Why Should My Dog Take Joint Supplements? Who Are They For? Why Are They Needed?
By: James St.Clair, DVM (Director of Veterinary Medicine, TopDog Health Rehabilitation)
A simple question right? Well not really. Yet this is one of the most common and legitimate questions in the minds of many pet owners whose dogs have suffered an injury to one or more of their joints.
There is no doubt that not every dog needs to be on a daily joint health supplement. On the other hand for those who do need them, they can be life changing in helping to keep the dog healthy, comfortable and happy.
But before we go any further, we need to first identify WHO are the dogs that really benefit the most from daily joint health supplementation.
In attempting to simply the answer to this question it is important that you first clearly identify if your dog fits into any of the groups listed below.
Joint supplements are really for three groups of dogs.
Group #1: Any dog that has had a joint injury or joint surgery. For example: ACL injury or surgery
Group #2: Any dog that is older and starting to have joint related issues.
Group #3: Any dog whose breed is known to have certain joint health problems.
When there is a major injury to a joint (for example an ACL tear or an injury to the hip) the natural balance of the joint is immediately disturbed. All of a sudden there is instability within the joint. This instability leads to inflammation. In many cases inflammation is a good thing but when inflammation occurs inside of a joint it is very much a bad thing.
You may be thinking, well doesn't the body heal itself? Don't dogs already produce the necessary ingredients to heal their joints?
The truth is, yes, to some degree.
In fact, dogs produce all the essential joint building blocks, such as Glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.
Yet what is critical for you to understand is this. It is one thing for the body to keep up with the normal maintenance of healthy joints. It is an entirely different situation when the joint is not in balance or has been injured. When there has been a joint injury or when a dog is in a situation where they have chronic joint problems, it is then and only then that the bodies own production cannot keep up with the demand of the joints. It is during these times, that providing your dog with a comprehensive joint supplement makes complete sense and in reality is essential for their long-term joint health.
This should give you the basic understanding of why joint supplements can be so important to your dogs immediate and long term joint health. We now know who they are for and why they are important for those dogs.
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