Dog joint supplements

Dog joint supplements
8 March 2022
Dog joint supplements

Many dog joint supplements have been developed to allow your dog to move smoothly for as long as possible. What is in these dog joint supplements? And are there other natural ways to prevent and treat osteoarthritis in dogs?

Types of dog joint supplements

In the the wide range of dog joint supplements on the market, two types of nutrients can be recognized. Why are these nutrients useful for dog joints?

Glucosamine en chondroitin: building blocks for cartilage

Dogs need both glucosamine and chondroitin to build cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage covering the bone parts of joints is damaged and dissapears gradually. Once lost, this cartilage does not come back. Extra glucosamine and chondroitin help to preserve cartilage for as long as possible. The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel contains both glucosamine and chondroitin and is used in many dog joint supplements.

Natural anti-inflammatories

Although dogs usually don't show this clearly, osteoarthritis is associated with inflammation and pain. Food supplements with natural anti-inflammatories can reduce inflammation and pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. Commonly used in dog joint supplements are:

  • Fish oil, rich in the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA with a proven anti-inflammatory effect.
  • The New Zealand Green-lipped mussel contains, in addition to glucosamine and chondroitin, omega 3 fatty acids and the also anti-inflammatory furan fatty acids. Other types of mussels do not have this anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Harpagoside, a herbal anti-flammatory substance from a plant called Devil's Claw.
  • Blackcurrant, rich in potassium and vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects tissues and cells from harmful inflammatory substances.
  • Curcumin or Turmeric also acts as an antioxidant.

Examples of dog joint supplements with both building blocks and anti-inflammatory nutrients:

  • Synopet Dog Cani-Syn contains liquid Green-lipped mussel, Bio-Curcumin and Blackcurrant. This liquid provides your dog with glucosamine and chondroitin as well as various anti-inflammatory substances. Compared to Green-lipped mussel extract or powder, the liquid form is better absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Fortiflex tasty tablets provide a patented combination of chondroitin sulfate and chitosan. Chitosan ensures that the chondroitin sulphate is better absorbed from the intestines so more of it reaches the joints. In addition, Fortiflex Advanced contains two antioxidants.
  • The tasty Iso-Joint +Acute tablets provide your dog with both glucosamine and the anti-inflammatory Harpagoside. In addition, it contains various helpful minerals.

It is also possible to feed your dog a special diet food for dogs with osteoarthritis instead of food supplements. The above-mentioned nutrients are often already incorporated.

Homeopathy for osteoarthritis in dogs

Homeopathy has a different approach than dog joint supplements. In homeopathy, plant substances that would cause or worsen osteoarthritis are strongly diluted. The idea is that the diluted substances have an opposite, healing effect. Which remedy best suits your dog depends on various factors, it is tailor-made by specialized homeopaths. The effect of homeopathy cannot be scientifically proven yet, but success stories are certainly there.  

More tips and alternative treatments for dogs with osteoarthritis

Other things that may support your dog with osteoarthritis in a natural way:

  • Taking your dog for a quiet walk a few times a day helps to 'lubricate' the joints and provide them with nutrients (including those from the joint supplements you give).
  • Jumping, climbing stairs, moving too wildly or for too long aggravates joint pain and is better avoided.
  • Prevent your dog from being overweight, so that the joints do not have to endure even harder.
  • Physiotherapy helps to develop the muscles around the joints as optimally as possible.
  • Acupuncture and/or osteopathy also gives good results in dogs with osteoarthritis.

When does a dog with osteoarthritis need medication?

If your dog is having difficulty walking or standing up despite dog joint supplements and other natural therapies, it may be time to give your dog painkillers. If you are in doubt about the degree of pain in your dog, it can be a good idea to start pain medication as a test for a few weeks in consultation with your vet. Usually your vet will prescribe your dog NSAIDs for this: Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs, such as Rimadyl or Metacam.

Is your dog clearly doing better with painkillers? Then your dog can receive permanent pain relief in addition to one or more of the above natural treatments. In consultation with your vet, the dose may be reduced after a while to reduce the risk of side effects.


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