Sadly research has emerged with an alarming finding: 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 8 are suffering from some kind of joint pain.
And while we humans have the ability to reach for pain meds and talk to our doctor about symptoms, are precious pups do not. In fact, dogs are quite good at keeping their pain a secret.
Why do dogs hide it? As pack animals, not showing their suffering has clear survival benefits. The ancestors of modern dogs would commonly leave behind a member of the pack who was in pain and slowing down the group as a whole.
For many years now, veterinarians have recommended glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain joint health. Studies have indicated that ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin (and others) can reduce the inflammation in canine patients suffering from osteoarthritis. 1
When Is The Right Time to Begin Supplementing?
The answer to this question depends a lot on your dog’s breed. In general, larger breeds suffer from an earlier onset of joint distress than smaller dogs. If your breed is on this list, many vets recommend supplementation as early as one year old. For other breeds, beginning supplementation as a dog enters their senior years can be very beneficial. As always, discuss this plan with your veterinarian and seek their advice for the best time to start.
If you have not yet noticed any signs of joint pain, you’re lucky, as most dogs will be affected by the condition at some point in their lives. The best time to take action is before symptoms are present.
Sadly, nearly every dog will be affected at one time or another by joint problems. There are many factors influencing when or how severe the symptoms might be.
In general, the larger the breed of dog, the more likely they are to suffer from joint pain, and the earlier you need to start preventative measures.
In addition to taking glucosamine and chondroitin, what are other ways to prevent joint pain in dogs?
#1 — Maintain a healthy weight: Make sure you know the healthy weight of your dog. All those treats and table scraps can add up to a lot of calories!
#2 — Consistent exercise: Different breeds need different levels of exercise. Low impact, consistent walks are good for both your dog and yourself. Swimming is a great option for dogs with severe mobility issues.
#3 — Massages: For dogs already suffering from joint issues, a massage can go along way to help relieve tension and increase flexibility. Just make sure you pay attention your dog’s responses and notice which areas might be sensitive to the touch.
#4 — Comfortable bedding: Do not skimp on your dog’s bed! Make sure they have adequate padding for their weight, and replace when worn out. Better yet, let them sleep with you!
#5 — MSM & Tumeric Supplementation: In recent years, both MSM and turmeric has also become a popular ingredient for joint support. Some newer supplements contain MSM and turmeric, in addition to glucosamine and chondroitin.