Joint pain is just a fact for many dogs, especially older ones. But there is a way to alleviate your pet’s pain and give them the more active lifestyle they deserve — health supplements for dogs that are breed-specific.
You may not be aware of breed-specific health supplements for dogs. But many owners are keenly aware of their dog’s joint pain and the reduced mobility it causes. Although we can’t halt the inevitable aging process, the right dog supplement can make a big difference. And while breed-specific dog supplements do serve other purposes, such as alleviating allergies or helping with skin issues, joint pain is a particularly persistent problem that benefits substantially from supplements.
Why So Many Dogs Suffer from Joint Pain
Joint pain with dogs usually falls into one of two areas: developmental issues and degenerative issues. Developed issues, like elbow or hip dysplasia, are most often caused by joints that don’t develop correctly. Degenerative issues, such as the degeneration of ligaments and cartilage, usually lead to arthritis. Managing both developmental and degenerative issues is fundamental to good joint health.
Does Your Dog Suffer from Joint Pain?
So how can you recognize if your dog is suffering from joint pain? You can see it when your dog seems to have difficulty with common things like getting up and down stairs or hopping into the car. Perhaps their running slows, or they don’t jump like they used to. It would be a mistake to attribute these things to plain old tiredness brought on by getting older. Oftentimes dogs that exhibit these signs are suffering from joint pain.
Does this happen to all dogs? Not to the same degree, no. We tend to see more joint problems with larger dogs, bigger canines that naturally put more weight and stress on their limbs than smaller dogs do. Then there are some breed-specific issues, such as a prevalence of elbow dysplasia with Bernese mountain dogs and the ankle and knee issues we often see with Rottweilers.
As joint problems can be breed-specific, you should be thinking about breed-specific solutions, such as German shepherd joint supplements, specifically formulated for that specific breed.
Glucosamine to the Rescue
While not the only compound that helps to maintain healthy joints, glucosamine has been proven helpful. One clinical study of glucosamine supplements shows them to be effective in treating dogs with osteoarthritis, degeneration of cartilage in the joints. So how does it work? A naturally occurring compound in dogs (and humans), glucosamine is fundamental in maintaining healthy cartilage, the soft cushioning tissue between bones.
Glucosamine helps to both inhibit the degradation of cartilage and repair cartilage that’s damaged. So as the body’s production of glucosamine slows with age, supplements with glucosamine can help to keep cartilage strong and healthy.
And what if my dog shows no signs of joint pain? Well, supplements aren’t exclusively for older dogs with arthritis or those developmental issues. Dogs of all ages with healthy joints can also benefit from supplements with glucosamine to help keep their cartilage strong.
How Should I Give My Dog Joint Supplements?
You’re probably familiar with the pill-in-the-peanut-butter trick. Or maybe mixing the powder into wet food. But it’s good to keep in mind that the easier a supplement is to administer, the more likely you are to consistently use them. Soft-chew supplements are probably your best bet. If, for example, supplements for German shepherds are seen by your pooch as tasty treats, both you and your furry friend are bound to be happier with the experience.
So don’t fret if your dog has lost some of its puppylike spring. Joint pain is normal. But it doesn’t have to be inevitable, and it can be managed with the right breed-specific supplements for dogs
Maureen McCarthy founded Love and Kisses Pet Sitting in 2006. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and has Feline Certification through the University of Edinburgh. She operates one of the most successful pet sitter businesses in North Carolina. Read more about Maureen here.