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At What Age Should I Begin Giving My Dog a Joint Care Supplement?

Many pet owners have witnessed the benefit of giving their dog a joint supplement such as glucosamine, MSM, or chondroitin. Together these nutrients support healthy joints by providing natural relief with improved flexibility, reduced inflammation and strengthened cartilage and joints.

But at what age should you consider starting this supplement routine? The answer depends a lot on your breed.

If Your Dog’s Breed Is Listed Below, Consider Providing A Joint Supplement As Soon As Their Bodies Stop Growing, As Soon As 12 Months Old

The following dog breeds are known to experience more severe and early symptoms of arthritis, hip & elbow dysplasia, and general joint inflammation. Talk to your vet, and consider supplementing their joints as early as one year of age (when their bodies stop growing).

American Staffordshire Terriers
Basset Hounds
Bernese Mountain Dogs
Catahoula Hounds
Chow Chows
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
French Bulldogs

German Shepherds
Great Danes
Golden Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers
Neopolitan Mastiffs
Norwegian Elkhounds
Old English Sheepdogs
Pit Bulls
Saint Bernards
Shih Tzus

If your dog is not on this list, talk to your vet and consider supplementing their diet before they reach their senior years.

RELATED: 10 Natural Ways To Relieve Canine Joint Pain

Supplements Provide More Benefit BEFORE A Dog Begins Showing Symptoms of Pain

Sadly, dogs have evolved to hide their pain from their owners. In a pack setting, showing signs of pain could lead to being left behind by the group, as any weakness becomes a liability for the pack as a whole.

While many pet owners see a significant improvement in their dog’s mobility after signs of pain are present, the best medicine in this scenario is prevention.

RELATED: Which Joint Supplements Does iHeartDogs.com Recommend?

Supplementation Is Most Effective with Proper Diet and Exercise, It Will Not Provide a Miracle!

The number one root cause of joint distress is canine obesity. Needless to say, if your dog is overweight, their joints will be bearing extra weight. The joint pain creates a vicious cycle: pain leads to inactivity, which results in even more weight gain. Getting your dog to a proper weight through diet and nutrition is more important and will provide more relief than any dietary supplement.

How to Choose a Quality Joint Supplement for Your Dog

#1 – Pay attention to the amount of the active ingredients in the product. Compare the amount of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin on the ingredient label between brands. Often the lowest priced options will contain significantly less quantities of the active ingredients.

#2 – Only buy from manufacturers that make their product in the USA. Most serious brands today make their product in the USA, but check the label just to be sure.

#3 – Ask about the manufacturing method. Heat destroys nutrients, and many tablet forms of glucosamine are made with high heat manufacturing methods. We’re a big fan of cold-press extrusion, which uses no heat whatsoever in the manufacturing process. It’s a more expensive method, and leads to a higher priced product, but the nutrients are more potent and more bioavailable to your dog.

#4 – Choose a well rounded supplement, rather than just one nutraceutical. Most veterinarians see benefits to a mixture of joint supplement ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin) rather than just one. Chondroitin, in particular, works best when paired with glucosamine. In recent years, many pet owners have also seen joint benefits by supplementing with turmeric.

If you’d like to learn more about our Project Paws™ line of advanced canine joint supplements, click here. We spent over 6 months developing what we believe to be the most well rounded and potent joint care product on the market. And like all of our products, each purchase provides healthy meals for shelter dogs waiting for their forever homes!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. 

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Written by Justin Palmer
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