Joint care is important for all dogs. As your dog ages, wear and tear on joints can cause pain, arthritis, and an overall lack of mobility that can hurt your dog’s quality of life. Joint supplements can also be helpful in serious disorders such as hip dysplasia.
Petlab joint care supplements contain many of the same ingredients you find in supplements made for human joint health. Not all medications and supplements that are safe for human consumption are safe for dogs, but the ingredients in the supplements are veterinarian-approved for safety.
When to start using joint supplements
All dogs, as they age, become prone to arthritis and other joint issues. Some breeds are at a much higher risk of joint damage. If your dog belongs to a high-risk breed, it is recommended that you start using joint supplements as soon as they stop growing, which is usually between twelve to eighteen months of age. Breeds that need supplements early:
- German Shepherds
- American Stafford Terriers
- Basset Hounds
- Great Danes
- French Bulldogs
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Saint Bernards
- Shih Tzus
- Old English Sheepdogs
If your dog is a mixed breed or is not one of the breeds listed above, talk to your veterinarian about when to start the use of joint supplements. Most veterinarians recommend that you institute joint supplements before your dog enters their senior years.
The goal is to slow or prevent joint damage before it ever begins to occur. If you wait until your dog is showing symptoms of arthritis or other forms of joint damage, then you can only slow the progression. Joint supplements do not heal the damage that has occurred, but it can help slow or prevent further damage.
Joint supplements work in three key areas. They keep the production of joint fluid healthy, which helps keep the joints lubricated, therefore, reducing the wear and tear. Joint supplements help promote healthy cartilage by keeping it smooth. Finally, supplements have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation in the joints serves as a powerful protection from joint damage caused by wear and tear that increases with age.
The number one cause of premature joint damage in dogs is obesity. Talk to your veterinarian about the proper weight for your dog. Institute a diet of high-quality food, provide plenty of exercises, and do not give your dog table scraps. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight throughout their adult lives will help keep prevent many potential health problems, and protect against unnecessary wear and tear on their joints.
Some breeds are more prone to weight problems than others, and the diet you choose for your dog will depend on the needs of their body type. Like their human owners, dogs tend to slow down as they age, making it easier to add extra pounds. If you notice your dog gaining weight without changes in their diet, it is probably time to increase the amount of exercise that they get. Long walks are healthy for both you and your dog.
What to look for in quality supplements
As pet owners are learning more about protecting their pets from joint damage, the market for supplements for pets has exploded. Not all joint supplements are created equal, so to make sure you are buying the best supplement for your dog:
- Talk to your vet about ingredients and dosing. Dogs do not have the same metabolism as humans, so the amount of each supplement should be calculated based on a canine’s metabolism.
- Be wary of products whose claims seem too good to be true. Joint supplements cannot reverse the damage that already exists in your pet’s joints. If a product makes outlandish claims, the odds are high that they are not providing high-quality supplements. Instead, they are relying on marketing schemes that prey on the love we have for our pets.
- Stick with ingredients that have been studied and proven to provide some benefit to pet health such as glucosamine, fish oils, turmeric, and calcium Fructoborate.
The supplements should be provided in a tasty, easy to give manner. Supplements are something your pet will have to take every day, and getting the correct dose is essential. Tasty chews that seem like a treat to your dog are the best option to make sure they get the full supplement without having to fight with pills. Liquids to pour on their food can work, but if your dog does not eat all of their food, they will miss a portion of their daily supplement dose.