Should Your Dog Take a Joint Supplement?

Mar 27, 2018 | Dog Health, Nutrients

Providing your dog with the resources they need can help them live a long and healthy life. Many pet owners wait too long to address their dog’s joint health, which can be a critical part of their overall health. In some cases, you may even have to go through a dog torn ligament treatment if an injury occurs.  When a dog has joint pain, they may be less active, which can lead to weight gain and increased risk of systemic disease. So how do you know whether it’s appropriate to give your dog a joint supplement, and when to do so? Here are some things to keep in mind.

Provide Joint Supplements Prior to Injury

Cranial cruciate ligament tears in dogs can happen suddenly or the ligament may degenerate over time. Giving joint supplements before an injury occurs may help keep joints healthy and promote mobility, hopefully preventing the need for dog torn ligament treatment.  Your dog can’t tell you when they are feeling discomfort, and many times they will hide the pain as much as possible.  Some joint supplements have anti-inflammatory properties and may help keep your pet comfortable when minor injuries occur.

Though it is best to give your pet supplements before the pain arises, you may still be able to improve their joint health or slow the progression of arthritis by giving them a supplement once you notice signs joint pain. Your dog may experience immediate benefits from a joint supplement, but in many cases, it can take 2-3 months before improvements are noted.  A discussion with your veterinarian can help determine which ones are best and when to start giving it to your dog.

Selecting The Best Joint Supplement

There are many different joint supplements on the market and they are not regulated by the FDA.  This means there is a wide degree of quality in the products you may see.  It is important to find products that are third-party tested to confirm the supplement contains what it says it does.  Look for products that are certified by organizations such as consumerlab.com, NSF International, U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), or UL.  Opting for the cheapest product won’t be doing your dog any favors since the active ingredients are often poorer quality than the more expensive options. This doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive option all the time. 

It is also important to know which supplements have been shown to work in dogs.  There is little evidence to support the use of most supplements on the market, including glucosamine and chondroitin which are frequently recommended.  There is, however, growing evidence for the use of diets supplemented with high levels of fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and also for Green Lipped Mussel.

TPLO Info seeks to provide dog owners not only with information regarding dog ACL surgery options but also how to help medically manage a dog ACL injury.

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