Dogs are man’s best friends. They get into mischief, frolic in the mud, dig up your gardens, lick up your face, but all these antics don’t change the fact that they bring a lot of joy into our lives. However, there might come a time in life where these little antics dwindle to the point that they might be no more.
Why? A lot of things can happen over the course of the life of a dog, but only, two significant things can turn an active pet into a dull one. They are:
- Old age
- Hip, Joints &Bone Arthritis: Degenerative (Osteoarthritis) & Inflammatory
Old age is unavoidable, and there is no preventing it but, arthritis on the other hand whether degenerative or inflammatory can be guarded against. One of the ways to avoid or treat arthritis is through the use of the best hip and joint supplements for dogs.
Hip and Joint Supplements for Dogs
Joint supplements are standardised nutrient extracts which contain vitamins, minerals, herbs and enzymes that help supplement the diet. Hip and joint supplements for dogs, in particular, provide the necessary nutrients to help repair or prevent arthritis.
Before purchasing any product that claims to be the, best hip and joint supplements for dogs, you ought to know three things:
- Not all bone and hip supplements are created equal
The manufacturing process for every supplement manufacturer may differ from that of their rival. Not every supplement you see on the market is safe to use. Unlike drugs and food items which need Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, dog joint supplements do not. However, the ingredients made use of by manufacturers are under regulation.
- Not all components used in the supplements are created equal
There are specific ingredients you should always watch out for when purchasing bone supplements for your dog. An element like glucosamine is well known for its power to stimulate cartilage growth in the joints of dogs. However, glucosamine comes in different forms. The best glucosamine for dogs is glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate if you come across any other kind be wary and do your research.
Also, not all ingredients that go into the manufacture of these bone supplements are safe either quantity wise or quality wise. Make sure to research the ingredients in a supplement, the proposed benefits and dangers of purchasing. The FDA has a list of permissible elements that should come in handy when cross-referencing the dangers of ingredients.
- Not all dog arthritis supplements cost the same
Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are a lot of dog supplement manufacturers boasting of products which can help prevent or repair arthritis. Not only that, but these dog joint supplements also vary vastly in prices. You can walk into the nearest pet store, check online or have your veterinarian prescribe one for you but at the end of the day, you are likely to come across supplements of the same size costing different prices.
How to choose the best joint care supplement for your dog
It is always better to be safe than sorry. After all, it is the life of your pet at stake here and getting the wrong joint supplement can do more harm than good. Before purchasing any arthritis or bone care supplement, the following are things to do:
- Get a diagnosis or opinion from a veterinarian
The first thing to do when you notice a problem in your dog is to set an appointment with your vet. It is best to get the expert opinion of a professional before making further steps. Your vet will assess your dog, tell you the problem and if it is related to arthritis or joint issues, he or she will recommend certain supplements and drugs.
Most vets have been in the business for a while yet and have studied the performance of some of these supplements. So, they are in the best position to recommend the best hip and joint supplements for dogs.
- Ask other dog owners
Your dog is not going to be the first one to suffer from arthritis or joint aches, and it will probably not be the last. The good thing about this is that you can always seek out dog owners who have been in the same position. Ask them about their experience and how they were able to deal with it. If they made use of joint supplements for dogs, then ask for their recommendation on an anti-inflammatory for dogs and supplements that help reduce discomfort.
- Check online reviews
We live in the modern age where all the information we need is at our fingertips. All you need to do is check the internet. There are a lot of pet care forums and online review sites where you can check for the opinions of other dog owners on which joint supplements for dogs work best. Also, most manufacturers have their products on online shopping platforms like Amazon where it is easy to check for reviews of other buyers.
- Research the ingredients
A manufacturer can say anything about their product, but it is left to you to perform the necessary research on whether their words can be trusted. When it comes to ingredients for joint care supplements, you need:
- Components that incorporate anti-inflammatory for dogs and cartilage rebuilding elements such as turmeric, curcumin, best glucosamine for dogs (glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate), Chondroitin sulfate, Hyaluronic acid
- Supplements with ingredients that have clinical studies validating their benefits such as vitamins, Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM), Avocado Soybean Unsaponified (ASU), Omega 3 etc.
The purpose of researching the ingredients is to:
- Verify if the component used by the manufacturer is one of the permissible ones on the list approved by the FDA for dietary supplements.
- Check if the quantity of the ingredient used by the manufacturer is harmful or enough to provide the needed benefits.
Some of the harmful and low-quality ingredients you should keep an eye out for include:
- Toxic chemicals:
- Ethoxyquin (a preservative which also serves as a pesticide),
- Propylene glycol (used by production companies to make anti-freeze but also helps to preserve moisture in supplements)
- Dicalcium phosphate (a calcium supplement used by manufacturing companies as a tartar controlling agent)
All the chemicals mentioned above have been proven to be the cause of hair loss, cancer, leukaemia, kidney and liver failure in pets.
The use of artificial sweeteners and flavouring agents by manufacturers in their joint supplements is unnecessary due to the harm they can cause. Watch out for ingredients such as xylitol, sucrose, sorbitol as they can cause blood sugar problems and liver failure.
Calcium phosphate, lactose, corn starch and cellulose are examples of filler ingredients manufacturers use to increase the volume of the joint supplements. Although they are not harmful, they provide no benefit to your dog.
- Coloring agents:
Your dog does not care about the colour of the joint supplement you feed it. Some manufacturers may use it for the sake of manufacturing, but at the same time, if the colouring is of the synthetic variety, it can lead to cancer.
Joint supplements have their benefits, but not all joint care supplements for dogs can be trusted. The burden of choosing the best for your dog solely lies on you which means that there can be no shortcuts taken. You may also want to try out this joint supplement that has no harmful additives and is regarded as one of the best in the world.
Once you follow the steps advised above, you will have nothing to regret, however, if you choose to buy just any joint care supplement for your dog, then you have to be ready for the consequences that follow.