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