Helping Your Older or Arthritic Dog with Joint Supplements

We all want our older dog, or our dog with arthritis, to have the best life and to age well. We often think supplements provide a quick and easy, though expensive, solution and we try and give our dog every known joint supplement under the sun to help them. 

Truth is, it may be a waste of your money and has no effect on our dog, other than a sore tummy, but I’ve recently done a video, and now blog, that may help.

I recently did a video on my Strong and Steady Canines Community Facebook Group about joint supplements for dogs and how to use them wisely. <<Click here>> to view it.

Like I said in the video, to understand supplements we need to understand arthritis. Arthritis is a progressive disease of joint changes, this means it just gets worse, we can’t undo or reverse the changes BUT we can slow them down!

Joint supplements may slow down the progress of arthritis so the symptoms of pain and mobility problems are delayed. Despite popular belief among forums, they do not restore muscle bulk, but more on that a bit later. 

My advice to using joint supplements wisely is to slowly add a new supplement and trial it. We can tell that a supplement is working for our dog by noticing improvements when they are on it or a decline when they are off it (assuming there are no other exacerbations). 

So start with one supplement, assess for improvements and keep them on it if there are improvements. If there are no improvements, remove it and see if there is any decline that you can directly link to the supplement. If there is a decline, you can restart your dog on the joint supplement and you should notice an improvement. Then if you would like you can add another supplement, review for any improvements, continue if there are, discontinue if there isn’t but restart if there is a decline. And on it goes.

Now, more on muscle bulk. Many people on forums think giving their dog some supplements can improve the weakness they notice in their dog. Joint supplements do not improve strength or muscle bulk for your dog! They simply optimise the joint. The only way to improve muscle strength and bulk in your dog is to exercises. Sadly, there is no shortcut or silver bullet, we just have to do the work (i.e. exercises) to encourage the muscles to grow. 

As a physio I know what helps muscles to grow is a carefully guided exercise program, not only that, strengthening exercises help support arthritic joints providing it with stability to improve mobility and decrease pain. If you’d like to learn more or if I can help your dog get stronger then please feel free to contact me!

So that is my advice to getting more bang for your buck when it comes to choosing and trialing supplements for your dog’s arthritis. It ensures that you’re not wasting your heard earned money AND it makes sure that your dog isn’t taking something that in actual fact is not helping them at all. 

If you have any questions about this post please feel free to contact me. 

Here’s to helping your dog live and move well,

Kylie ❤️🐾

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