Did you know that one in five dogs over the age of one suffers from osteoarthritis? And that this rate increases to four out of five dogs when they are over the age of eight?
Because our beloved canine friends are so prone to joint discomfort, knowing your options for treating this condition is important. Though several pharmaceutical drugs are targeted to treat pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, keep in mind that most can have a negative impact on the renal and digestive system, as well as the liver, especially if given long term. However, many herbal extracts have similar mechanisms to those of pharmaceuticals but often don’t have the same potential negative side effects (1).
Two such herbs are boswellia and turmeric, which can both be found in Canine Cush Hip & Joint Chews, a natural option for supporting your dog’s joint health. And the good news is that these two ingredients have been well studied and found to have strong, anti-inflammatory properties. Let’s discuss a little more about each.
Boswellia for dogs
Boswellia serrata, also known as frankincense, is an herbal extract which comes from the resin collected from the Boswellia tree in India. Boswellia has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine and has recently grown in popularity within the Western medical and veterinary communities, especially when it comes to treating osteoarthritis. The main constituents in this extract are boswellic acids, though other bioactive compounds, including volatile oils, are also contained within the resin (1).
Aside from its natural anti-inflammatory benefits, boswellia also has anti-cancer and immuno-modulatory properties, and a clinical study on dogs with arthritis showed that boswellia significantly improved the severity of symptoms (2). In the study, dogs were monitored for symptoms such as intermittent lameness, local pain, stiff gait, lameness with movement, and lameness after rest, and all symptoms were lessened at the end of the trial (1).
Turmeric (Curcumin) for dogs
Curcuma longa comes from the root of a flowering plant in the ginger family which is also native to southeast Asia. Turmeric has long been used as an Indian cooking ingredient, and like boswellia, has long been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is known for its distinct bright orange-yellow color, which comes from its main active component: curcumin.
Turmeric contains more than 235 active ingredients, including curcuminoids and essential oils, all which have been shown to benefit animals with osteoarthritis (2). In fact, studies have led researchers to conclude that turmeric extracts have the ability to reduce pain and increase range of motion in arthritic dogs, as well as other animals (1).
Synergistic qualities of boswellia and turmeric
When using certain herbal compounds together (as opposed to using them individually), the benefits can be heightened. In fact, one study in humans showed that while a curcumin complex seemed to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms, using curcumin and boswellia together was more effective. This is why we include both ingredients in Canine Cush Hip & Joint Chews.
The best thing about using herbal compounds as opposed to pharmaceuticals, is that both share similar long term results, but natural solutions like these minimize the negative side effects of medications.