Choosing a Joint Supplement for Your Pet
Many pets develop joint issues such as arthritis or osteoarthritis as they age. This usually involves the inflammation and breakdown of cartilage in joints which can make it hard for them to walk, run, and in some cases move at all, and cold winter weather can make painful joints feel even worse. A great way to prevent and treat joint problems is joint supplementation. However it can be a daunting task to choose the best supplement for your pet, as there are many different ingredients and combinations on the market.
The main ingredients in most joint supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is the building block for cartilage while chondroitin is believed to aid cartilage in resisting compression. The following are other ingredients commonly found in joint supplements:
MSM: or methylsulfonylmethane is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Perna Canaliculus: is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Manganese: is an anti-oxidant that is thought to help prevent damage to the joints.
DMG: or N,N-Dimethylglycine is thought to reduce stress and slow the effects of aging.
Omega-3-Fatty Acids: has many uses but in joint is thought to lubricate.
Although none of the ingredients above are FDA approved for any condition in particular, glucosamine and chondroitin have shown to be the most useful. The dosing of these ingredients is b*ased on the dog’s weight, so the heavier your pet, the more glucosamine and chondroitin will be required. For heavier dogs double and triple strengths are more convenient as they reduce the amount of treats/pills you give per day. The other ingredients listed above may help but are not considered essential in a joint supplement. So when choosing a joint supplement more is not necessarily better; find which ingredients best fit your pet and your wallet.