10 Things to Know About Joint Supplements for Dogs
Did you know that dogs have a higher rate of joint problems than humans? One in four humans suffer from joint problems. But in dogs, the prevalence of joint problems is closer to 40%!
As dogs get older, their risk of joint problems increases. This is why joint supplements for senior dogs are so common. But it's never too early to start incorporating a joint supplement into your dog's routine.
NASC approved joint supplements for dogs can help reduce symptoms now. Plus, they may help reduce the risk of joint disease when you catch your dog's symptoms early.
But what do you need to know before you start giving your dog joint supplements? Here are the top 10 things to understand.
1. How Do You Know if Your Dog Needs Joint Supplements?
As mentioned, joint health issues are more common in older dogs, though dogs of all ages can develop joint problems. However, there are some dogs that are more prone to joint problems than others.
For example, large-breed dogs tend to have a higher risk for arthritis. Other conditions that may predispose your dog to joint problems include obesity, certain injuries, nutritional deficiency, and congenital joint disorders.
Even if your dog does not suffer from any of the above health conditions, watch out for the following signs of joint problems:
- Unexplained change in appetite
- Inability or unwillingness to run, jump, play, or go up or down stairs
- Lameness or limping, especially after getting up from lying down
- Irritability, especially when you touch or pet your dog
- Rear limb muscle loss
- Trouble with urination
Some of these signs could be a symptom of another health problem. That's why it's important to take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these issues.
Your vet can evaluate and diagnose your dog with arthritis or another condition responsible for these warning signs.
2. Which Active Ingredients Help With Joint Problems?
If the above symptoms are early signs of arthritis or another joint condition, your vet may recommend an advanced hip & joint supplement for dogs.
Joint supplements contain ingredients that can help support your dog's bones and joints. Some common ingredients found in joint supplements for dogs include:
- Glucosamine: This ingredient is a natural component of cartilage and can help cushion the joints
- Chondroitin Sulfate: This ingredient blocks enzymes that break down joint cartilage, helping to preserve more joint tissue
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: This essential nutrient can block inflammation of the joints and possibly reduce joint pain
- Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient helps lubricate your dog's joints and also strengthens the surrounding connective tissue
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): This ingredient has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities to help with joint healing
You may be tempted to choose a supplement with only one of these ingredients. But finding a dog supplement with all of these ingredients can offer more relief for your pup.
For example, our MegaFlex vitamin is an MSM joint supplement for dogs and cats. It contains two joint health-boosting ingredients: glucosamine and MSM.
3. What Other Treatments Help With Joint problems in Dogs?
One of the most common treatments for dogs with joint problems is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs. Humans take NSAIDs, too, in the form of aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (e.g., Aleve).
NSAIDs can help control the inflammation causing your dog's joint problems. And these drugs can also help with your pup's pain symptoms.
There are multiple NSAID brands made specifically for dogs. This includes Galliprant, Carprofen, and Meloxicam. However, some experts recommend joint supplements over NSAIDs for dogs.
This is because NSAIDs can actually make joint problems worse in some dogs. They may also have the potential to worsen your dog's pain by negatively impacting joint cartilage production.
4. How Can You Tell if a Dog Supplement Is of High Quality?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate pet supplements the same way it monitors drugs for humans. So, how do you ensure the products you are getting are safe and effective for Fido?
Look for the following characteristics of high-quality pet supplements:
- National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) approved
- Made in the USA
- Veterinarian recommended
You should also search for products with claims backed by scientific research.
5. How Do You Choose the Right Supplement for Your Dog?
In order for your dog to benefit from his joint supplements, he actually has to eat them! Luckily, manufacturers usually make dog supplements easy to chew and flavored with yummy ingredients your pup will love.
For example, our NutriFlex Joint Support vitamins are chewable and flavored with Argentinian beef liver.
You can ensure your dog will love the supplements you buy with a taste and smell test. Order a few supplements your vet recommends and hold them in front of your dog two at a time.
Your dog can pick the supplement he or she prefers. That way, you can avoid power struggles when it's time for your dog to take his supplement.
Unfortunately, it's common for older dogs to refuse their senior dog supplements for joints. If your pup refuses his supplement in tablet or chewable form, you can also try a liquid supplement.
For example, our Ultra Essential Fatty Acid supplement for dogs and cats comes in a convenient liquid form that you can pour over your dog's food or water.
6. What Is the Proper Dosing for Dog Supplements?
The supplement's label should give you precise dosing instructions based on your pet's weight and age. When in doubt, though, check with your veterinarian.
Your vet can recommend the proper dosage for your dog's weight. Plus, they can tell you how often you should give your dog joint supplements.
7. How Do You Feed a Dog Joint Supplements?
Feeding your dog joint supplements is a breeze, especially when you do a taste and smell test to find the one Fido likes best.
Most manufacturers of dog supplements add flavorings and make the tablets soft to chew. That way, you can feed your pup his joint supplements the same way you would feed him a treat.
8. What Time of Year Should You Start Adding Joint Supplements to Your Dog's Routine?
Cold weather doesn't just make your skin and your dog's skin dry. It can also impact the lubrication of your joints.
A compound called synovial fluid lubricates the joints of both humans and dogs. When the temperature drops, that fluid thickens. And your joints will not operate as they usually do.
For this reason, it's always a good idea to start your dog on a new joint supplement routine before the temperatures start dropping.
But what if you live in a climate that stays cold year-round? You should consider starting your dog's new supplement routine as soon as possible to give him the relief he needs.
9. What Results Should You Expect from Joint Supplements for Dogs?
The results you can expect from a joint supplement for dogs will depend on a number of factors.
For instance, older dogs may not benefit from supplements as much as younger dogs. And dogs whose joint problems are progressed will not benefit from supplements as much as dogs with early-stage joint problems.
Is your dog experiencing the signs and symptoms of joint issues? If so, it may take up to two months before you see results. Dogs with less progressive joint issues may experience relief sooner.
10. Where Can You Buy NASC Approved Joint Supplements for Dogs?
The NASC is the premier organization that offers its Quality Seal to pet supplements that meet its high standards. To earn the NASC Quality Seal, a supplement has to meet the following criteria:
- It underwent random testing
- It contains ingredients reviewed by the NASC Scientific Advisory Committee
- Its manufacturers use product monitoring and adverse event reporting processes
- Its manufacturer documented all quality control and production procedures
- Its label adheres to stick labeling regulations
You can view a list of pet supplement companies that are NASC-approved to find the right supplement for your dog.
Or you can shop from online supplement providers like Family Pet Nutrition. We only sell NASC-approved supplements on our website. That way, you know that any product you choose is safe and effective for your best furry friend.
Get Top Rated Joint Supplements for Dogs at Family Pet Nutrition
If your dog suffers from joint problems, a supplement can help. We hope this guide has increased your awareness of how these supplements can benefit your furry friend.
Now, are you searching for high-quality supplements for your dog? Family Pet Nutrition only sells supplements of the highest quality. Browse our NASC approved joint supplements for dogs to find the right product for your pup.