HIP AND JOINT SUPPLEMENTS FOR PETS (CATS AND DOGS)
The subject of administering supplements to pets is a controversial one as many people think supplements have little benefits to animals. However, many pet owners have reported improvement in the health of their animals which has further increased the popularity of supplements. Among the many type of supplements available, one of the most important is the hip and joint supplements category as it affects the mobility of your pet. Wondering if hip and joint supplements are beneficial? Or wondering if the ingredients are effective? Find out more about joint supplements and what issues they can help with.
What is a hip and joint supplement?
A hip and joint supplement is a product which comprises a variety of ingredients and chemicals that is manufactured to give improved mobility to your pet. Its primary function is to keep the hip and joint of your four-legged companion in great shape. While some supplements perform several functions at the same time, some are designed to produce a single effect.
Based on their functions, hip and joint supplements can be broadly categorized into three:
- Supplements that provide nutrients to supports the hip and joints
- Supplements that stops and prevent further damage to the hip and joints
- Supplements that help repair the damaged joints and tissue
What are the common Hip and Joint Issues for Dogs?
Ever seen a pet limping or struggling to stand or sit down? Such pets go through excruciating pain which makes motion difficult for them. It’s hard not to feel empathy when you imagine how much it hurts them as research has shown that pets like dogs and cats experience similar hip and joint issues like humans. In essence, it means that dogs feel similar pain and discomfort moving those aching joints just like humans.
While there is a plethora of hip and joint issues pets can develop, here are the most common ones.
Also known as “growing pains”, this condition is popular with medium, large and giant breed dogs. There are a lot of speculations surrounding its causes as veterinary research has not been able to point to what triggers the condition. However, there’s a widespread belief that it’s caused by diet and lifestyle choices in puppyhood. To be on the safe side, vets often advise pet owners to monitor their pet’s diet to maintain a healthy growth over time.
This condition is sometimes called “Degenerative Joint Disease” and is trigged by several factors. It’s usually common among young pets that suffer from osteochondrosis or inherited joint deformities which make their joints to begin to break down. Some of the common symptoms of this condition include: lameness, scarring, swelling, muscle wasting, bone thickening etc.
Commonly referred to as “malformed socket”, this condition is hereditary with larger breed dogs being the common sufferers. It may affect any of the sockets of your pet like the hip, shoulder and elbow. If left untreated, it could degenerate and make your dog unable to work.
Arthritis is usually triggered by autoimmune, infectious and cancerous causes with symptoms ranging from fluid build-up to joint swelling. This condition is hereditary in some dogs like purebred.
Also known as “trick kneecap”, this condition is hereditary and primary affects small and toy breed dogs of any age. Pets affected by this might suffer their kneecap slipping out of socket (dislocation) and if left untreated can lead to lameness as well as joint and cartilage deformation.
What are the most common ingredients used in hip and joint supplements?
Glucosamine is one of the most popular ingredients used in hip and joint supplements and is also a natural substance in pets. Its primary function is to produce glycosaminoglycan which helps to reduce the enzymes in the body that may break down joint cartilage while also rebuilding the cartilage. The problem is that as pets age, the production of glucosamine drops which is what causes joint pain and stiffness, hence, the need for the supplements.
Additionally, glucosamine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and can help combat pain while enhancing lubrication in your dog’s joints.
This is another popular ingredient used in hip and joint supplements which helps to inhibit the enzymes that decompose the joint cartilage of your pet. It also helps to repair and speed up the formation of a new joint cartilage. It is usually combined with glucosamine in supplements to accelerate the effects.
Collagen is a relatively new ingredient added to supplements but it has shown impressive efficacy in both humans and animals. While there are many types of collagen with different functions in the body, the collagen that helps to improve hips and joint is in its type-II form. It is usually recommended by doctors for treating osteoarthritis due to its beneficial properties. Research suggests that collagen also aids to lower pains and inflammation better than other ingredients used for the same purpose in supplements.
Green Lipped Mussels
Although relatively known compared to the other ingredients, Green Lipped Mussels contains Hyalauronic Acid which is effective against joint stiffness, making your dog move better. It also has anti-inflammatory effects while also lowering pain.
MSM is a natural sulphur compound that has proven to help in joint regeneration and joint flexibility while also reducing pain and inflammation. Its side effects are rare, making it an up and coming ingredient used in many supplements.
While omega-3 acid is mainly used in humans for preventing and managing heart disease, research indicates that it can be effective in treating osteoarthritis when used in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin.
When is the best time to start my pet on a supplement?
The best time to begin a supplement varies in dogs as it depends on a several factors. Here are pets that need hip and joint supplements:
- Pets with large joint growth
- Dogs active in sporting activities
- Pets with a genetic predisposition to joint issues
- Senior dogs and dogs with osteoarthritis
It makes sense to want to know why you should get supplements for your furry companion and the ingredients in the supplements as well as the benefits they offer. With the information in this article, you can now make the right choice to help your dog stay healthy.