Dogs are active animals. They love to jump, run around, play and have fun. However, over the years, their love for fun becomes overshadowed by stress to their bones and joints.
Any attempt to jump or run around is accompanied by a lot of discomfort in their joints and hips. As a dog owner, you should expect this occurrence especially if your pet is aged. Joint problems such as hips and arthritis inflammation can afflict dogs just as they do to we humans. In most cases, joint supplements for dogs can help ease this problem.
According to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, bone arthritis/joints arthritis known medically as “osteoarthritis” affects one out of every five dogs in the U.S. It is also called degenerative joint disease in the case of senior dogs. This condition occurs when the cartilage protection of the joints break down.
Common Joints Affected by Arthritis
Arthritis affects any joint in the body of a canine, but the following are the most common joints affected:
- Lower back
- Paw wrists
Symptoms of Arthritis
An article by PetMD discusses the symptoms, types and causes of arthritis in dogs. The report further goes on to say that the clinical signs of arthritis appear slowly and gradually worsens over time. It is important to note that the symptoms of arthritis are not specific to the disease. Often, they mimic those of other disorders.
Also, the first symptoms of arthritis are always so subtle that even the most observant of owners can miss them. However, over time, owners will notice something happening with their dog. Symptoms of arthritis include:
- Unwillingness to move or stand
- Stiffness/Bunny-Hopping gait/Abnormal stance when walking
- Intermittent lameness
- Visible joint deformities and swollen joints
- Prolonged periods of rest
- Lethargy and Depression
- Irritability and Aggression when bones are touched
- Loss of appetite
Use of Dog Joint Supplements for Arthritis, Hips & Joints Alleviation
Pet Education offers some options on how to take care of arthritis in dogs. However, for this article, we will be focusing on the use of joint supplements for dogs.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis before starting any treatment. While some joint supplements for arthritis, hips and joints may offer benefits, not every supplement that lays claims to being useful for joint health will work on your dog.
What are Dog Arthritis Supplements?
Arthritis supplements are substances containing ingredients such as Collagen, Chondroitin and Glucosamine for dogs. The dogs can either drink them or eat them depending on the form (powder or pills). They support the cartilage around the joints and provide non-nutrient chemicals which have a biologically beneficial effect that helps to fix breaks and reduce inflammation.
Types of Dog Joint Supplements
Here, we have a rundown of joint supplements gaining a lot of buzz in the canine world these days:
· Glucosamine hydrochloride
The glucose hydrochloride is an amino sugar that helps in building blocks of cartilage by stimulating the growth of the cartilage cells. Glucosamine for dogs can also be found naturally in pig tails, beef knuckle bones and green lipped mussels.
- Chondroitin sulfate
Chondroitin sulfate works by inhibiting the enzymes causing cartilage damage.
· Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU)
Avocado soybean unsaponifiables also called ASUs protect the cartilage matrix against damage. Protection of the cartilage is done by inhibiting the critical causes of the structural changes that occur in osteoarthritis. They also stimulate the healing of osteochondral defects in the canine joints by increasing TGF (transforming growth factor) in the tissues.
· Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega- 3 fatty acids are well known for their benefits to the heart and the joints. They also help in boosting the immune system and improving the kidneys.
· Turmeric & Curcumin
The principal ingredient responsible for the medicinal properties of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory supplement which helps to reduce inflammation-promoting enzymes in the body of your pet. It also helps in relieving other symptoms of osteoarthritis such as stiffness and pain in the joints.
MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane is an organic sulfur compound that acts as a natural analgesic. It helps in preventing the movement of pain impulses to the fibres of the nerves. Also, it stops the inflammation process by enhancing the production of natural anti-inflammatory hormone by the body (cortisol).
· Eggshell membrane
The membrane of an eggshell has high concentrations of chondroitin, collagen, hyaluronic acid and glucosamine. Absorption of these nutrients by a canine helps in blocking inflammation and reducing joint aches.
· Boswellia serrata
The Boswellia serrata has effects similar to NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It helps in reducing the severity and compounding of the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs such as stiff gait and lameness.
· Vitamin E
The introduction of Vitamin E into the diet of your dog can increase its energy, reduce muscle damage, improve joint strength and improve endurance.
· Manganese and Calcium
Manganese and Calcium are known for their impact on strengthening joints and bones.
It is important to note that the above mentioned joint supplements are more effective when used together. As a result, supplement manufacturers use them as the base of their dog arthritis supplements.
Benefits of Dog Arthritis, Hips and Joints Supplements
According to Medic Animal, the use of joint supplements is the soft approach to dealing with hips and joints arthritis in dogs. The hard method would be having the dog undergo surgery. The following are the benefits joint supplements provide:
- They act as anti-inflammatory agents
- Help to relieve joint stiffness
- Provides your dog with essential amino acids, enzymes, and minerals to fix broken cartilage
- Supplements like chondroitin help to fight against white blood cell enzymes that damage cartilage.
- Glucosamine is one of the supplements that help to promote collagen production in the cartilage.
- MSM as a supplement acts as a synergist that improves the cellular uptake of Vitamins and at the same time blocks out pain.
- Curcumin not only acts as an anti-inflammatory but also as an antioxidant which helps to reduce and neutralize radicals which damage the cells of your pet.
Are There Side Effects of Hip & Joint Supplements in Dogs?
Too much of anything can become bad. Over the years, a lot of veterinarians and pet owners have noticed few, if any, side effects of giving dog arthritis supplements. Side effects may include but are not restricted to:
- Diarrhea & Vomiting
- Insomnia & Fatigue
- Excessive Thirst & Urination
- Allergic Reactions
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to be gotten from the use of joint supplements for dogs to treat arthritis. If you choose the best one for your dog, you can be confident in the fact that the aches and pains will reduce and they will have a higher quality of life.
But note, the most important thing is to always consult with a veterinarian if the use of supplements will be best and on the dosage to give your pet.