Smart dog owners know that mobility and joint pain become significant issues for aging dogs. 30% of American dog owners give their dogs a joint supplement. The best way to protect and maintain good joint health is to feed your dog a balanced healthy diet that includes high-quality supplements that minimize and prevent arthritis.
But how do you determine which supplements are best for your dog? There are conflicting opinions about what veterinarians recommend and what studies prove. We’ll explain what you need to know to find the best joint supplement for dogs.
How Dog Joints Work
A joint is a place in the dog's body where two bones meet to allow movement. The bones’ ends have a shock-absorbing cushion covering them, called cartilage, with a membrane filled with lubricating fluid. The connective tissue is called ligaments, and they are on the outside of the joint to connect the bones.
The cushioning tissue and fluid are there to protect the bones where they meet, but over time, the cartilage can wear down, and the fluid becomes thin. This means less protection, and the condition is called Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) or Osteoarthritis.
Eventually, the joint itself wears down, changes shape, and creates bone spurs that can get into the joint. This is very painful for the dog.
Another cause of joint pain in dogs is hip dysplasia. This is a generic trait that affects the depth of the hip socket. If a dog is born with hip dysplasia, the femur bone rubs against the shallow hip socket, which leads to arthritis.
Any of the above conditions can be made much worse if the dog is also overweight. We love our pudgy pooches, but that fat is not healthy for them. It puts unnecessary stress on your dog’s limbs and joints.
How to Know if Your Dog Has Joint Issues
According to the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), you can know if your pet has developed DJD if they experience the following changes in behavior:
- Less eager to play
- Difficulty jumping into the car or on the couch
- Slow to get up from lying position
- Joint swelling
- Stiffness as they move about
- Withdrawn or grumpy attitude
These signs are especially prominent in cold weather or when the dog has had a busy exercise day.
What to Do If Your Dog Suffers From Joint Issues
These signs aren’t just disheartening to you; they’re painful for your dog. Take the dog immediately to your veterinarian so the condition may be confirmed. Your pet will receive a joint exam, their range of movement tested, and maybe some x-rays.
Depending upon the severity, it may be recommended to you begin anti-inflammatory medications or, in extreme cases, surgery to repair or replace the affected joints and ligaments.
But before it gets to this point (and after), Vets may recommend you introduce a far less expensive solution – joint support supplements.
Here's what you need to know about dog joint supplements and potential alternatives.
Dog Joint Supplements
Often dog owners and some vets will recommend the following ingredients as the most effective joint supplement for dogs:
- Glucosamine Hydrochloride
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
Unfortunately, there is a significant gray area when it comes to joint supplements for dogs because joint supplements for dogs are not regulated by the FDA as strictly as medications. Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs can cause gastrointestinal issues and glucose regulation problems.
Experts on joint health are now finding that the best joint supplement for dogs needs to contain ingredients that promote cartilage production. The building blocks of cartilage are proline and glycine. The supplement also needs sulfur donors like methionine, taurine, and the cations needed for syntheses like Mn or Zn. This is the only appropriate way to hope to improve joint health through nutrition.
Are Joint Supplements Worth It for Dogs?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) acknowledges that there are several dog joint supplements that show promise, but there are many more that have little effect or can cause harm.
The AVMA states that many of these joint supplements for dogs consistently fail quality and potency tests, which leads to adverse or no effects. It’s essential that you research and scrutinize the quality of the joint supplement for your dog before buying it.
However, If you asked a group of dog owners what’s the best joint supplement for dogs, you would likely get a whole bunch of responses that include products that contain glucosamine and chondroitin. Products like Cosequin™ even claim things like being the #1 veterinarian-recommended brand. In a paper posted by Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine, there is a definitive call for more studies to prove the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.
Research Does Not Support The Effects Claimed
At Rogue, we have already written about the fact that the research does not support the effects claimed. No one knows for sure if or how much Glucosamine and Chondroitin benefit joint health in dogs. More importantly, no one is considering the fact that there are known GI distress concerns from the sodium these products contain as well as any other unknown potential risks for long-term use.
Can Glucosamine Cause Liver Damage in Dogs?
Yes. Recent studies have found that Glucosamine and Chondroitin in dogs can cause liver damage. This damage is usually a result of too high of a dosage. Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs can also cause gastrointestinal and glucose regulation issues.
Can a Dog Get Too Much Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
Yes. Many dog joint supplements have been reported with high overdoses. You’ll want to check your labels before giving your dog Glucosamine or Chondroitin. However, we don’t recommend giving it to your dog in the first place.
Possible side effects from too high a dose of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs include:
- Acute Hepatotoxicity
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should stop giving your dog the supplement and contact your vet.
What Dogs Should Not Take Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
Dogs and people. Studies show you and your dog can develop acute liver injury from taking a Glucosamine supplement. While it may help with some inflammation and a lower dose is considered safe, you don’t want to run the risk of overdosed supplements.
Read our article titled, "Are Glucosamine and Chondroitin good supplements for dogs?" for more information on this topic.
“Dr. Freeman emphasized that supplements do have potential adverse effects. Adverse effects of glucosamine include gastrointestinal upset and problems with glucose regulation, for example.” The full article is here.
What are the Worst Foods to Eat if Your Dog Has Arthritis?
