When you feed your horse his daily joint supplement, you feel good knowing that you’re supporting healthy recovery from the daily wear and tear that come with training; but have you ever thought about your other four-legged friend? Your dog’s joints work hard every day too, whether it’s a morning run, a couple hours at the dog park or simply “helping” you around the barn.
Canine joint supplements feature similar ingredients found in those for horses and humans, namely, “Mother Nature’s big 3”: glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients each play an integral part in helping to lubricate joints and replenish the body’s naturally occurring nutrients.
Way More Than a Pet
Our dogs have become part of our families. They have wiggled their way into our hearts, our homes, and even our beds! Here at SmartPak, we believe providing your dog with a joint supplement from the start is one of the most effective ways to keep your dog comfortable as he ages, and extends the years you have to play together.
What Can Go Wrong
A dog suffering from joint discomfort can display a wide range of symptoms depending on severity, cause, and which joint is affected. Often times, owners notice their dog’s gait becoming stiff, with a shorter, slower stride. This can worsen in cold weather, after vigorous exercise, and also after being inactive for a long period of time, similar to arthritis in humans. These dogs will often have a lack of interest in physical play, because it’s too uncomfortable, and a dog that’s too sore to play is a heart-breaking sight.
Large breed dogs, dogs involved in a lot of hard exercise such as agility training and herding, and overweight dogs are susceptible to discomfort due to the amount of stress they put on their joints. There are also certain breeds that are genetically predisposed to joint problems, so it’s especially important to be proactive with these types of dogs.
What You Can Do
Your dog’s body already makes the nutrients needed to help keep cartilage healthy, but his body can only produce a certain amount. Older dogs, large or giant breeds and high activity dogs are likely to have additional stress. Their joints don’t always have adequate nourishment to recover from stress or fight off the inflammation associated with daily wear and tear. Oral joint supplements are an easy, practical way to replenish your dog’s supply of these vital ingredients.
For some people, joint support for your four-legged friend starts when you begin to notice that Fido isn’t jumping up as quickly to greet you at the door or Spot is having difficulty getting up the stairs. But you don’t have to wait. Just like with your horse, supporting your dog now can help keep him happy and healthy for the future.
What to Look For
With the sheer number of products available and the variety of active ingredients, choosing a joint supplement can be a daunting task. To help make it easier, we’ve identified the most popular joint supplement ingredients, and explained how they work:
Glucosamine: Research suggests that Glucosamine supports the production of new cartilage and inhibits cartilage breakdown.
Chondroitin Sulfate: Stimulates the production of Hyaluronic Acid and appears to work with Glucosamine to support cartilage by stimulating production and inhibiting breakdown.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA): An integral component of joint cartilage and joint fluid, providing both lubrication and shock absorption. It also blocks inflammatory reactions.
MSM: A naturally occurring compound best known for its ability to fight inflammation. Research has shown that MSM protects tissues against the damaging effects of exercise and stress. MSM is also a highly usable form of sulfur, which is necessary for the formation of connective tissues vital to joint health.
Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant, Vitamin C protects tissues throughout the body and is vital in the production of connective tissues, including cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
The Right Joint Supplement for Your Dog
First, consider your dog’s age and activity level. If he is young or not very active, choose a joint supplement that has a few key ingredients at low to moderate levels. For dogs in training, those in recovery and senior dogs, select a product with a more comprehensive panel of ingredients, at higher levels. Questions? Call our Supplement Experts at 1-888-423-0250 to get a free customized supplement consultation.
Young Dog or Relatively Inactive Dog
Your Goal: Maintain healthy joint tissue and prevent future problems
What to Look For: Glucosamine 300-500mg, also consider Chondroitin Sulfate and low levels of MSM
Products to Try:
Older Dog, High Activity Dog
Your Goal: Ease stiffness and discomfort, support joint and digestive health, provide antioxidants
What to Look For: Glucosamine 500-700 mg, Chondroitin Sulfate 50-200 mg, MSM 100-400 mg, Hyaluronic Acid 10-20 mg, Vitamin C 20-60 mg, Prebiotics and Probiotics, Herbs like Devil’s Claw, Yucca, Boswellia or Bromelain
Products to Try:
Dog in Recovery
Your Goal: Minimize inflammation, alleviate discomfort, support the healing process
What to Look For Glucosamine 500-700mg, Chondroitin Sulfate 200mg, HA 10-20 mg, MSM 400-600mg, Antioxidants
Products to Try: