At EntirelyPets, we are a big proponent of joint supplements to help aging dogs with arthritis and inflammation.
It’s not fun to see your aging pup in pain, but you can slow down the process and drastically reduce their discomfort by giving them supplements to help their mobility.
Most of these supplements contain glucosamine, an excellent dietary supplement that humans take as well.
In this article, we’re going to go over what joint supplements contain, how often they should be given, how to administer them, any potential side effects, and the supplements you should consider for your dog.
By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision.
What Ingredients Are in Canine Joint Supplements?
Canine joint supplements contain powerful active ingredients that help joints function better. They can help control arthritis and hip dysplasia symptoms, improve connective tissue quality, and provide antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress.
Joint supplements also help with lubrication of the joints and cushioning of tissues, as well as cartilage, connective tissue, and bone support in all of your dog’s major joint areas:
The main ingredients in canine joint supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin.
Glucosamine is derived from shellfish and is a naturally occurring compound in joints. In supplements, it is provided in its synthesized form. It’s a safe supplement with the most common side effect being flatulence.
Chondroitin is another joint supplement that is often said to be synergistic with glucosamine. Glucosamine tends to outperform chondroitin on it’s own, but together they can provide a more powerful stimulation of collagen synthesis.
Other ingredients may include MSM, EPA, DHA, Creatine, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C and N-acetyl-cysteine.
How Often Should Joint Supplements be Given?
Administering frequency depends on your dog’s size and the severity their symptoms. As always, consult your veterinarian before giving anything to your dog, but joint supplements are usually given on a daily basis.
The heavier your dog, the larger the daily dosage will most likely be. (It also depends on the specific supplement as well, so make sure to read the recommendations on the label.)
Some supplements also recommend an initial loading phase. During this phase (usually around three weeks) the dosage is increased to give the supplement a jump start in helping aid symptoms. After the loading phase, the dosage usually decreases back down to normal levels (called the maintenance phase).
How to Administer Them
How you give your dog joint supplements depends on the supplement itself, as in whether it is a soft chew, tablet, or liquid.
However, in most cases you will be administering a soft chew or tablet. Soft chews and tablets can usually be placed with your dog’s regular meal and gobbled up at the same time. You can also administer tablets inside a pill pocket, which are tasty treats that can carry a pill inside.
They make administering medication as easy as giving your pet a treat.
Potential Side Effects of Joint Supplements
Joint supplement side effects are not very common, but some do occur (usually as a result of not consulting your vet beforehand). Here are some potential side effects of dog joint supplements:
1. Joint MAX Triple Strength – Best Overall Supplement
Joint MAX® Triple Strength is a veterinarian recommended supplement for improving joint health and overall connective tissue.
Combining glucosamine and chondroitin, along with MSM, it’s a powerful supplement for older or middle aged large dogs or smaller dogs with joint health needs or soreness.
We feel that Joint MAX is the best overall joint supplement, as it helps fulfill all of your dog’s arthritis and joint health needs and is very easy to administer. It also comes in versions with a proper strength for every size, dog breed, cat, or horse.
(Is your dog hypo-allergenic? The Hypo-Allergenic formula is free from the nine most common dog allergens: beef, corn, soy, wheat, dairy, chicken, lamb, rabbit, and egg.)
If you’re struggling to find the right canine joint supplement, Joint MAX is a good place to start.
Dasuquin (from Nutramax) is one of our favorite supplements.
It combines their proven glucosamine hydrochloride and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate with ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables). They work together to help with cartilage production and block enzymes in joints that break down cartilage.
A few signs Dasuquin might be right for your pet:
- Struggling to perform activities they used to do easily
Phycox MAX is geared towards mature dogs and contains a lot of healthy ingredients to promote both joint and general health.
First, it contains three times the amount of phycocyanin, an extract of blue-green algae that functions as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Its natural ingredients also include turmeric, green tea extract, cinnamon, and cranberry extract.
Phycox MAX was designed to help increase mobility in just 30 days, and it has some major improvements over their original formula.
GlycoFlex 3 contains a bunch of healthy ingredients to promote canine joint support:
- Glucosamine HCl
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Grape Seed Extract
- And more
GlycoFlex is part of the Vetri-Science stage of life program. In stage 3, GlycoFlex is recommended to help restore joint function and alleviate stiffness. It’s an excellent blend for geriatric, retired, working, and sporting breeds.