My 14 year old terrier mix, Ramona, is participating in a study at Penn Vet Hospital about a new plant-based supplement designed to help senior pups enjoy a higher quality of life. In order for her to join the study, she had to be taken off all of her supplements for a month to get some baseline data. Ramona has been on (at least) 3 supplements consistently over the last 10 years - Probiotics, Fish Oil, and Joint Support vitamins. For an old lady, she is remarkably active, but because she has been on her supplements for so long, I actually had no idea how much of that could be attributed to the vitamins.
So as much as it made me sad to see her slow down over the course of that month, it was also somewhat gratifying to know that all those supplements have been really making a difference in her quality of life as she ages.
The most noticeable difference was in her mobility - she's been on different combinations of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Omegas, and without them she was barely able to climb the stairs, refused to jump up onto the bed in the morning, and preferred to sit next to me rather than run and play at the park.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances found in your pet's body, with the highest concentration found in healthy cartilage. The glucosamine in your dog's body produces glycosaminoglycan, which is used to help form and repair body tissues such as cartilage. As your dog ages, the natural production of glucosamine in the body slows. As a result, the natural repair process in the body slows, eventually leading to joint pain and stiffness. The ongoing wear and tear on your dog's joints, combined with the slowed repair time of the cartilage, leads to the development of painful arthritis. MSM (methylsulphynolmethane) is a natural sulphur compound also thought to help improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and inflammation. The good news is that research has found that providing supplements of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM for dogs can help rebuild cartilage, which can help restore your dog's joint function and activity levels.
I've recommended these vitamins for years, but after this experience I swear by them. In fact, I bought some to start taking MYSELF! (The human equivalent is just as expensive as the pet supplements, whew!) So I'll say it again - if your dog has hit middle age, or even younger if they are a large breed or have known joint problems, they should be on a joint support supplement. Hopefully you'll never see the problems that sore joints cause, because you'll have prevented them from day one, like with Ramona!
Our favorite Joint Support supplements:
- Pet Naturals Hip+Joint Soft Chews -750mg Glucosamine, 400mg MSM, 400mg Chondroitin, plus other supplements (This is for the M/L size, also comes in Small, XL and for cats too!)
- Ark Naturals Sea Mobility Joint Rescue Jerky Treats - 500mg Glucosamine, 200mg MSM, 250mg Chondroitin, plus sea cucumber
- Annamaet Endure Joint & Digestive Supplement Powder - 1000mg Glucosamine, 700mg chondroitin, plus other supplements