Aging Dogs and Arthritis

July 30, 2018

Senior beagle sitting in a field with his owners.

No matter what age they are, nearly 20% of all breeds suffer from arthritis. This degenerative disease isn’t always noticeable in the beginning stages, one day your pet might be a little stiffer than usual after a run in the yard. Soon enough, they’re having trouble getting up onto the couch and their back legs aren’t providing the same support that they used to. This is why you should introduce glucosamine chondroitin and joint supplements to their diet while they’re young; it won’t stop the deterioration caused by the aging process, but it will help slow it down.


Start Giving Your Dog Supplements by or Before Age Seven

By the time your dog has reached age 7, they’ve entered their “senior” years; larger breeds like Great Danes may experience hip and joint issues much earlier. If you haven’t started a supplement regiment at any point throughout your dog’s life, start now! Glucosamine is typically what you’d use to help repair the harm caused by the impact of running and jumping for years on end. Even though cartilage continuously repairs itself, it also produces harmful enzymes as a bi-product. A consistent daily dose of glucosamine for canines can reduce inflammation in the knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, neck.


Glucosamine Isn’t Your Only Option for Treatment

Supplements and dog vitamins come in various forms, including Omega-3’s derived from fish oil and shellfish. Fish oil in particular packs a punch, not just for arthritis, but also for your dog’s skin and fur. The main components of fish oil joint supplements are EPA and DHA, which are similar to glucosamine in the sense that they reduce the inflammatory response that occurs when the body tries to heal damage to cartilage cells. Dull, dry fur is usually a sign of a bigger problem under the surface. So if you’re already buying dog chews for flaky skin and hair, there’s a good chance it’ll benefit your dog’s joint health as well.


Supplements Aren’t a Substitute for Exercise

A lot of times owners attempt to treat the joint problem by reducing or completely removing physical activity from their dogs daily routine, but this does more harm than good. In addition to giving your dog glucosamine or Omega vitamins, you should continue with their normal exercise schedule. Just scale back on the intensity and consider replacing activities such as jogging or fetching with swimming or catching pool toys. Since it is recognized as a low-impact activity, swimming and wading through shallow water are also used as forms of physical therapy for pets who have serious issues with mobility.


Make Sure You’re Giving Your Dog the Proper Dosage

Just like any other food or dog treat, introducing something foreign to the digestive system often results in abnormal bowel movements. If your pet suddenly begins to have uncontrollable diarrhea or loose poop, you might need to lower the dose. Make sure your dog eats a good meal before consuming any kind of medication, otherwise they’ll likely just throw it back up.

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 Glucosamine for Dogs