Do supplements for dog arthritis work?
You want relief for your pup’s arthritis pain.
But, you want to use natural remedies.
Which do you choose?
Supplements for Dog Arthritis Can Be Tricky
On one hand, vitamins and supplements can help to maintain good health in dogs.
On the other hand, blatant misrepresentation of the benefits of supplementation run rampant in the industry.
The following discussion highlights the main categories of supplements with some scientific support verifying their usefulness in combating the effects of arthritis.
It is always best to consult your veterinarian to find the right supplements for your dog.
Green Lipped Mussel
Green lipped mussel is a mollusk harvested from the beaches of New Zealand used to reduce osteoarthritis, asthma, and inflammation.
In fact, green-lipped mussel seems to be chock full of good stuff that may be able to remedy several types of disease.
Green Lipped Mussel and Arthritis in Dogs
Dogs suffering from decaying bone and cartilage and joint pain due to aging, heredity or illness may benefit from New Zealand green-lipped mussel.
Shellfish supplements have been used for years as a remedy for arthritis.
A study by The American Society for Nutritional Sciences shows green-lipped mussel may be particularly beneficial in this area and others.
Some call green-lipped mussel a “superfood” due to the number of nutrients it contains, such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Amino acids
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- Vitamins and Minerals
Critical for building bone and cartilage, Omega-3s, glucosamine, and chondroitin have multiple benefits and can help dogs with arthritis in multiple ways:
- Reduce inflammation
- Maintain joint cell structure and function
- Facilitate cartilage repair
- Protect against oxidation.
Since inflammation is a source of pain, the green-lipped mussel may be just what dogs need to relieve joint pain caused by bone and cartilage breakdown.
Amino acids like glucosamine are vital for the body’s ability to repair cartilage cells.
Where to Find Green Lipped Mussel
Several forms of the green-lipped mussel supplement are available:
- Capsule form
- Contained in treats.
You can mix green-lipped mussel into food. Remember to follow the directions on the supplement container.
Most will advise you to slowly introduce the mussel supplement into your dog’s daily diet.
While green-lipped mussel seems to be tolerated without many issues, there have been reports of nausea and flatulence.
Observe your dog over the introductory period for any signs of discomfort and discontinue use if your dog shows any signs of such.
A further note of caution, pay close attention to the way the supplement is processed by the manufacturer.
For example, Mussel supplements that are processed using steam to open the shell will not be as effective.
Heat processing has been shown to destroy the most potential benefits of green-lipped mussel.
Likewise, it’s best to only purchase supplements from reputable manufacturers that provide detailed information regarding product quality and processing methods.
As with most supplements, results occur over weeks not days. Results may also vary depending on the severity of your dog’s condition.
A good rule of thumb is to administer supplements as directed and with regularity, then watch and observe.
Consult with your veterinarian on any changes in your dog’s behavior or demeanor.
Recent studies indicate a fish oil arthritis treatment has been proven effective in eliminating the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
Studies show when taken orally and in appropriate amounts, fish oil reduces the inflammatory mediator levels and helps eliminate the arthritis stiffness and pain.
How Does the Dog Fish Oil Arthritis Treatment Work?
Fish oils are a rich source of DHA. DHA is an Omega-3 fatty acid.
The body converts the DHA found in fish oils into another chemical called Resolvin D2 which is an anti-inflammatory.
Another way fish oil helps dogs with arthritis is through balancing the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio.
Since most dog foods contain an abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, the balance of fatty acids tends to lean towards Omega-6.
Too much Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to increased inflammation, therefore, supplementing with fish oil will provide more Omega-3 fatty acids, bringing the dogs diet back into balance.
Giving your dog fish oil at the dosage recommended by your veterinarian will reduce inflammatory mediator levels and can thereby reduce the amount of pain and inflammation in the dog’s body.
Fish Oil Supplement for Dog Arthritis and Treatment Recommendations:
- Salmon, tuna, anchovies, and sardines are the richest sources of fish oil. Sardine contains fewer contaminants and is more desirable than salmon, which often contains high levels of mercury and other toxins
- The best fish oils contain three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids: DHA, EPA, and DPA.
- Make sure the label lists the fatty acid amounts. The amounts of the DHA, EPA, and DPA should add up to within 100mg of the total Omega-3 fatty acid amount. If it does not, the product contains filler oils.
- The best fish oils are 100% pure.
Can dogs take glucosamine?
Glucosamine affects a dog’s body the exact same way it affects a person’s body.
It is even safe for dogs to take human glucosamine supplements.
Glucosamine is pretty much sold everywhere and is a common home remedy for arthritis treatment.
Companies market many brands of dog glucosamine.
Most of these products contain pretty much the same active ingredients – glucosamine and chondroitin – and are frequently mixed with other ingredients including Yucca, avocado, devil’s claw, and other phytopharmaceuticals.
Oral formulations of glucosamine-chondroitin come with contradictory scientific support. Some studies support its use while others claim no benefit.
Whether or not you use glucosamine in your dog is a personal choice.
The dosage depends on whether or not the product is oral or injectable.
- Dosage: Oral dosage is 500-1000 mg daily per 25 lbs of dog twice daily, depending on the clinical condition of your dog.
- Easy to obtain
- Easy to give at home
- Stimulates cartilage to produce collagen
- Can be used by the body to produce hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid
- May reduce the need for NSAIDs.
- Does not work as quickly as injectable glucosamine
- Does not work as effectively as injectable glucosamine
- Many dogs do not like to take oral glucosamine.
- Dosage: The dosage for injectable glucosamine is usually 0.02 mg per pound of body weight. A loading dose protocol of one injection every 4 days for a total of 8 injections is required initially. Then, after the loading dose has been completed, injections are given every 2-4 weeks. (This protocol is my recommendation based on years of experience using this medication and may vary from what some other veterinarians might recommend.)
- Reaches the joint within 2 hours
- Supports the cartilage matrix repair process
- Diminishes joint and joint fluid damage
- Slows the disease cycle of non-infectious arthritis
- Reduces inflammation
- Works much more rapidly and effectively than oral glucosamine
- Stimulates the cartilage to produce collagen
- Can be used by the body to produce the hyaluronic acid in synovial fluid
- May reduce the needs for NSAIDs.
- Being an intramuscular injection, this product requires multiple trips to the vet clinic or the owner must learn how to give an intramuscular injection.
- Many dogs despise getting injections and will try to bite.
- The cost is much higher than oral glucosamine.
Powerful Tools for Dog Arthritis Challenges
There are many quick and easy changes you can make at home to help you give your dog an edge on easing dog arthritis pain.
Easy Hacks and Dog Arthritis Supplements:
- Try cooking for your dog or feeding a high-quality dog food. Home-cooked diets and wet food help keep your pet from gaining too much weight. In turn, less weight means less stress on your dog’s bones and joints. PET | TAO’s Chill and Blaze are top choices for arthritic dogs.
- Ease your dog’s discomfort naturally. PET | TAO’s Comfort is a blend of Eastern herbs and Western supplements to soothe your dog’s arthritic challenges to make him/her more comfortable.
- Provide joint support. PET | TAO’s Harmonize Joint is a blend of Eastern herbs and Western supplements working together to lubricate and restore your dog’s joints.
- Try Freeze-Dried Kidney Treats. According to TCVM, Kidney controls the bones and joints and supports arthritic challenges in a “like treats like” manner.
- Learn more about TCVM Herbal Remedies. Chinese medicine offers many amazing natural solutions for dog arthritis. Some good examples are: