata and other ingredients.

The Best Supplements For Canine Hip Dysplasia

Common Supplements for Canine Hip Dysplasia

There are different types of supplements available for canine dysplasia. Before giving any supplement to your dog, ensure that you ask your vet if the supplement meets the current and future needs of your dogs. There are preventative supplements that keep the joints of your dog healthy and strong as also help prevent any joint problem in future. There are also treatment supplements that help repair the joint damage and the nourishing supplements that support the dog’s body as well as the immune system to help continue building healthy joints. Here are the most common supplements for dogs.

Glucosamine/chondroitin supplement

Glucosamine occurs naturally and is used in the formation of cartilage. It is essential in fighting inflammation, creating the cushioning fluid around the joints as well as nourishing the cartilage. Glucosamine is available synthetically as glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride.

Chondroitin on the other hand also occurs naturally in the cartilage and also helps reduce inflammation as well as the formation of new cartilage.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, and it aids in the creation and the support of the eyes, skin, joints, connective tissues as well as joint fluids.

It is administered as an injectable supplement for dogs that have joint problems.

Hip Dysplasia Supplement InfoCollagen joint supplement

The denatured type 2 collagen (UC-II) helps reduce pain as well as inflammation associated with arthritis. If your dog is suffering from stiffness, lameness or pain associated with arthritis, the UC-II is a supplement worth discussing with your vet.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

Fish oil is known to reduce inflammation and thus making it one of the best supplements for arthritis for your dog. Most of the commercial dog food is now and with fish oil, but the quantities are not sufficient. Ensure that the fish oil supplement you chose has both DHA and EPA.

Before getting your dog on any supplement, you need to talk to your vet. They will advise you on the best supplement to give as well as the dosage that can work well for your dog.

Alternatives To Surgery For Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine Hip Dysplasia Signs and SymptomsCanine Hip Dysplasia is an unnatural formation of the hip socket that can be quite painful for a dog. It is a form of arthritis and just like most forms of arthritis that affect humans it has no definite cure. There are several ways to improve the dogs quality of life, reduce the pain considerably and wipe out most of the clinical signs. However, it is important to note that this condition is a degenerative one so it naturally gets worse. Treatments are designed to counter the degeneration and not to cure the condition. Due to the varying degrees of Canine hip dysplasia, some dogs do not need intensive care but rather medications to assist the dog deal with the condition better.

In intense conditions, surgery is usually the first option but for those who cannot afford surgery or choose not to go with that option usually, use one of the following.

Medication – The medication for more severe conditions would not be the same for the minor degree. These medications are designed to reduce the damage, pain and possible swelling. The usual drug recommended is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is very important to consult a veterinarian before purchasing any NSAID because the drug type varies in different species. This drug combats arthritis that has occurred because of the hip dysplasia. The veterinarian may also try glucosamine-based nutritional supplements which may help with the joint repair. The usual testing time for these supplements is three to five weeks. Your dog will probably have to try several anti-inflammatory drugs in order to find the perfect fit. This trial period lasts two to four weeks for each brand of the drug. This trial is conducted alongside the glucosamine-based supplements and if the dog doesn’t respond to treatment, medication may be ruled out.

Weight loss – An overweight dog who suffers from this condition would be placed on a strict diet in order to reduce the weight placed on the hip bone. Weight loss may reveal the hip dysplasia to be minor instead of severe. Reducing the dog’s weight is a surefire way to fight all forms of arthritis.

Exercise – Canine Hip Dysplasia can be caused by jogging with a dog under one year and repeatedly placing weight on the bones which are not fully grown yet. Thus, increasing or reducing the dog’s exercise is a great way to curb the symptoms of dysplasia. A healthy exercise system can encourage the growth of cartilage and reduce the degeneration reasonably. Long, relaxing walks are also well recommended for your dog during the early stages of canine hip dysplasia or for mild dysplasia. This will help to fight the degeneration of muscle mass.

Canine Massages – Canine massages are said to reduce the pain in the affected area. The massage reduces the discomfort and pain whilst encouraging the movement of nutrients as well as lymph in the system.

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy – Another form of non-surgical treatment which has been proven to increase the dog’s range of motion, reduce the crippling and alleviate discomfort.

Medications For Canine Hip Dysplasia

Medications for Canine Hip Dysplasia vary, and none of them will fix the shape or degeneration of your dog’s hips. However, they will successfully reduce the amount of pain and inflammation your dog is going through. Non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are widely and most commonly used to help reduce the pain of a dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia showing moderate symptoms.


Other drugs like Tetracyclines (specifically doxycycline) have significantly slowed the destruction of collagen which is much of the joint structure in dogs and humans. Tetracyclines have very little negative effects and are often used as a first attempt at reducing the pain of canine hip dysplasia.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Supplements For Canine Hip DysplasiaRimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx, Previcox, Zubrin, and Metucam are both widely used anti-inflammatory prescription medicines. They both work the same by introducing prostaglandins, which reduces inflammation. These medications are particularly useful prior to large activity and strenuous exercise for a dog with hip dysplasia. There have however been negative effects on the liver in dogs so medication should be monitored and the dog should be given on a full, healthy diet. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly used option for treating the inflammation and pain in arthritis, particularly because of the cost efficiency compared to surgery. Anti-inflammatory drugs release prostaglandin which naturally decreases inflammation — there for reducing pain.

Buffered Aspirin is also used to fight the inflammation and pain of arthritis. There is a risk of an intestinal upset in dogs so check-ups and heavy monitoring are necessary when your dog is prescribed buffered aspirin.

Corticosteroids have been used for many years but are controversial due to the negative short and long-term effects it has on dogs. Newer drugs have been replacing the use of corticosteroids but are still used on occasion for old dogs not showing any signs of improvement from other medications.

PSGAGs – Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Agents

PSGAGs stands for Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan, which are natural materials found in the joint. PSGAGs are agents used to enhance synthesis of glycosaminoglycan and hyaluronate in the joints that dogs with degenerative arthritis lack. These agents help to create proteoglycan, an important part of the hyaline cartilage that lines the joint and also promotes fluid (lubrication) of the ball-in-socket. Controlled studies on people with osteoarthritis has seen positive results using these agents. Typically, a PSGAG regimen will begin showing positive results one month afterward and have very little negative affects.