How to support your dog's Hips & Joints
Joint issues in dogs is a massive topic to discuss, there are many factors at play and many ways of helping your fury companion comfortable on their joints.
Here we will take a dive into some of these topics.
Genetics play a massive role in your dogs’ joints, in particular their hips and elbows. Joints should fit together tightly and move smoothly, this may not always be the case, even from birth – the quality of a joint is called “conformation” and is determined by genetics, it can only be properly detected via x-ray imaging.
The main joint issue we see in practice is Osteoarthritis (OA), this starts as inflammation of the moving surfaces of the joints which causes bone changes to occur – arthritis. Signs of arthritis can be as little as your dog “slowing down” all the way to limping, mood changes and obvious pain, arthritis can start early in some dogs as well so is not always an old dog disease!!
Many studies have proven obesity increases the likelihood of your pet developing arthritis - just like us lugging around that extra COVID weight - excess fat can be a burden on a dog’s joints, which can lead to joint issues. Weight control needs a blog for itself but if you are concerned your dog is overweight book in a vet or nurse appointment at your local practice.
3. Some of the best things to give your dogs:
Chondroitin and Glucosamine – these are often paired together and are commonly supplemented by humans, studies have shown they are very safe supplements to give your dog. Trials have had generally positive degrees of success and are often highly recommended by vets. From personal experience my dog has done very well on these supplements!
Turmeric – a lot of people swear by turmeric supplementation for their dogs. Again it has been shown to be a fairly safe supplement and it has been linked to decreasing some inflammatory pathways.
Devils Root – named due to its appearance, devils root has anecdotally good results at reducing inflammation in humans and dogs.
Weight loss – losing a bit of excess weight can help your dog’s joints a lot…
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS) – these can be prescribed by your vet if they are sore on their joints and can be used to very good effect on a short term basis.
Why should I supplement my dog?
Whether bad joints have originated from genetics, being overweight, injury or just old age, supplementation can be an extremely useful tool in giving your pet a better quality of life. Starting joint supplements early in the progression of arthritis is considered to be the best practice, though it is never too late to start!
Dr Hedley MRCVS
If you are considering supplementing your dog's diet with a natural remedy that contains some of the proven ingrecients above (plus more effective ingredients) to support joint health, check out our Advanced Hip & Joint Treats below!