Whether your aging companion has stiff joints or your bouncy puppy is still finding their paws, supplements can play an important role in your pet’s overall joint health.
We all want our dog’s ears to perk up at the mention of ‘walk’. But as your dog ages you might notice less enthusiasm for their daily exercise, as aging naturally impacts their joint cartilage and causes stiffness, mobility issues and even arthritis.
Along with a nutrient-rich diet, joint supplements can help strengthen your dog’s cartilage and act as an anti-inflammatory to ease discomfort.
Below we’ve outlined how to ensure your dog is getting the right nutrients and supplements to improve their joint health and ensure their favorite hobby continues to get their tail wagging for years to come.
Joint Supplements: What to look for
Naturally, we only want the best for our dogs. Whether you like to opt for natural supplementation (derived from whole foods, which are typically non-processed foods like fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat) to top up their daily intake, or feed them a synthetic variety (human-made with isolated nutrients), the key is to ensure your dog is getting the following three key ingredients, which are crucial for supporting joint health:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural components of cartilage, and help to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. As dogs age, their production declines. But these nutrients are found naturally in New Zealand Green Mussels ¬– the only species of mussel to contain a bioactive protein that has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to repair muscle and increase joint function. It can also be found in crab, lobster and shrimp shells.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (particularly EPA and DHA) cannot be produced by the body, but are also found abundantly in New Zealand Green Mussels. Omega-3s are widely recognized due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
While supplements can help improve and protect your dog's joint health, they work best when taken alongside a gently processed, nutrient-dense, meat-rich diet.
Holistic lifestyle tips for joint health
While supplements can help improve and protect your dog’s joint health, in addition to holistic lifestyle factors such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight for their breed
- Plenty of exercise with variation
- A comfortable, supportive bed or ramps around the home to ensure their joints aren’t strained when jumping up or down from the sofa or bed
- Prescription pain-relief if advised by your vet, and
- A nutrient-rich, biologically-appropriate diet of highly digestible, bio-available nutrients such as ZIWI Peak.
How diet can help dogs' joint health
Your furry friend can naturally meet all of their important amino acid needs with a raw alternative food like ZIWI Peak. Our air-dried recipes lock in all the raw goodness of meat and organs to match your dog’s biological needs for a meat-rich diet.
A key ingredient in all ZIWI Peak recipes is the New Zealand Green Mussels – a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids and, more importantly, glucosamine and chondroitin. As one of nature’s superfoods, it acts as an effective supplement to enrich your dog’s diet naturally, while supporting long-term bone and joint mobility. New Zealand Green Mussels are also heat resistant to ZIWI’s air-drying process, ensuring the nutrients aren’t compromised, all while enhancing your dog’s skin and coat as an added bonus.
ZIWI Peak’s Mackerel & Lamb recipe contains the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids compared to our other recipes, thanks to the combination of whole, wild-caught mackerel and dried kelp (trace vitamins for immunity support). It also includes cold-washed tripe, which is a natural source of minerals, enzymes and probiotics.
In addition, ZIWI Peak’s whole-prey recipes include bone to deliver calcium and phosphorus into your pet’s diet, helping to support healthy bones and joints. Any way you look at it, supporting your dog’s joint health through supplements and a nutrient-rich diet can make all the difference in giving them the best shot at running laps around the park for a long time to come.
Dog joint issues defined
- Arthritis: a disease that causes painful inflammation and joint stiffness.
- Osteoarthritis: the degeneration of cartilage and the underlying bone.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: an inherited condition of an irregularly formed joint.
Please note: For dogs (and cats) with more severe joint health issues like arthritis, the level of chondroitin and glucosamine from ZIWI Peak’s green-lipped mussel is considered a maintenance dose. We advise you to speak with your vet on specific supplements and medication to help support your dog’s ailments.