Joint Supplement. Just the thought may send shivers down your spine and make you cringe. I understand the feeling. The world of joint supplements (human, horse, dog, you name it) can be downright overwhelming.
It’s hard to sift through hundreds of articles and products to determine which supplement is actually the best for your dog (and not detrimental to your pocketbook). So, in this article we are going to dive into joint health to give you some insight into your dog’s joints and what can REALLY help them.
Dog Joint Anatomy
To understand how joint supplements can help dogs, we must first understand the joint itself. While overall anatomy will vary greatly from breed to breed and dog to dog, some anatomical features are consistent in all dogs.
Every dog has three different types of joints: (1)
Fibrous Joints- found primarily in the skull, these joints allow for growth and will ossify (or become actual fixed bone) as a dog ages; minimal movement occurs at these joints.
Cartilaginous Joints- connected completely by cartilage, such as the joints between vertebrae in the spine; allow more movement than fibrous joints but not as much as synovial joints.
- Synovial Joints- the major articular joints which contain two or more bones, the ends of which are covered in articular cartilage. These bones are separated by a joint cavity, which is filled with synovial fluid. Articular cartilage and synovial fluid are responsible for absorbing shock and reducing friction during movement. When cartilage begins to degrade it is difficult to repair, causing pain and other joint problems.
As dog owners, when we feed a hip and joint supplement to our dogs, we are targeting the synovial joints.
What Active Ingredients Should Be In The Best Dog Hip & Joint Supplement?
There are a plethora of supplement ingredients touted to improve joint health in dogs, but we’re only going to talk about the best active ingredients that are backed by science.
Glucosamine Hydrochloride- an important component of collagen and a building block for cartilage. By supplementing glucosamine hydrochloride, cartilage tissue can be maintained, and dog joint pain may be alleviated (2).
Chondroitin Sulfate- another important component of cartilage; this compound can also inhibit enzymes that degrade cartilage. It is generally used in combination with glucosamine for dogs for optimal cartilage protection (2).
Hyaluronic Acid- a component of both cartilage and synovial fluid, this molecule is responsible for stimulating cartilage growth as well as providing synovial fluid with its lubricant quality, easing joint pain (3).
Collagen- the main structural component of articular cartilage. As dogs age, the body’s production of collagen slows down, making it more difficult for senior dogs to maintain cartilage health. Providing collagen can help maintain cartilage and may decrease pain in the joints as well (4).
- Cannabidiol (CBD)- I know what you’re thinking… oh brother, that stuff again. But hang in there with me. CBD is derived from hemp and is NOT going to make your dog high. Furthermore, research has indicated a reduction in pain and increase in activity and quality of health in dogs with osteoarthritis who were given CBD oil (5, 6).
What Age Should You Give Dogs Joint Supplements?
While these ingredients have been shown to help decrease pain and maintain cartilage health, there is no real way to completely overcome damage to cartilage that has already occurred.
Because of this, it is optimal to use the best joint supplements with these ingredients starting earlier in life as a preventative measure in order to make a lasting benefit.
Rocket Animal Health’s Canine Cush soft chews go the extra mile as the best joint supplement for dogs by providing ALL of the ingredients described above for ultimate joint support.
Further, the glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and collagen found in Canine Cush are derived from eggshell membrane.
This means they are a natural source of these anti-inflammatory compounds rather than synthetic as many products found on the market are.
Eggshell membrane has been found to be absorbed at levels of upwards of 80% (7), which is MUCH greater than its synthetic counterparts, meaning more of the good stuff is able to be utilized by your animal.
With so much quality packed into one small chewable tablet, RocketDog’s Canine Cush just made navigating joint supplements for your dog a whole lot easier.