Pet supplements can help support your dog’s or cat’s health so they stay healthy, active, and well nourished. Natural dietary supplements and vitamins, such as Walkin’ Pets new line of supplements, can help maintain good health from an early age, as well as provide the support pets need as they age.
Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
Arthritis, a degenerative condition of the joints, afflicts dogs and cats most commonly as they age. There are several types of arthritis; osteoarthritis, a degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, is the most common. Larger dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds, are more prone to developing arthritis, as are overweight pets.
It is estimated that one in five dogs over the age of seven has some form of arthritis. An estimated 90% of geriatric cats suffer from the disease, which may surprise cat owners. While cats do not typically display a decreased range of joint motion as dogs often do, Carmela Stamper, DVM cites the following clinical signs of osteoarthritis in cats in an article on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website:
- “weight loss
- loss of appetite
- change in general attitude
- poor grooming habits
- urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and
- inability to jump on and off objects.”
How to Decide Which Pet Supplements to Buy
With all the pet supplements on the market, how do you decide which are the right ones for your pet? A good general vitamin can provide good health maintenance, while other nutraceutical supplements target specific concerns, such as arthritis or sore joints due to aging.
If your pet has mobility challenges, there are several key ingredients a good supplement should contain. These ingredients are the same ones generally found in supplements for humans suffering with sore joints or who are experiencing arthritic pain.
Key Ingredients in Arthritis & Mobility Supplements
Here are a few key ingredients that you are likely to find in quality pet supplements for hip and joints, designed to address arthritis, sore joints, and mobility challenges:
- Glucosamine is essential for helping to build and repair cartilage and other body tissues.
- Chondroitin Sulfate works together with glucosamine to inhibit the breakdown and compression of cartilage. It also helps maintain healthy cartilage tissue.
- Hyaluronic acid may help reduce post-surgical inflammation, and goes directly to the joints to work as a lubricant, supporting joint flexibility.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) promotes the reactivity of the other supplement ingredients to maximize their effect. MSM also supports healthy connective tissue in joints.
Ingredients Targeted for General Wellness
Digestive Enzymes may help aid digestion by helping to break down food after it is ingested to increase the absorption and utilization of nutrients.
- Vitamins and Minerals work together to sustain normal body processes, such as muscle and bone growth, healthy skin and coat, reproduction, and general health.
- Glucosamine & Chondroitin may also be found in a general wellness supplement to support optimal joint function and movement.
Should You Supplement If Your Pet Takes Medication?
It is always advised to consult with your veterinarian if your dog or cat is on a prescription medication before giving supplements. Also, check with your pet care professional to ensure that you are giving your pet the right dosage of supplements.