Fixing Fido’s Aging Joints

June 3, 2017

Aging canine joints benefit from natural supplements.

A dog’s aging joints may be helped with natural supplements.

As dogs age, they often suffer from aching joints, just as we humans do.  Veterinarians will prescribe arthritis drugs to ease Fido’s pain and stiffness, but why not be proactive and add some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your dog’s diet to try and ward off those old age aches and pains. You can find a multitude of all natural products on the retail market that work to improve canine mobility and strength. Joint supplements are believed to increase energy levels and longevity, as well as help maintain cartilage health and promote strong joints.

Pollen Power for Pets

Bee pollen is known to contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and most important for an aging dog, it helps build stronger muscles and increase performance and stamina. The pollen is believed to relieve arthritis in dogs. Pollen that comes from the actual flower could cause allergic reactions in some dogs but the thought is that pollen from the hive is safe. Know what you are buying!

Chondroitin for Cartilage Health

Chondroitin is found in the cartilage and connective tissue, helping to create healthy joints. In fact, the body uses chondroitin to make new cartilage and keep joints better lubricated. My favorite source of chondroitin (and glucosamine) for dogs is natural beef trachea. While it is perfect for helping strengthen joints, chewing on it cleans the dog’s gums. My favorite source of beef trachea comes from Clear Conscience Pets, a  family-owned company that has won multiple awards for excellence in pet nutrition. Anthony and Amanda Bennie founded the company to create holistically-formulated and cleanly-sourced nutritional products for dogs. My own dogs thrived on their products, and I wholeheartedly recommend them. (And no, this website does NOT benefit financially from promoting this company. I will promote any pet products company that I believe is good for pets.)  Their Beef Trachey Chews™ chews provide an excellent source of chondroitin, as well as glucosamine and collagen, the building products of joint health. I also suggest trying their Lamb Trachey Chews™, which come from 100% lamb trachea. The chews are hard enough to provide a satisfying chewing exercise while not causing problems for the sensitive gums of senior dogs.

How Glucosamine  Improves Canine Joint Health

Glucosamine, along with chondroitin, has been used to treat osteoarthritis in Europe for over 20 years and is just now becoming to go-to choice of treatment for dogs in the United States. Like chondroitin, glucosamine is a natural substance found in the body, especially in cartilage. As a dog ages, it is not able to synthesize enough glucosamine to keep up with the body’s needs. That’s where supplements come in! Your veterinary professional can decide whether supplements are needed or if your dog would receive enough glucosamine from treats like those mentioned above from Clear Conscience Pet to take care of his needs.  In any event, every dog would benefit from treats and pet food that contains glucoasamine and chondroitin. A 2007 study published in The Veterinary Journal concluded that dogs treated with glucosamine-chondroitin sulfate showed less pain and more mobility after 70 days of treatment.

Look to the Ocean and Beyond for Canine Joint Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to benefit the aging joints of senior dogs. In fact, The University of Montreal conducted a study of 30 dogs with osteoarthritis and concluded that a diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids resulted in significant improvement in movement problems and performance of daily activities. Other studies confirm that dogs suffering from arthritis saw improvement after supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids were added to their diets. As a preventive measure, consider adding natural sources of Omega-3’s to your dog’s diet, such as salmon. The superfood, Spyrulina, boosts the immune system and also provides a strong source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Accupunture has helped many canines with joint disease. Talk to your veterinarian about this ancient art of healing to see if it might help your pet. Massage and chiropractic care could also help reduce joint degeneration in dogs and help alleviate pain.

A comfy, supportive bed helps a dog's aging joints.

Talk to your veterinarian about alternative methods of improving your pet’s joints. Keep in mind that as your dog ages, he will need consideration for the pain he suffers.  A supportive but comfortable bed is important to relieve stress on his old joints. Daily walks may be slower than before and he may not go as far. Adjust your routine to fit his needs and always keep your vet in the loop about changes in your dog’s routines and health.

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