How to Select a Joint Supplement for your dog

 

With so many supplements out there for dogs, did you ever wonder whether your dog needs them or what makes the best joint supplements?

By Laura Pakis, CPT and professional dog blogger

As you may already know Acme Canine’s goal is to be a canine resource for dog lovers.  And as part of that goal we test a variety of dog products and give our results based on what we experienced.   So when Peak Pups contacted us to try a new pet hip and joint product we agreed. 

Does your dog need a Hip and Joint supplement?

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) calls them a safe and natural way to potentially improve your pet’s quality of life.

Since Acme Canine is not in veterinary medicine, we went to an article published by Matt Brunke, DVM, CCRP, CVPP, CVA.  In this article we learned the following:

  1. Starting chondroprotective agents as early as possible in large-breed dogs or dogs predisposed to developing osteoarthritis is suggested.  Joint supplements can be given as young as 8 weeks of age.
  2. Omega-3s in most maintenance diets are not high enough to treat disease states.  This means owners need to administer an omega-3 supplement on top of the diet to reach the appropriate therapeutic level.
  3. Glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate do work, but it may take two to three months before the dog will show signs of relieved pain.  (Dr. Brunke suggests an NSAID during this time to help relieve pain)
  4. Joint supplements are a waste of money if the dog has end-stage bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in every joint.  But if only one joint is affected, the supplements should be given to protect the other joints.
  5. Owners should always read the labels on dog treats.  Most treats contain glucosamine and chondroitin but are in such low levels that you would be feeding your dog huge amounts of the treats just to meet therapeutic levels.
  6. If you are using over-the-counter fish oil products, you may be wasting your money.  According to Dr. Brunke, the dosage required for dogs with osteoarthritis is 5,000 mg/day for a 50-kg dog.  This dosage is equal to three pumps of Welactin twice a day, three cups of Hills J/D twice a day, or 25 capsules of omega-3’s twice a day.

Ingredients in Hip and Joint Supplements

There are typically the following ingredients in hip and joint supplements.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body.  It maintains the integrity of the cartilage cushions inside joints.   The problem is that as a dog ages, their production of glucosamine drops.   A good supplement of glucosamine hydrochloride, not glucosamine sulfate, will help restore the normal level of glucosamine and repair damaged cartilage.

NOTE: so far no published studies show that glucosamine sulfate shows up in synovial tissue after it’s been ingested orally. 

A loading dose of two times maintenance for four to six weeks is required for glucosamine hydrochloride to reach therapeutic levels, Dr. Brunke says. Maintenance is 500 to 1,000 mg for a 75-lb dog, which works out to about 15 mg/kg.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is combined with glucosamine in over-the-counter supplements because the two ingredients work together to reduce arthritis symptoms. Chondroitin inhibits the enzymes that destroy cartilage. 

Chondroitin requires a loading dose similar to glucosamine, and the standalone dosage is the same as glucosamine, Dr.. Brunke says.

Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs)

ASUs protect the cartilage against damage by stopping the key mediators of the structural changes that take place in osteoarthritis.  It also stimulates the healing of osteochondral defects in the canine knee. When combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, ASUs improve the actions of both and reduce the amount of chondroitin required.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain.  They also support heart health and joints, improve kidneys and boost the immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling, pain, and cell damage.

Most of the other ingredients in canine joint supplements have not had studies performed on dogs.

Results of the Walk Easy Chews Review

Each plastic jar of Peak Pups Walk Easy Hip and Joint Supplement Chews contains 120 chews.

According to directions, Autumn takes three chews a day (she is considered a large dog at 60 pounds) which ends up to be about a one month supply per jar.  

The Walk Easy Chews contain the recommended Glucosamine and Chondroitin as well as turmeric.  The other ingredients in their chews have been proven to assist humans with arthritis and joint pain but not dogs. 

A container of chews costs $49.99 or about $0.42/chew.  To help with costs, Peak Pups does offer a discount when purchasing more than one container.

For the past month our dog, Autumn, has been enjoying the Peak Pups Walk Easy Chews to help with her arthritis and joint stiffness (from a 2-year old back surgery).  After one month we truly did not see a change in any of the behaviors that Autumn typically shows with joint pain (difficulty moving, lack of appetite, or licking of her joints).

After reading Dr. Brunke’s article that it may take two to three months before a joint supplement will start showing results, Acme Canine really can’t say if Walk Easy Chews aren’t helping.

We do know that Autumn LOVES the taste of them and had no problem downing the three chews in almost one gulp.

And the cost of the chews is comparable to other joint supplements.

Conclusion

Acme Canine believes that Peak Pups Walk Easy Chews is a quality product.  The Peak Pups core belief – Giving Love Back™ – motivated them to create a product that only uses ingredients that have been scientifically proven to provide positive results for joint pain.  The product is made in the USA at a GMP Certified and FDA Registered Facility.

Peak Pups stands behind its product with a 6-month guarantee.

For these reasons as well as the way Autumn LOVED the taste of the chews, Acme Canine gives the Walk Easy Chews 4-paws.

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