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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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