May 23, 2015 Photos by: sjallen/Bigstock.com
Getting older means dealing with new aches and pains. Can supplements help?
Arthritis in dogs is one of the most common health problems that vets see and treat. There are a number of supplements that can help with the symptoms of arthritis in dogs, but they can’t reverse much of the damage that’s already been done. Sadly, many veterinarians and dog parents don’t notice the first signs of canine arthritis as a lot of dogs will keep going and not show any discomfort. As such, you might want to supplement older dogs even if they aren’t currently showing any signs of arthritis. These are the main supplements that will help relieve arthritis in dogs.
Glucosamine sulfate – also simply known as glucosamine – is among the safest and most common supplements given for canine arthritis. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which means it reduces the amount of joint pain that arthritis might be causing your pup. What’s more, glucosamine helps to repair damaged cartilage by stimulating production of some of the various substances in your dog’s body that make up cartilage.
Chondroitin sulfate is found naturally in your dog’s body and is a substance that works to prevent certain enzymes from breaking down the proteins that form joint cartilage. Some experts suggest that chondroitin and glucosamine are most effective when you supplement them both. However, giving your dog glucosamine will encourage his body to make its own chondroitin, so it might not be vital to give him both.
MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is frequently recommended by vets as a treatment for arthritis. This substance actually prompts your four-legged friend’s both to produce its own stores of glucosamine and chondroitin, in addition to methionine and cysteine, two amino acids with are important for maintaining healthy cartilage.
Collagen is an essential part of soft-tissue support for joints. Vitamin C helps to boost the production of collagen, meaning it can be beneficial treating arthritis in dogs and generally promoting better joint health.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is the essential fatty acid supplement that works as an anti-inflammatory. It can be found in coconut oil, hemp oil, fish oil or flaxseed oil – amongst other sources – and helps to lubricate your dog’s joints, which can help with pain and mobility. Omega 3 oils can also aid in effective weight loss in dogs, which is beneficial as too much weight puts undue stress on your pup’s arthritic joints.
Curcumin is the active ingredient found in the spice turmeric. It has long been used in traditional Eastern medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. Since part of the pain from arthritis in dogs is caused by inflammation, curcumin can help to relieve discomfort.
An anti-inflammatory herb, boswellia increases the amount of blood flow to your dog’s joints which helps with repair and relieves some pain.
Bromelain is a natural enzyme which is found in pineapples. It’s a mild anti-inflammatory and also helps to reduce swelling in general, which means it can reduce discomfort in arthritic joints.
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.