Supplements for arthritic dogs

German Shepherd DogThere are many different supplements on the market to help with joint mobility but not all of them have much science behind them.  Here I will discuss the most common ones.  Many of the diets designed for dogs with arthritis will have some of these supplements in them so do check on the packet, and with your vet, before adding anything to your dog’s diet.  Always let your vet know what supplements your dog is taking as some may affect other medications.

Seraquin from ViovetGlucosamine and chondroitin

These are probably the two most common joint supplements available for both animals and people but surprisingly there is very little evidence to show that they are actually effective.  However, they are generally very safe to give and many animals will show an improvement when on these supplements.  Make sure to use a product designed for dogs and dose according to your dog’s weight to ensure the optimum dosage.  There are many different products available but some good ones include Yumove, Seraquin and Synoquin.

Yumove Dog from ViovetOmega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

There is much more evidence around to suggest that Omega 3 EFAs help to soothe arthritic joints.  Essential fatty acids are those which cannot be made in the body and so have to be ingested.  They are found in high concentrations in fish oils.  Cod liver oil is a source of EFAs but it is not suitable to give to dogs due to the high vitamin A concentration.  Salmon oil and other general fish oils are a good source, as is green-lipped mussel (although please ensure that any product using this sources the mussel in a sustainable way). Yumove and Synoquin mentioned above contain high levels of Omega 3 EFAs as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

Jar of turmericTurmeric

There is a lot online about the many benefits of turmeric.  If some sites are to be believed it pretty much cures anything from cancer to arthritis.  The active ingredients, particularly curcurmin.  Laboratory studies have shown that these active ingredients can have many different effects in in vitro studies but this does not necessarily correlate to effects in the body.  Indeed, some studies have shown that curcurmin is not absorbed well through the gut so that very high doses are required to have any effect.  There may also be side effects from using this product at the high doses required for a clinical effect.  There is very little research into using turmeric in companion animals but what is there does not show any clinical effect.  Always tell your vet if you are giving high levels of turmeric to your pet – just because it is natural does not mean it is safe. Seraquin mentioned above contains some curcurmin as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

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