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, Certified Professional Trainer and Cynologist
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 improve your pet’s quality of life potentially.
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:
- Starting chondroprotective agents as early as possible in large-breed dogs or dogs predisposed to developing osteoarthritis. You can give joint supplements as young as eight weeks of age.
- 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.
- Glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate do work, but it may take two to three months before the dog will show signs of relieving pain. (Dr. Brunke suggests an NSAID during this time to help relieve pain)
- 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, you should give the supplements to protect the other joints.
- 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 vast amounts of the goodies to meet therapeutic levels.
- 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 equals 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 is naturally produced in the body. It maintains the integrity of the cartilage cushions inside joints. As a dog ages, the problem is that 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. Maintenance is 500 to 1,000 mg for a 75-lb dog, which works out to about 15 mg/kg.
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.
Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU)
ASUs protect the cartilage against damage by stopping the key mediators of the structural changes in osteoarthritis. It also stimulates the healing of osteochondral defects in the canine knee. When combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, ASUs improve 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 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
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, and 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.
Our dog, Autumn, has been enjoying the Peak Pups Walk Easy Chews for the past month to help with her arthritis and joint stiffness (from 2-year old back surgery). After one month, we honestly 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 starts showing results, Acme Canine really can’t say if Walk Easy Chews aren’t helping.
And the cost of the chews is comparable to other joint supplements.
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 and the way Autumn LOVED the taste of the chews, Acme Canine gives the Walk Easy Chews 4-paws.