Does your pet need a supplement?

Published 11:36 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pets: Healthy Pets by Michelle Nelson

One of the most common health problems for aging cats and dogs is arthritis. One out of four pets will develop arthritis, degenerate joint disease or joint discomfort. Difficulty getting up, jumping into a car, onto a bed or finishing a walk are signs of joint discomfort. Because there are no nerve endings in the joint, the damage will be significant before your pet even communicates the discomfort they are in.

Michelle Nelson

Michelle Nelson

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There are three important factors to consider when choosing a joint supplement:

1. Not all glucosamine is created equal. Glucosamine is the joint building block that provides the cushioning for the joint. Lower end supplements will often use high amount of low-quality glucosamine so they look good to the customer. Make sure the label indicates 99 percent or more pure or pharmaceutical grade glucosamine.

2. Most pet parents wait until their pets start to exhibit symptoms of joint pain before they start a joint supplement. Keeping in mind that most joint damage is irreversible, joint supplements should be given to all pets in their golden years. Joint supplements should be started for small and medium breed dogs between the ages of 7 to 10, large breed dogs at age 5 and cats between ages of 10 to 12. Pets who have experienced injuries at a young age or have a history of joint issues all need to be on a joint supplement, regardless of age. Also, large breed and giant breed puppies benefit from a good joint supplement while they are growing so rapidly in the early months.

3. Go beyond glucosamine. Glucosamine is one of the three essential joint building blocks your pet’s body needs to maintain joint comfort and health. While Glucosamine cushions the joints, chondroitin provides joint elasticity and hyaluronic acid lubricates the joint. Adding glucosamine alone is like putting gas in your car and never changing the oil or airing up the tires.

With joint discomfort comes inflammation, decreased circulation and increased free radicals. These symptoms need to be overcome for the joint building blocks to be delivered. The most complete joint supplements will contain glucosamine HCI, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid plus a delivery system containing anti-inflammatories, circulatory stimulants and anti-oxidants.

If you are thinking your pet’s decreased energy level is just because they are getting older, more than often not it is because they are in pain and this is something that can be fixed. After just a few weeks on the right supplement, they will often be back to playing like puppies and kittens in no time.

Put some bounce back into your pets life — get them on a proper joint supplement today.

Michelle Nelson is the owner of Ranch & Pet Supply in Albert Lea.