Dog joint diseases are very common and so are dog joint supplements which are given to elderly dogs to help retain their mobility – but do they actually work and at what point in time do you transition from over the counter supplements to veterinary medicines?

As dogs get older, their joints will begin to weaken and their muscles become more flaccid. To remedy the situation it is very important that you educate yourself about the different dog joint problems.

Supplements can certainly be given to help ease their arthritis and keep them pain free, but knowing when to transition can be tricky – but throughout the process remember one important fact – you know your dog better than anyone else.

Remember, not all dogs age at the same rate, so judge your dog based on what you know is normal for them, rather than normal for their age.

Before giving your dog supplements you need to identify the problem and to do this, you should keep a diary of changes. Monitor everything from how they cope with their normal walks, to how they react to getting up from a lying down position, to walking up stairs, to particular times of the day when they seem to feel more uncomfortable moving around.

If your dog is overweight, that may have a negative impact on your dog’s mobility, so it’s crucial to understand what the problem is and what could have caused it, to help you give your dog the best care.

Sometimes preservatives and food colour could induce joint problems in dogs and so it is very important to make sure your older dog’s diet is the best it can be.

Some supplements which have received good feedback from dog owners include a supplement which includes glucosamine and chondroitin. This component basically is a hygroscopic and attracts water to keep the cartilage more lubricated.

Marge Chandler, a clinical nutritionist offers her top tips for dog owners concerned about joint care commenting,

“It’s best to consult your vet for a tailored treatment programme. A mixture of a therapeutic diet with appropriate supplements, weight control, pain medication and a modified exercise plan is the best course of action.

Weight control is key in dogs with OA but bear in mind that decreasing the number of calories in a regular diet may cause a deficiency in other nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.  Nutritional supplements or nutraceuticals such as fish oil omega-3 fatty acids may improve the signs.”

Essentially, natural remedies for dog arthritis which work for some dogs, may work for others, but unless you understand the root cause of arthritis and discomfort, you can’t be sure that the supplements will do the job and provide the relief you’re hoping for. There are other non-supplement measures you can take though, such as new dog bowls, either ones which sit in holders, are wall mounted or raised dog bowls which sit off the ground – this means your dog will find it easier, and less stressful on joints and their neck specifically, to stoop when eating.

For small dogs, it can be a simple choice to make because they have less distance to stoop to eat, but if you have a large dog breed, it’s essential. If your dog isn’t yet of middle age, it’s worth installing this one change to help ease them into it.

Consulting an expert, or taking care to choose the best care program for your dog will give you a great all-round plan of action!

Watch our video with more top tips from Sarah:

Article Brought To You By Canine Arthritis Awareness Month

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