Health and well-being is certain to deteriorate with old-age. This is as true for our four legged friends as it is for ourself. This means that we need to be on the look out for any signs of ill health and discomfort. One key area here is joint health. Our dog’s joint can wear down and grow painful with age. Some also develop arthritis and osteoporosis issues. The solution is the right approach to their exercise and diet. Supplementation of key ingredients can help. This guide offers information on the best joint supplements for dogs, with information on some of the best products available.
Table of Best Joint Supplements for Dogs
There are some dog breeds that are more prone to these joint issues than others. They include:
1) Golden Retrievers
2) Labrador Retrievers
5) St. Bernards
8) Great Danes
9) German Shepherds
10) Old English Sheep Dogs
What symptoms should owners look out for with joint problems?
Regardless of breed type, there are some clear signals that our pets may need a little help with their joints.
- Any sign of slowing down in their activities – such as walking more slowly, declining to run and taking their time on the stairs.
- A lack of interest in physical activity, which may signal pain and discomfort. This means a decline in any interest in playing with toys or other dogs.
- Any clear physical changes in their joints and movements, such a limp, favouritism of one side or any swelling.
- Difficulty jumping up or climbing onto the furniture.
Finding the right ingredients in joint supplements for dogs.
There are two ways that dog owners can go with supplementation for their dogs joints. The first is to look for a specialist formula with the perfect dosage of a key ingredient. Many do this with glucosamine. The other is to find a complex formula with lots of top agents for joint health. The following ingredients are all common in these joint supplement products.
This naturally occurring agent is one of the most popular because of the simple, understandable approach. This is a component found in the joints of dogs, which deteriorates with time. Glucosamine supplementation replenishes lost levels and helps to improve the health of the joints. This strengthens the cartilage and reduces inflammation. This is also popular because it is so helpful in human supplementation. If it works for us, why not try it on our dogs.
Fish Oils are a great tool in health and fitness for a number of reasons. We know to add omega oils to our own diets to help with brain and joint health. Here the same is true for dogs, with the added bonus of providing a nice shiny coat. Some supplements are better than others. Some stick with basic omega-3, while others add in omega-6 and the potent omega-9.
This is another one that we are very familiar with in regard to our own health and well-being. We use this for immunity and its antioxidant properties. Here it helps with the production of collagen to improve the health of a dog’s joints. Simple vitamin C supplementation can help, but it is better when added to other joint supplements.
MSM for Dogs:
Then there are those that favour the use of MSM. This compound - Methyl-sulfonyl-methane – contains a form of organic sulfur. While this sounds a little alarming, this is actually beneficial. This compound acts as great anti-oxidant for cell rejuvenation. This means that it is brilliant for healing damage to joints. The problem is that MSM levels decrease with age. Therefore, this is a great supplement when used in the dog-friendly form.
This is the ingredient that causes some concerns for owners. It is another sulfate solution, this time from the shells of crustaceans. This is a problem for some that question the ethics of a product, and for dogs with shellfish allergies. Still, there is great potential with this ingredient in many dogs. It helps to lubricate the joints and removes inflammation.
Then there is curcumin. This is a component commonly found in spices such as turmeric and ginger. It is what gives turmeric its yellow colour. Yet, it won’t do to add a tablespoon of turmeric to a dog’s meal. They need a concentrated form of this compound within a well-made supplement. This is another component that is prized for both its anti-inflammatory properties and its antioxidants. When combined with other ingredients here, it can really help with dog joint health.
Different forms of supplement that contain these ingredients.
Before we look at the some of the top products that are currently available for joint supplementation for dogs, we need to consider their form. There are different options here. Some tablets are chewable, but a little tough and unpleasant. Others are softer and more appealing, especially when they have nice flavours to them. Meat flavoured chews with the right dosages of active ingredients are a big hit. Other owners prefer the liquid forms, where they can mix the ingredients into a meal or water.
The top 7 products available in joint supplements for dogs:
There are lots of different products available that provide different options for dog owners. There are those different forms, although many of the best brands do favour the flavoured chew. There are also different approaches to the formulas. Some are specialist – dealing mostly with omega oils or glucosamine. Others are broader to help dogs with a range of different health issues. The important thing to do here is to compare and contrast, and perhaps allow for a little trial and error. The following are seven current best sellers.
1. Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats.
The clear selling point with this option is the use of natural fish oils from pure sources. This isn’t some artificial source of Omega-3 and Omega-6. Instead, this comes straight from wild Alaskan salmon. This is a great way to provide the oils need to lubricate the joints. Additional benefit here are the easy to use pump for the liquid, the advantages for heart health and immunity and the use on cats. The downsides are the small size of the bottle, potential issues figuring out the dosage and the lack of other ingredients.
2. Zesty Pawz Turmeric Curcumin Treats for Dogs.
This lack of additional ingredients with the salmon oil liquid means that many dog owners add on this product. These treats, from the same brand, ensure that dogs can get all the nutrients they need. It is more annoying in some ways to supplement in two forms. But, there is no faulting the ingredients here. There are 400 mg of Organic Turmeric, 200 mg of Qmin Curcumin – ioPerine and 95% Curcuminoids overall. They are alsoduck flavoured and highly chewable to appeal to canine consumers.
3. Amazing Nutritionals Omega-3 Fish Oil Chew-able Tablet for Dogs
Moving onto a different brand, we have another option that appeals to dog because of the taste and form. This is a bacon flavoured chew treat that goes down very well. There are two added bonuses with this tablet. The first is that it is made in a certified organic factory – for added peace of mind for owners. The second is that it has another form of Omega oil – Omega-9. This should increase the potential for joint health. Again, this is great for joints, brain function and coat health. The issue is that this isn’t the most complex of formulas.
4. Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM Chewable Tablets
Then we can this Nutramax option, which moves away from the natural oils to the more potent ingredients. This one uses a strong form of Cosequin and MSM to provide a great solution for joint problems. This is perhaps a more specialist supplement than some of the ones above, which are sometimes for more general health. Still, this has the tag of being the #1 veterinarian recommended retail supplement for joint health. This gives it extra weight as a health product that can really address, and potentially fix, certain joint issues.
5. ActivFlex’s Best Glucosamine for Dogs
This is a great name that is sure to draw people in. There is no getting away from the fact that this is a strong glucosamine supplement to aid joint issues such as arthritis and dysplasia. The good news here is that there are plenty of other ingredients to enhance the formula further. This includes Chondroitin, Turmeric and MSM for Dogs. Then there is the fact that these soft chews are made to be as safe and natural as possible. There are no additives, wheat or corn products and no soy, sugar or salt.
6) Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Dogs
You get a lot in a bottle here, at 225 soft chews per go. This should provide a little value compared to some of the smaller quantities around. This is another option that goes beyond the glucosamine to help with hip and joint support. There is also Chondroitin, MSM, Yucca Schidigera, CoQ10, Omega 3 & 6 and Vitamins C & E. The company also boast about their cold-press extrusion process to improve the potency of the ingredients. This means that these chews are powerful and appealing to owners.
7. Dak Pets Glucosamine Chondroitin Advanced Hip & Joint Supplements for Dogs
Finally there is this complex formula from Dak Pets. This option is another one that is appealing because of the range of ingredients and safety of the chews. They are organic, with no corn or gluten of any kind. They also contain Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM and Vitamins C & Vitamin E. This means that they should provide the support that dog owners are after for a range of health issues. There is also the fact that this formula is a complex, extra strength option. This should prove to be vital for the correct dosage.
Is there anything else that dog owners new to be aware of before feeding pets any of these top dog joint supplements?
There is the potential here for side effects:
Unfortunately there is the potential for some allergic reactions to this form of supplementation. It can trigger hypersensitivity in the immune system, which then leads to some side effects. These reactions can manifest themselves in the following ways.
- Skin problem, such as itchy skin, increased pigmentation and infections.
- Increased licking and bald spots due to those irritations.
- Digestive issues, such as cramping, gassiness, constipation, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Joint supplements for dogs with food allergies:
The first thing to consider here is the risk of an allergic reaction to the product. This is not common, but there is the potential when a dog has a history of allergies related to shellfish and animal products. This is because many supplements use shellfish as one of their natural source. The solution here is to turn to a joint supplement for dogs with food allergies. There are hypoallergenic options available and while none are 100% guaranteed to be risk free, they are sure to be a better choice.
The recommended glucosamine dosage for dogs:
Then there is the recommended dosage of glucosamine – that star ingredient that many dog owners are after. Ideally, dogs with joint issues should receive 20 mg of glucosamine a daily for each pound that they weigh. You can do a calculation and determine the best dosage, with a little help from a vet. The problem is that there are many products that don’t reach this level, despite plenty of sales hype. Always read the labels and take control of your dog’s supplement dosages.
There is a lot to consider when buying the best joint supplement for dogs, so buy carefully.
Let’s recap what we have learned here. We need to pay close attention to the health and well-being of our dogs as they age. Any of these symptoms above could be a sign of poor dog joint health. This is when it is important to consider administering the right supplementation to help them. The best supplements with offer plenty of helpful active ingredients, with the right quantities of those elements. They will also be easy to use and of benefit to the animal in other ways. The options mentioned above are all great examples of top dog joint supplements. Browse your options, test them out and see what works for your pet.