It’s essential that your feed an arthritic dog a diet fortified to manage inflammation and pain. A critical part of your dog’s diet is eliminating foods that can irritate or inflame their arthritis. The five worst foods for your arthritic dog to eat are:
- Nightshade Vegetables: Tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, and eggplant
- Grains: Wheat, barley, and rye
- Dog Food Fillers: Corn bran, grain by-products, peanut, rice hulls, corn starch, soybean, and cottonseed
You’ll also want to avoid:
- Fatty Proteins
- Processed Treats
- Table Scraps
By avoiding these foods when feeding your dog, you’ll help reduce inflammation caused by arthritis.
What are the Best Foods to Feed a Dog with Arthritis?
There is quite a variety of whole foods you can feed your dog to relieve arthritis pain. But you’ll need to make them a consistent part of their diet for your dog to feel the effects of all-natural anti-inflammatory foods. These foods include:
- Sweet Potatoes
To create a homemade meal or natural supplement for your arthritic dog, you’ll want to mix ingredients that contain 2 parts lentils or quinoa to 8 parts vegetables and fruit. Put these ingredients in a pot and simmer for one hour. Mix into your dog’s food.
Or you could consider an all-natural food topper that is much less work and healthy for your dog. Rogue Pet Science’s Turmeric Plus for Dogs is an outstanding anti-inflammatory, nutritional supplement that you can easily mix into your dog’s regular dog food.
What Can Your Dog Take to Lubricate Its Joints?
Omega-3 fatty acids are the best supplement for joint lubrication. You can find the highest quality Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and krill oil. You’ll want to look for joint supplements that include omega-3 fatty acids from quality sources.
Rogue Pet Science offers a wide variety of supplements and treats that are high in Omega-3s and other essential vitamins to help with joint pain and inflammation.
Related Link: Reasons Why Whole Fish is Good For Your Dog
What's the Best Joint Supplement For Dogs?
So what would make the best supplement for joints? It turns out that there is good science to support the use of methionine to improve the health and function of the joint. More importantly, providing proline and glycine has an even greater positive effect on joint health.
A study on amino acids from the National Institutes of Health indicates that glycine is an essential amino acid for cartilage regeneration. “Results presented in Figs. 4 and 5 show that increased concentrations of glycine, proline, and lysine in the basal medium enhance type II collagen synthesis. The effects of these amino acids are independent as they are independent variables because the degradation of any one of them does not give rise to a specific metabolite for the synthesis of any other. These results suggest that an increase in the concentration of these amino acids could improve the regeneration of the articular cartilage matrix.” View the charts and the entire study here.
The use of glucosamine and chondroitin for joints is so widespread in the industry that it's become a very low cost of entry for a pet product manufacturer to make a blanket claim that it’s good for joint health. We, at Rogue, have raised concerns because of how rampant the use of this has become. We see joint health claims being made on treats, chews, dog food, etc. Unsuspecting owners may see this and think adding all of these sources together is going to give them a positive, cumulative effect. The pet owner may never consider that they could be overloading their dog's system with salt, causing GI distress, or potentially even worse health issues.
Health Claims On Product Packaging
It’s the responsibility of the pet industry to regulate health claims, that not being done leads to abuse, and ultimately it's the owners and their pets that pay the real cost. Products that contain glucosamine and chondroitin are making claims with little to no evidence to support the benefits. It is even questionable ethically!
Since 1999 the Texas State Chemist Office has not allowed the inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin to include medical claims on product packaging. In the last year, they have noted the rampant abuse by the industry and have sent notice to all manufacturers selling in the state to remove the joint health claims from their bags.
“The label must also have the following disclaimers, “This compound is not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile” and “This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.” Read more here.
Providing the building blocks of cartilage-like proline, glycine…sulfur donors like methionine, taurine, and the cations needed for syntheses like Mn or Zn is the only appropriate way to hope to improve joint health through a supplement.
What is the Best Supplement for Joint Pain and Inflammation?
You’ll want an all-natural joint supplement for dogs that don’t contain fillers and only uses high-quality ingredients with effective potency. For joint pain and inflammation, we recommend:
Origins 5in1 Supplement adds all the proven components for real joint health mentioned above.
The added proven support from full spectrum wild fish oil, including omegas and other fatty acids, is a sure-fire approach to making meaningful impacts on both the immediate and future health of the joints. Read our article about whole fish goodness here.
Origins 5in1 Supplement Is The Best Joint Health Supplement For Dogs
If you are looking to find the best joint supplement for your dog, try Origins 5in1 Supplement. Here at Rogue Pet Science, our entire goal has been to fix problems for all dogs. We can do this quickly, naturally, and with little cost. We can do this because we believe in being a real solution for all dog owners by putting dog health before money every day to earn your trust. We invite you to try Origins Canine 5in1 where all our products are, as always, 100% Guaranteed.
Rogue Pet Science uses proven ingredients to create all-natural pet supplements and vitamins to improve your dog’s nutrition and health. Rogue Pet Science offers natural, high protein, and nutritious dog treats and supplements that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids to lubricate your dog’s joints.
Want to improve your dog’s overall health? Rogue Pet Science offers many products that boost your dog’s health and lifespan.