According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, osteoarthritis affects a quarter of all canines.
The degenerative joint disease is characterized by your pup limping, whining, and hesitating to jump. Humans may not realize their pup is suffering until these symptoms arise—but osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint problems begin gradually. So, what if you could stop your dog’s joint pain before it occurs?
Luckily, there are a number of supplements have been clinically proven to help reduce joint pain in dogs. One of these is glucosamine, which we covered in the first part of our joint supplement series. But glucosamine is almost never recommended alone. There’s another supplement vets encourage pet owners to give their dogs: Chondroitin.
What is chondroitin?
Like glucosamine, chondroitin is a naturally-occurring substance in the body that is necessary for cartilage production. Cartilage is the cushioning between bones which allows your pup to jump, run, and lay down painlessly. But when cartilage begins wearing down with time, bones begin rubbing against each other. This painful process is common for dogs, but joint supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine can help.
How can chondroitin help my dog?
Chondroitin is an extremely common treatment for osteoarthritis and other degenerative diseases. Unlike some other treatments, however, chondroitin is safe to use long-term. This means that pet owners can supplement their pups with chondroitin before joint pain occurs. Chondroitin works by promoting elasticity and water retention in cartilage, and it can prevent cartilage deterioration if used proactively.
When giving your pet a chondroitin supplement, there are several things you should know.
- Chondroitin should be taken with food (or taken in the form of a chondroitin-enriched treat) in order to minimize digestive issues.
- Chondroitin may thin the blood. This means that dogs taking medication should have a vet’s approval before upping their chondroitin consumption.
- There’s a reason why chondroitin is most commonly found in combination with glucosamine. The two substances work together to produce results greater than the sum of their individual results. Chondroitin and glucosamine work together to build cartilage—so your chondroitin-enriched treat should contain glucosamine, too!
Chondroitin can help your dog stay active at every stage of life. Purchasing a chondroitin supplement or chondroitin-enriched treat for your pup is a great way to minimize the effects of joint damage.