The best joint health supplements for dogs!

Doog walking on three legs holding up front paw

As dog owners, joint pain and mobility can become a significant issue in seniors. Dog Joint supplements can significantly help your aging dog’s health. This article will discuss what kind of hip and joint supplement you could use and what to look out for so you only give the best for supporting joint health.

What to look for in joint health supplements for dogs

  • Ingredients
  • Form [capsules, chews, liquids, lotions, etc.]
  • Quality and Value

Supplement quick overview

One of the best ingredients for a dog’s joint health is Glucosamine-hydrochloride, which helps boost cartilage growth and can help prevent further cartilage degeneration.

Another supplement, Sodium Chondroitin sulfate, can help maintain the thickness of your dog’s natural joint lubrication.

One of the best dietary supplements is Fish oil or Omega-3 fatty acids. That can help with joint lubrication and has shown anti-inflammatory properties to help calm down swelling and irritation of the joints, especially in senior dogs.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an antioxidant that helps with joint problems and, more importantly, joint pain. It could also boost a dog’s immune system.

Joint supplements for dogs can come in many forms [soft chews, liquid supplements, capsules, oils, etc. Most dogs find them irresistible, so there is no need to hide them in food or a pill pocket—remember to store your pet’s supplements in a safe place your dog can’t reach. 

Dog taking supplements from human hand

How to know if your dog has joint pain?

Your dog will potentially start showing one of these signs:

  • Less eager to play
  • Difficulty jumping in the car or on the couch
  • Slow to get up from lying down
  • Joint swelling
  • Stiffness as they move about
  • Withdrawn or grumpy attitude

These signs are most noticeable in cold weather or when your dog has had a busy exercise day.

How do joints work [An Overview]?

A joint is a place in the dog’s body where two bones join to allow movement. The bones’ ends have a shock-absorbing cushion covering them, called cartilage, along with a membrane filled with lubricating fluid. Ligaments are the connective tissue outside the joints that make them stay connected.

The cushioning tissue and fluid protect the bone end where they meet. However, as your dog ages, the cartilage can wear down. As a result, joint fluid will become thinner, resulting in less protection for the joints and can progress into the condition known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis.

As the joint itself wears down, it changes shape and may create bone spurs that can get into the joint, which can be extremely painful for dogs.

Hip dysplasia is another joint issue found in dogs. This genetic trait affects the depth of the hip socket. If a dog is born with hip dysplasia, the femur bone rubs against the shallow hip, which can cause arthritis.

If your dog is overweight, any of the above conditions above can become worse. As with you or I, excess weight is not healthy for them. It puts a lot of pressure on their joints and limbs.

Lastly, you can improve the mobility of your dog’s joints with regular exercise, especially with senior dogs.

Drawing of a dogs major joints and there location

What should you do if your dog is suffering from joint pain?

Take your dog immediately to your veterinarian so the issue can be correctly diagnosed. Your dog will get a joint exam, range of motion testing, and an x-ray to evaluate the severity of the problem.

Your veterinarian may recommend starting your dog on anti-inflammatory medications depending on the severity. If it is an extreme case, the dog may need surgery to repair or replace the affected joints.

Before it gets to this stage, many veterinarians may recommend joint support supplements for your dog.

How age can affect a dog’s joints

Most dogs usually get arthritis from 8 years old and up. However, some dogs can show signs of arthritis from age 1. A dog’s age is a significant factor in joint health.

Healthy fats and proteins

How can a dog’s diet affect joint health?

Diet has a significant impact on joint inflammation. A poor diet of low-quality food containing fats and additives increases inflammation and pain. One of the best ways to reduce inflammation is by controlling what we feed our dogs.

 Dog food that contains grains such as wheat, rice, and soy can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to fluctuate and increase painful swelling.

If your dog has arthritis, speak to your veterinarian to find the optimal diet for your dog.

Oily fish such as fresh salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, they are a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Dog supplements and potential side effects

Many joint supplements for dogs contain too much glucosamine sulfate, which can be very toxic. 

Some side effects are:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Nose bleeds
  • Lameness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn

Dog joint supplements are generally safe and effective. However, be aware if you have started supplementing your dog’s diet for joint pain relief, and observe any of the above symptoms, seek the medical advice of a veterinarian.

Capsules and tablets in a bowl

What forms of dog joint supplements are there?

Joint supplements for dogs come in different forms, including:

  • Powder supplements
  • Chewable tablets (soft chews)
  • Liquid supplements

The supplements need to be easy to administer.

Powders and liquids are preferred as it’s harder for your dog to notice you have added them to their meals.

Chews are pretty easy to administer as what dog doesn’t love a chicken or duck-flavored soft chew?

Always look at the packaging to see if the supplements have specific storage or usage requirements. For example, Do they need to be refrigerated? When does it expire?

Joint supplements for dogs

The main active ingredients in dog joint supplements are:

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCI)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Avocado soybean unsaponifiable (ASU)
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Methylsufonylemethane (MSM)
  • Glucosamine sulfate

What are the benefits of these supplements?

One of the best supplements is Glucosamine hydrochloride (Glucosamine HCL). It is known to help support cartilage regeneration. In addition, it is an efficient joint supplement that is easily absorbed.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a liquid joint supplement, increase the blood flow throughout the body during exercise, which helps reduce joint pain and swelling.

Chondroitin sulfate prevents cartilage breakdown, provides pain relief, and improves the efficacy of glucosamine.

CBD is anti-inflammatory and effective in helping manage pain for dogs of all ages.

MSM is a powerful antioxidant and helps reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. (MSM soft chews are a popular product)

Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring compound found in and around the fluid and tissues that cushion your joint, an essential nutrient for joint health and stimulates collagen production.

Different forms of supplements, oils and lotion

The most popular supplements for dogs on the market today

The most popular ones are:

  • MSM
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • CBD Oil

 The following ingredients are the most popular and effective joint supplements for dogs. They are what we consider the best joint supplements for your dog’s joint health.

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