Joint Supplements: What should you know?

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These days there are lots of products out there designed to provide your pet with healthier joints or “happy hips.” How can you determine which products are best for your pet? What information should you look for to make sure the supplements you’re buying are reputable?

First, for joints especially the two ingredients most often used are glucosamine and chondrotin. Both are building blocks of cartiledge. This covers the ends of bones and helps them to move smoothly against one another.  When there is less cartiledge, there is more pain during movement. Chondroitn is also present in joint fluid which again helps everything to move smoothly and easily.

Joint supplements with these two ingredients are available for both cats and dogs and have been effective in helping both sets of animals move easier and with less pain.  It takes about 6 weeks for the cartiledge to start to rebuild, so you’ll need to wait that long to really notice improvement.  After that your pet will most likely need to stay on the supplements for the rest of his or her life.

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You should always give your pet joint supplements that have been created for dogs; never give them human supplements.  The ones created for dogs are often flavored to make them tastier, have asorbic acid to increase absorption and have been dosed correctly for your sized pet.

Finally, when looking for a specific supplement, consider the following:

  • Check with your vet before giving your dog supplements. What seems like a simple case of arthritis could be something more.
  • Look for a brand that specializes in supplements for pets.
  • Read the labels to make sure you know what you’re giving your pet.
  • Look for lot #s on the bottles; this shows that the manufacturer is following quality control standards.
  • Try choosing treats that have added glucosamine or chondrotin.  Some vets believe these are a better option than basic supplements. Stop by J&M Aquatics and Pet Center and try one like Old Mother Hubbard’s 20316122_lgHip & Joint formulas. These may be just what your pet needs!
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