What is Arthritis?
- Arthritis is inflammation of the joint. There are many causes for this, the most common being old age. Other causes and risk factors include repetitive use of the same joints, injury, genetic predisposition, or being overweight.
- The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (breaking down of the cartilage covering joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints).
What should I watch out for?
There are several factors to consider to help prevent your pets from getting arthritis.
- Puppies: Just like in people, joints take longer to fully form when dogs are young. If you take your puppy on extensive runs, hikes, fetches, or other physical activities before their joints are properly formed, you may be increasing the chances of developing arthritis sooner in their lives. Make sure to give puppies plenty of rest and take part in lower intensity exercises.
- Adult: If a dog is overweight, this increases the load on their joints and can lead to increased chances of getting arthritis. You can significantly better their health by helping them lose weight.
- Senior: Watch our for signs of discomfort when they move such as when they sit, stand, climb stairs, and run. If they seem to be having trouble or it takes longer than usual, we recommend you start them on a good, natural joint supplement. It is also a good idea to start them on some kind of joint supplement before the discomfort starts as it can significantly delay the onset of arthritis.
Breed of Dog:
- Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to developing arthritis than others. Larger breeds such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers are a few examples, although keep in mind that all breeds of dogs can get arthritis. We recommend that you keep extra care with larger breeds of dogs to prevent their joints from developing arthritis.
Personality and Activities:
- We understand that dogs all have their own unique personalities and favourite pass-times. If you have a very active dog who loves to sprint and jump and climb and tumble, it’s important to give them plenty of rest and also provide them with different activities often. With high energy dogs, it may also be a good idea to start them on joint supplements before you quite consider them as “senior” dogs.
What You Can Do:
As well as watching out for the factors above, doing these can help your pet greatly:
- Give massages to your dog. It can help soothe their sore muscles and inflammation and we’re sure your dog would love getting massaged!
- Help your pet stretch by playing games like tug-a-war
- Swimming is a great physical activity that also has less impact on joints!
- Give daily supplements that have an anti-inflammation property such as in coconuts, salmon oil, or lignan flax oil.
- Start your dog on a joint supplement if you feel that they may be at risk. Most natural joint supplements will just be flushed out of the system if they are not used by the body so you do not need to worry about over-dosing.
There is a myriad of joint supplements on the market. What we recommend is a locally made and sourced supplement that is also transparent on how and where they obtained their ingredients from. It might surprise you to know that the majority of shellfish sourced Joint Supplements on the market today for both dogs and humans are sourced from Bangladesh, Philippines, China and others. As well as many Bovine based supplements are from low cost producing Countries . Pure Motion brand Joint Therapy in particular derives its source from Atlantic Canada and has certification to back it up. Fluid Brand is another integral local outfit that is transparent in its sourcing and quality standards.
What makes up a joint supplement?
Joint supplements have several ingredients that are all beneficial to joint health but joint supplement brands differ on what they include.
- Glucosamine: Glucosamine is included in almost every comprehensive joint supplement. Usually in the form of Glucosamine Sulphate, they are an amino acid that is involved in the production of cartilage. It is either sourced from the hydrolysis of exoskeletons of crustaceans and shells or from plant-derived sources. Even if one has allergies to shellfish, there is a very low chance of reaction due to most shellfish allergies being triggered from the proteins (meat) of shellfish.
- Chondroitin (Sulphate): Chondroitin is a necessary molecule for the production of cartilage and it is mostly sourced from bovine cartilage.
- Flax Seed Oil: Flax seed oil, when ground or in liquid form is an excellent source of poly-unsaturated fats such as alpha-linolenic acid. This is thought to help with inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Green Lipped Mussel: A mussel that is native to New Zealand, is a great source of Omega 3 and Fatty Acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation helps maintain the health of joints and also lower pain.
- Hyaluronic Acid: A substance that is naturally found in the body, in highest concentrations in the fluid joints and the eye. For supplements it is commonly sourced from rooster combs or as bacteria grown in a laboratory. Hyaluronic Acid acts as a cushion and lubricates joints when taken orally. It is used for joint disorders, including osteoarthritis, and helps alleviate stiffness and joint pain. Due to its high cost, not all joint supplements include Hyaluronic Acid in their formulas.
- MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane is a chemical compound found in plants, animals, humans and can be made in a laboratory setting. With continued use it has shown to alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis. It can also be given after strenuous exercise to help prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.
- Turmeric: Is a spice commonly used in foods or in dyes. The active chemical, curcumen has shown to help with inflammation. One study found that it was about as effective as ibuprofen in reducing osteoporosis pain.
To browse our joint supplement section, click here
Treats for Joints
Some treats are great for joints as they naturally have Glucosamine and Chondroitin in them. Here are a couple of healthy treats that are available on our website and in store!
What do we recommend?
- Learn more about it yourself by asking a vet or visiting our store and we can help you choose the right supplement for your dog.
- Watch out for early signs and risk factors.
- Take measures to prevent the onset of arthritis by giving them treats or supplements regularly that helps joint health.