When to start giving supplements to my puppy
Perhaps the most frequently asked questions are when one should start giving supplements to their puppy? Do puppies need supplements at all? Or is it better to wait until the dog is older?
Young puppies up to 6 months should get all the nutrients that they need from high quality food. After 6 months puppies grow and develop amazingly fast. They become highly active and the muscles often grow faster than bones.
Many puppies of large and giant breeds may already have problems with hips, lower back, or elbows. These problems are not usually visible to the average dog keeper and do not become apparent until conditions worsen.
Take for example Lio, one of the dogs in the Pawsomely Healthy family. Lio is a gorgeous German Shepherd and it is common knowledge that German shepherds have various problems with lower back and hind legs. Many are also genetically more prone to hip dysplasia.
But Lio looked healthy and was an active puppy. Lio’s parents were first time dog owners and they wanted only the best for their puppy – they found the most nutritious food for him, bought him a lot of toys, started with basic obedience training and took Lio to the park regularly.
When Lio was 10 months old his parents found a very experienced trainer who was also a German Shepherd breeder to start training Lio to become a well behaved obedient dog. He looked at Lio and immediately noticed an abnormal stride and evident hind leg issues. He recommended checking Lio for hip dysplasia.
It appeared, Lio was free of dysplasia, but was diagnosed with Lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LTV), a common hereditary spinal anomaly that predisposes to premature degeneration of the lumbosacral junction. It is a frequent cause of an early progressive arthritis in the joint at the bottom of the spine.
Large breeds (German Shepherd, Great Danes) and dogs with long spinal cords (Beagle, Dachshund) are most susceptible to this disease.
Lio’s parents faced two options: a long term conservative health management that would include weight management, plenty of controlled strengthening exercise, anti-inflammatories as needed, and good dog joint supplements or an expensive surgery and long crate rest. They were not ready for a major surgery for a 10 months old puppy!
Luckily, the dog trainer recommended starting Lio on high-quality hip and joint supplements for dogs right away to avoid the highly likely possibility of becoming disabled by 6 years of age.
So, this story has a happy ending. Lio’s parents found high-quality dog supplements that are keeping him happy, healthy, and active despite his congenital anomaly.
As we can see it is evident that starting your puppy on quality puppy supplements can prevent the onset of numerous conditions, and greatly lessen the effects of existing ones.
Most people think that large breed dogs are the only pets susceptible to joint issues, but this is far from the truth. The fact is almost any dog can develop joint pain as they age and it's important to keep in mind that it's never too early to start caring for your pet's joints.
The more we have learned about pet nutrition, the more we have discovered extra support is as beneficial for dogs as it is for us, particularly when it comes to joint health.
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating, progressive disease that causes cartilage destruction and, ultimately, joint failure leading to pain and disuse. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis with an estimate of 20% of middle-aged dogs and up to 90% of older dogs affected.
Preventing should be a top priority with any dog! Start your puppy early on the right supplements to help build a good foundation and avoid joint problems later in life.