Joint supplements for dogs are probably the most popular type of nutritional products used by pet owners today. Unfortunately joint problems and joint stiffness are extremely common in dogs and can range from minor discomfort to severe pain and arthritis. Problems in your dog's joints can be so serious that they hinder exercising or even walking short distances and prevent your pet from leading a full life. With the most severe painful joint pain even getting up or standing can become difficult for your dog. Hips and elbows are amongst the most commonly affected areas thanks to conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Joint supplements can be a good way of supporting your dog’s joints alongside a healthy lifestyle and any medical care they may be receiving from your vet. Many pet owners are finding that nutraceuticals like glucosamine for dogs make joint care easier to manage and can be a helpful addition to the daily diet.
How can I tell if my dog needs a joint supplement?
You’ll know as an owner whether your dog is not his or her usual self – but if you’re unsure here are some key signs to watch out for:
Your dog limping or moving awkwardly
Reluctance to climb stairs or jump
Stiffness especially when your dog is getting up from its bed or the floor
Are your dog's back legs giving way?
Bad temper and a dislike of being touched
Swelling in your dog's joints
Licking the joints excessively
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to get your dog seen by the vet straightaway. Don’t forget that joint stiffness or pain can be a symptom of an underlying condition.
What causes joint problems in dogs?
Arthritis in dogs
This is the most common cause of joint pain in dogs and can be as a result of a number of other conditions or simply because of old age.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
These developmental disorders occur as a result of a misshapen joint structure or lax muscles. Certain breeds are more susceptible, particularly larger dogs like German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers and Saint Bernard’s.
Tendon and ligament injuries
The most common issue is the cruciate ligament or ACL. Congenital disorders like luxating patella, which can happen when the knee cap is misshapen and can therefore become dislodged. Small breeds like smaller Poodles and short legged breeds like Basset Hounds and Dachshunds can also be more susceptible.
Injuries can lead to arthritis in dogs down the line.