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Two Important Supplements For Aging Dogs


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My dog Cody has a severe case of arthritis in his hips. The past couple of years it has changed the way he walks and tries to lie down. He moves his twelve-year-old body slower and more deliberate when he walks. And, quite honestly, he uses a technique to lie down that I’ve never seen before. He tucks his back legs under his stomach and gradually plops down to the ground. It’s heartbreaking to watch him change from a high energy guy to a senior dog.

To help Cody, I began a quest to find the best supplements for arthritis, older dogs. Here are two important supplements for aging dogs that relieve the stiffness and inflammation caused by arthritis.

Two important supplements for aging dogs you should know

Arthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints. Dogs are affected most often in their elbows and hips. Veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Rimadyl and Etogesic) to stop the pain, but there are also natural supplements that can improve the condition.

Supplement #1 Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine supplements protect a dog’s joints by rebuilding cartilage and restoring joint fluid. They come in a tablet, liquid and even an injectable form that is best given at a separate time from a meal. Glucosamine supplements do not show immediate signs of working. Dogs are given a “full load” dose at first and then taper down to a maintenance level. This takes about three to four weeks. After that time there should be visual signs of improvement. If not, it might be necessary to change to a different brand of the supplement.

There are lots of commercial brands of glucosamine on the market, but it is extremely important to purchase a quality brand with a proven track record. Make sure it also includes manganese for high absorption. The Whole Dog Journal recommends these brands of glucosamine which are backed by science: Arthroplex, Syn-Flex, Synovi-G3, Flexile-Plus, and K-9 Glucosamine.

Hyaluronic Acid

Some pet parents also add hyaluronic acid to their glucosamine supplement. HA was originally injected into arthritic horses, but now there are oral forms that work for dogs. Brands that have a proven record are Synthovial 7, Hyaflex, Trixsyn, and K-9 Liquid Heath Glucosamine and HA.

Supplement #2 Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Another important supplement for aging dogs is the family of omega-3 fatty acids. These are the good polyunsaturated fats that reduce inflammation and improve overall health by feeding every cell in your dog’s body. They are called essential because they are nutrients which cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed through food or a supplement. Without the proper balance of omega-3s dogs can suffer from a wide variety of health problems.

Omega-3s are primarily found in cold-water fish oil. They are made from two fatty acids called EPA and DHA. Together they form a hormone-like compound that supports a healthy immune system.

Omega-3s work in conjunction with omega-6 fatty acids that come from animal fats and vegetable oils. Nature intended these two fatty acids to work together best when they are kept in a specific ratio of 5:1 of omega-6s to omega-3s.

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