How to strengthen dogs' joints?

Dogs’ joints are essential for their mobility. For different reasons and at any time in their life, they can be damaged, to the point of compromising their functioning and causing discomfort of greater or lesser intensity, lameness, pain, etc., worsening the dog’s condition and quality of life. To avoid damage to the joints, it is advisable to take care of them from the first moment, implementing measures such as a quality diet, physical exercise appropriate to the characteristics of each dog and specific supplements, if recommended by the veterinarian.

How to strengthen dogs' joints?

Why is it important to take care of dogs’ joints?

The joints are the contact areas between the bones that allow their mobility, preventing both hard surfaces from touching directly. To do this, they have different elements, such as synovial fluid and articular cartilage, which act as a shock absorber. Cartilage is composed of water, collagen, proteoglycans and chondrocytes, cells that produce cartilage constituent elements. The wear and tear of age, an overload such as that which can be associated with being overweight, poor nutrition, diseases or trauma can damage the joints, deteriorate the bones and cause pain, inflammation, lameness, difficulties in performing such common movements as walking, etc. .

When the joints are already damaged, we will not be able to recover them, we can only try to reduce the pain and adopt measures to promote, as much as possible, the maintenance of the dog’s quality of life . For this reason, it is important to take care of them from the beginning of their life and throughout it.

We have commented that the appropriate way to address joint problems (and try to prevent them) is through a correct diet, exercise, taking care of the environment (that is, avoiding places in the home that may require additional effort, especially in cases of osteoarthritis), joint nutrition (such as the use of chondroprotectors) and specific pain management through pharmacological treatments and natural ingredients such as cannabis. However, in the following sections we will go even deeper and see what can be given to a dog to protect the joints.

Activities that strengthen dogs’ joints

All dogs should exercise daily, of course, adapted to their particular circumstances to avoid damaging their musculoskeletal system, among other adverse effects. Even dogs with osteoarthritis or any other joint injury should practice the physical activity that professionals recommend, even if it is just walking calmly. If you’re wondering how to strengthen dogs’ joints with exercise, swimming can be another good option.

On the other hand, we must avoid them from practicing sudden or very intense exercises, jumping from great heights or walking through especially difficult terrain. It is also not good to force the dog to stay on two legs.

Physical activity helps keep the animal at its optimal weight, avoiding overloading the joints with excess kilos and preserving muscle mass.

Foods that help strengthen dogs’ joints

A quality diet, which covers all the nutritional needs of the specimen according to its life stage and characteristics, is key to good joint care. In this sense, there are some foods with a greater capacity than others to contribute to the strengthening of dogs’ joints, such as the following:

  • Fish rich in fatty acids: omega 3 fatty acids play a very important role in caring for joint health thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon is one of the fish with the highest contribution, and both pieces of fish and salmon oil can be included in the dog’s diet or look for the ingredient in its commercial food.
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants: blueberries, broccoli and spinach are some of the foods to strengthen the joints of dogs, recommended for their antioxidant power.
  • Turmeric: it also has a high anti-inflammatory power thanks to one of its compounds, curcumin. It is important not to exceed the recommended dose, so we recommend consulting with a veterinarian specialized in nutrition.
How to strengthen dogs' joints? - Foods that help strengthen dogs' joints

Nutrients and supplements to strengthen joints in dogs

We must seek the balance between the nutrients that help reinforce joint health and offer adequate quantities. For your care, there are some nutrients especially recommended for their beneficial effects on the joints, which we will see are included in products specialized in their strengthening or in commercial foods. . We highlight the following:

  • Krill: krill is a small crustacean with the ability to help control inflammatory processes, which, in practice, translates into improved joint mobility. It is one of the sources of the well-known omega 3 acid and a powerful antioxidant.
  • Collagen: collagen is the main component of cartilage present in the joints. Its contribution helps cells synthesize more cartilage tissue, helping to restore joint function.
  • Chondroitin sulfate: it is a glycosaminoglycan present in articular cartilage. Specifically, it covers the collagen fibers, promoting lubrication and cushioning and increasing the elasticity of the cartilage.
  • Glucosamine: its role is to induce the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans from the synovial fluid, hence its importance for the joints. It can also contribute to the regulation of inflammatory processes and maintain water absorption capacity. Typically, supplements with glucosamine, among other components, also include chondroitin sulfate.
  • MSM: is a source of sulfur that improves the structural integrity of connective tissue and is characterized by its anti-inflammatory power. Together with the two previous compounds, they achieve a synergistic effect to restore joint functionality.
  • Hemp: hemp is chosen for its phytocannabinoids, molecules capable of regulating the endocannabinoid system, responsible for modulating different important physiological processes, such as the perception of pain and the anxiety. Hemp preserves the integrity of the cartilage, protecting it from degradation, controls pain, improves activity and, therefore, the quality of life of the animal. Combined with another endocannabinoid, PEA, a synergistic effect is achieved, relieving pain to a greater extent.
  • Zinc: this mineral is essential for the correct development of multiple physiological processes. In the case at hand, its importance for the formation of bones and cartilage stands out.
  • Hyaluronic acid: it is another of the glycosaminoglycans that provide lubrication and cushioning. It manages to capture water molecules in the synovial fluid
  • Glycine: its importance lies in the fact that it is one of the essential components of collagen.
  • Vitamin C: it is valued for its antioxidant action, which helps fight free radicals that can damage joints. It is also essential for the structure of collagen.

Joint Supplements for Dogs

We insist that a quality diet is what will best help keep dogs’ joints in good condition. Supplements should be used for specific cases determined by the veterinarian, as there will be animals that need an extra supply of any of the aforementioned nutrients. Thus, we find supplements to strengthen the joints of dogs that include one or more of the nutrients in their formula.

For example, supplements can be the answer to how to improve the quality of life of a dog with osteoarthritis, elderly, athletic, working, or recovering from surgery. Among this type of supplements we highlight those marketed by Stangest, which, in some cases, can be given in combination, always following the veterinarian’s recommendations:

  • CondroCare: this chondroprotector offers an exclusive combination of natural ingredients that are responsible for nourishing cartilage and promoting its synthesis, increasing lubrication and protecting joint cells from oxidation. The combination of collagen, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, krill and MSM modulate inflammation and promote the maintenance of joint function, while hemp and PEA specifically help in pain modulation. .
  • Artivet Complex: this is a chondroprotector that combines up to eight components with the aim of maintaining the functionality of the joints. This is achieved by protecting cartilage and increasing collagen synthesis.
  • KrillVet: as its name indicates, the main ingredient of this supplement is krill, specifically, its 100% natural oil, which provides omega 3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids soluble in water. In this way, its absorption and distribution improves. The krill comes from Antarctica and is caught sustainably. At the joint level, it minimizes inflammation, reduces pain and improves mobility.
  • CroniCare Oil: this is medicinal cannabis in oil format, which facilitates its absorption and has proven effective in pain modulation. In addition, it contains fish oil, rich in omega 3, which modulates the inflammation that occurs in cases of joint problems.
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