Similarly, research shows that dietary supplementation with products such as omega-3 fatty acids, green-lipped mussel, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, in appropriate amounts, may increase patient mobility.
So, what role do these supplements play?
Glucosamine helps to stimulate the production of collagen which helps to strengthen joint cartilage and promote growth. It also plays a role in limiting the production of certain negative proteins that can exacerbate some types of arthritis.
A good supplement that’s often paired with glucosamine is chondroitin. Promoting water retention and tissue elasticity, chondroitin helps with cushioning the joints and reducing shock absorption. This is particularly helpful for any highly active fur friends.
While there’s currently limited research on the benefits of herbal supplements, Dr Howard says that those with natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties can help. These include curcumin, boswellia serrata and the lesser known, elk velvet antler.
When can my pet start taking them?
“Joint supplements can be given to your pet if they’ve been diagnosed with any condition that increases the risk of joint disease,” says Dr Davidson.
“Giving a supplement once joint disease has started will assist in minimising pain and discomfort and it’s never too late to start.”
Dr Howard echoes this sentiment and adds that supplements can be started as early as one year old, because that’s when a dog or cat’s growing plates have closed.
She also notes that starting supplements early is particularly worthwhile for animals and breeds more prone to arthritis.
“The most important thing when giving your pet supplements is to ensure that they’re of high quality,” advises Dr Howard
“Supplements can be very variable in quality, so ensure you purchase them from a reputable company for your peace of mind and your pet’s health and never use supplements designed for humans.”
Learn about pet supplements and more tips to help care for your pet’s joints from PAW by Blackmores® at www.blackmores.com.au/paw-by-blackmores.