Joint Pain and Arthritis in Dogs

I’ve been ghost-writing a fair bit of late and, most recently, I’ve written a piece about joint supplements for dogs. It has occurred to me that some may find the information that I’ve come across useful.

Please be aware that I’m not going to promote any brand or manufacturer specifically, nor am I qualified to provide medical facts. I’m simply putting together what I have read.

So let’s go ahead and look at joint pain and supplements for pets.

Arthritis & Osteoarthritis, What is the Difference?

The word arthritis is a generic medical term for pain caused by inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis which is caused by simple wear and tear.

Joint Pain Only Affects Older Pets Doesn’t It?

In a word, no. It is often thought that arthritis and joint pain affects older pets only. Whilst it frequently occurs in old age as a result of degeneration, this is certainly not the only reason and there are factors which increase the risk of it starting.

Large breed dogs are usually susceptible to hip dysplasia which is an inherited condition where the hip joint develops abnormally. Smaller breeds can be affected by luxating patella which is where the patella, or kneecap, dislocates. The other main risk is from trauma caused by injury during the pet’s lifetime.

Are All Joint Supplements For Dogs The Same?

They most certainly are not. The standard of ingredients will vary immensely between products and a higher price is not always indicative of high quality.

It is essential that you do your research before buying. Check the recommended dose of the most important ingredients and compare to those listed on the products that you are looking at.

What Ingredients Should I Look For?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are probably to most well-known ingredients claiming to fight joint pain. These are often recommended by vets to treat Osteoarthritis in dogs.

These two naturally occurring compounds are said to work together regenerate damage, slow tissue deterioration, lubricate joints and act as an anti-inflammatory.

However, proven results of their efficiency on dogs are lacking and so it is necessary for further high-quality research to be conducted. Some studies though do suggest improvement in humans.

Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM has anti-inflammatory properties and is also said to be an analgesic, thus repressing pain.

Hyaluronic acid or HA is a new kid on the block relatively speaking. Hyaluronic acid is present in the fluid which lubricates the joints. It is claimed that supplements containing HA will improve the fluids viscous consistency.

Green Lipped Mussels contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are said to reduce the level of inflammation in osteoarthritis. While Omega-3 is also found in fish oil, green lipped Mussels contain many other compounds which combat joint pain. Although the real benefits are largely unknown, there have been a number of studies which show that green lipped mussels do help.

The above together with combinations of antioxidants, Omega 3’s and Vitamins C and E seem to be most prevalent in joint supplements for pets.

Where Should I Buy From?

It’s probably best to stick with manufacturers based in the UK. Having said that, I can find no firm regulation to control content in the UK.

Ingredients Should Be All Natural and Not Synthetic

Look out for inactive ingredients in a product as well as active. If only active ingredients are listed, avoid as there is probably a reason why inactive are not.

Beware of chemicals added such as sweeteners, fillers, lubricants, and preservatives.


As mentioned above, there is research to suggest that joint supplements for dogs may help with joint pain but there is no concrete evidence to confirm this.

It is clear though that, having become a multi-million-pound business, joint supplements are here to stay.

I do though believe that research is key.  You wouldn’t want to give any old thing to your beloved pup, would you?

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