One of the best indicators of your dog’s quality of life is their ability to get up and move without pain. Healthy muscles, nerves, bones and joints are all vital to helping this happen.

A normal joint is made up of soft tissues, hard tissues and joint fluid – together these allow bones to move and support the body. The soft tissues are made up of tendons, ligaments and the joint capsule. The hard tissues consist of the cartilage and underlying bone. These hard and soft tissues can weaken over time due to injury, developmental disorders, or even general wear and tear. Joint health is important for every dog and needn’t be a problem for your pet.

 

Is my dog at risk of joint problems?

Large breed dogs are more at risk of degenerative joint disease, due to genetic disorders and their size: more weight on the joints equals more wear and tear. Certain developmental disorders, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cause problems in the joint which can lead to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes pain and an inability to move. Watch out for signs of stiffness, difficulty getting up, limping, not wanting to go on their walks or changes in behaviour, such as grumpiness or sleeping more. It is important to recognise the signs as early as possible to give your dog the best chance at a good quality of life. Discuss any symptoms you see with your vet and they’ll be able to advise what treatment is best for

 

your dog.

How supplements can help

Nutritional supplements are recommended to promote healthy joints and help reduce pain and inflammation. When administered as directed, or in conjunction with other recommended therapies, such as surgery, pain medications, physical therapy or weight control, supplements can make a substantial difference to your dog’s overall quality of life.

 

Introducing glucosamine

One ingredient that is commonly found in joint supplements is glucosamine. Glucosamine is naturally found in healthy cartilage, however it only occurs in small amounts in a dog’s regular diet. Glucosamine can help to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain as well as providing protection to existing cartilage.

Even if your dog does not suffer from osteoarthritis, there are plenty of reasons why glucosamine may still be beneficial for them. Glucosamine is often recommended if your pet has a developmental disorder, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, or any joint injuries, which may make them predisposed to the development of osteoarthritis. What’s more if you own a large breed adult dog, working service dog, a hunting dog over the age of 2 or your dog competes in agility or flyball, their joints will certainly benefit from glucosamine supplementation. Whatever dog you may own, it is advisable to start supplying them with glucosamine as early as possible to protect and prevent any damage to their cartilage.

The superior way to care for their joints

Flexi-Joints Plus for Dogs is the perfect choice for breeds prone to joint issues, older dogs and those with existing joint problems. High level glucosamine and chondroitin work together to help ease joint issues combined with green-lipped mussel and vitamins C and E, all in a tasty beef-flavour that they’ll love.

Flexi-Joints Plus for dogs £17.99 120 tablets

Discover the full range of Healthspan supplements and treatments for cats and dogs at healthspan.co.uk