If your dog has developed some stiff, achy joints with age, your veterinarian may recommend anti-inflammatory medications to keep the pain at bay. These work well for some dogs, but others do not tolerate them. If your dog does not do well on medications, or if you simply prefer a more natural approach, here are four pet supplements you might consider giving your dog instead.
Glucosamine is a natural compound that helps encourage the production of the fluids that help cushion your dog's joints. It is said to also help slow the breakdown of cartilage, which is one of the leading components of arthritis. Most glucosamine on the market is derived from the shells of oysters and crabs. It is very safe for dogs but, since the supplement is not well-regulated, you need to make sure you buy from a good brand. Low-end brands may not contain as much glucosamine as they claim.
Chondroitin is a compound that is said to help prevent cartilage from breaking down, and can also help stimulate your body to repair cartilage that has already been damaged. It is mostly derived from cartilage from cows and pigs. Some dogs develop an upset stomach when they first start taking chondroitin, but this side effect tends to wear off within a few days of use. If your dog's stomach seems upset, you can lower the dose for a while, and then build it back up once they adapt.
Hyaluronic acid is said to help cushion the joints. It also has the added benefit of promoting healthy skin and faster healing form wounds. Your vet can inject hyaluronic acid into a sore joint, but giving it to your dog orally is a lot less invasive. The supplement is very safe and does not tend to cause any side effects. A tiny bit of hyaluronic acid goes a long way, and it may work best when used in combination with glucosamine.
Turmeric is a natural pain reliever that may help ease your dog's joint stiffness and pain. It's bright yellow in color, so it may cause your dog's waste to look strange. Turmeric is inexpensive and, although you can feed your dog the powdered turmeric from the cooking aisle, feeding turmeric pills made for dogs is a lot easier. You may need to start off feeding a larger "loading" dose and then back off once your dog is seeing the benefits.
Hi! My name is Lisa Caldwell, and I often refer to myself as the cat lady. My husband isn’t as proud of that title as I am. Oh, he loves our cats. It’s just that every time he says no more cats, it seems I find a poor little kitten stranded in the snow or wandering the streets. We have a nineteen-year-old cat, a twelve-year-old, and three cats under the age of two. Each one has been rescued or came from the local Humane Society. We also have an eighty-five pound dog who thinks he’s one of the cats. I never bring a new kitten into the house and just toss them into the mix. I have a particular method of introducing a new pet into the household. I am going to share how this works, also how we feed and care for new kittens. Enjoy!