When Should I Start Giving My Dog Joint Supplements?
Joint supplements are just for elderly dogs with stiff, achy hips and elbows, right? Guess again. If your dog is a young and healthy puppy or an active adult dog, a natural joint supplement can greatly improve their quality of life now and in the years to come.And if you have a senior dog who already has arthritis, it\'s not too late to improve their health. Here’s why you should start your dog on a joint supplement right now.
Which Dogs Need Joint Supplements?
Some dogs can experience problems with their joints at a very young age. Normal growing pains can create joint problems. And, unfortunately, some puppies are born predisposed to joint issues. Zuzu, a Yorkie-mix and friend of the Pawsomely Healthy team, was born with luxated patellas. Put simply, her kneecaps wouldn’t stay in place, causing her great discomfort and putting her on an early road to debilitating arthritis.In Zuzu’s case, surgery corrected the problem. And joint supplements maintain her health, allowing her to grow into an active, agile dog.
Joint supplements helped Zuzu’s joints grow stronger after her surgery.[/caption]Conditions like hip dysplasia can be influenced by genes, but they can also begin to develop in puppy years. The hip joint uses a ball and socket mechanism, and, if those two parts don’t develop at the same rate, it can predispose your puppy to develop hip dysplasia later in life. In addition, dogs that are overweight or have had past injuries like fractures or ligament tears also need extra support for their joints.Dogs who are extremely active, like those who participate in agility training, especially need joint supplements to keep them active, flexible, and pain-free.
Signs Your Dog Needs Joint Support
Since our pups can’t tell us exactly what’s wrong, it can be difficult to know how to help. Some may “play through” the pain, making their joint problems worse. But the better informed you are, the better equipped you will be to help your fur family.If you observe any of the following signs, your dog could be experiencing joint pain and is in need of a joint supplement:
Limping and stiffness
Frequent slipping while moving about
Whining or irritability, especially when touched
Licking, chewing, or biting the affected area
Refusing to jump or use stairs
Hesitation when getting up
Even if your pup doesn’t appear to be in pain or doesn’t currently have mobility problems, they can still benefit from taking a joint supplement.
After all, prevention is the best medicine! If you begin to care for your dog’s joint health before problems arise, then your dog can run, jump, and play for years to come. View it as an investment in their health, happiness, and longevity!
Do Joint Supplements For Dogs Really Work?
In an ideal world, our dogs would get all their vital nutrients from their food. However, that simply isn’t the case. There are many reasons why your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients from their food, including:
They’re eating highly-processed or over-treated dog food
Their digestive system isn’t optimal
The ingredients in their food aren’t bioavailable
Their food isn’t designed for their specific needs or stage of life
They have unique health conditions their food isn’t addressing
Thankfully, supplements can fill in the gaps in your pup’s nutritional needs, especially when it comes to supporting their joint health.A good supplement can reduce inflammation, lubricate joints, and even minimize your dog’s pain. But in order for your dog to get the best benefits, they’ll need you to choose the best joint supplement for them.
How Do I Choose A Joint Supplement For My Dog?
Many of us use a daily multivitamin and other supplements to boost our health. Usually, we take great care to choose a product that’s safe and effective. The same approach comes into play when choosing a joint supplement for your dog. Be sure to read the labels, and do research on the ingredients.You’ll want to choose a joint supplement that has high-quality ingredients that are clean, safe, and easily absorbed by your dog’s body.Some supplements are manufactured in facilities that don’t meet industry standards. Look for one that is made in an FDA-approved and cGMP compliant facility, meaning it has to meet strict quality control standards. And, of course, you’ll want to choose a supplement that’s tasty! Some pups are super picky eaters. Having a joint supplement that tastes more like bacon or beef will make your dog feel like they’re getting a treat with every dose.
Is it too late to give my dog joint supplements? It’s never too late! Ideally, you’d want to give your dog joint support from the puppy years on. However, even if your pup is elderly and already has issues with their joints, a natural supplement can provide pain relief and even improve their joint health.We often hear feedback like, “I started giving my senior dog joint supplements and now they’re more active/acting like their old self/in a better mood.”What breeds need joint supplements? All breeds can benefit from taking joint supplements. But some need it more than others. Large breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, Retrievers, and Saint Bernards should begin taking joint supplements at an early age.But even some small to medium-sized dogs like Dachshunds, Pugs, and French Bulldogs are susceptible to joint problems. This isn’t an exhaustive list. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your dog’s breed is at risk for joint problems.