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Best Joint Supplement For Labradors

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of Inspired by his rescued husky, Splash, he dedicated himself to learning about extending both the length and quality of her life. Splash lived and thrived until 18 years old, and now Justin is on a mission to share what he learned with other dog owners.Read more
| Published on January 2, 2018

Labrador Arthritis Treatment

#1: For Maximum Efficacy, Choose a Supplement for Your Lab with Multiple Active Ingredients

When most people think of a joint supplement for their lab, glucosamine comes to mind. And while glucosamine is the most popular active ingredient, other powerful nutraceuticals include MSM, chondroitin, and turmeric (curcumin). If your supplement contains only one or two of these, you may be missing potential benefits. Different dogs respond to different treatments, so when in doubt, offer a broad spectrum of nutrients.

#2: Always Check The Amount of Active Ingredients

If the quantity of active ingredients (in milligrams) is not made available, the product likely contains low levels that are unlikely to have a therapeutic effect on your lab’s joints. As a rule of thumb, your dog should receive 20 mg of glucosamine daily for each pound they weigh. Budget oriented joint supplements (often in the $15-20 a bottle range) often contain levels too low to make any serious impact on your dog’s joint health. In addition, dry dog food manufacturers have begun including trivial amounts of glucosamine in their products in an attempt to woo consumers. Make sure your dog receives enough to matter!

#3: Always Buy Made In USA

While you’d expect that most pet stores would have transitioned to only carrying consumable products that are made in the USA, this is simply not the case. Many budget oriented pet stores, online retailers, and grocery stores still carry inferior supplements made in factories outside the USA with far lower production standards.

#4: Decide If You Want An Arthritis Supplement with or Without Hemp for Your Lab

The last few years has brought about exciting advancements in the use of Hemp for dogs. Several clinical trials have shown Hemp can improve the mobility of arthritic dogs. Some brands have begun to offer their Hip & Joint supplements with Hemp or without Hemp.

#5: Results Will Vary Based on Your Lab’s Age and Condition

Ideally, a joint supplement regimen should begin before signs of pain are present in your lab. (ideally around 5 years of age, although large breeds may need earlier) In reality, however, we often don’t consider the need until signs of pain are apparent. If your dog is already showing signs of distress, a joint supplement can still offer substantial relief. However, it may take 1-2 months to show signs of improvement.

#6: Taste and Format Matters

The best joint supplement in the world is worthless if your dog refuses to eat it. The most popular formats of delivery for joint supplements are liquid, tablet chews, and soft chews, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to palatability, soft chews and liquids tend to please the most canine palates. Because a soft chew can contain a wider variety of nutraceuticals (see item #1) it’s our preferred method.

Where Our Research Led Us (Our Preferred Joint & Joint Supplement for Labs)

Our research in hip & joint supplements for dogs led us to develop & recommend the Happy, Healthy line of canine joint care supplements. An added bonus of this brand is that each purchase goes towards helping provide food for animal shelters in need.

Thank you for reading this guide. Remember to always consult your veterinarian when making changes to your dog’s diet and routine. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product is 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Labradors Need Hip And Joint Supplements?

The larger the breed of dog you have, the earlier you should consider supplementation. Labs, in particular, are prone to more severe joint problems. Many veterinarians recommend supplementation for Labs as soon as they stop growing or as early as 12 months old. Sadly, Labrador puppies are genetically inclined to develop hip dysplasia. 

What Supplements Are Good For Labradors Arthritis?

The pet supplement markets are saturated with options for arthritis and joint pain. The most common options include:

Glucosamine – helps slow down collagen degradation and inhibit inflammation-producing factors.

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) – is crucial for connective tissue and an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. It may also protect the liver while helping with pain.

Chondroitin Sulfate – acts as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as helps reduce the breakdown of collagen.

CBD Oil – reduces inflammation and works on anxiety and overall health while potentially reducing pain. 

What Can I Give My Labrador For Joint Pain & Arthritis?

It is difficult to watch your dog suffer from any painful mobility issue, especially when it worsens over time. Our Advanced 9-in-1 Hip & Joint Hemp Chews are a nutritionally complete joint health supplement that relieves inflammation and stiffness – all rounded out by our award-winning broad-spectrum hemp extract. You can expect these to naturally treat joint pain and help your dog’s overall health. 

Is Cosequin Or Dasuquin Better For A Labrador?

Cosequin and Dasuquin both contain active substances to treat hip and joint issues, which are common in larger dogs like labs. These nutritional supplements both contain sodium chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are crucial for healthy joints. The body needs omega-3 fatty acids to carry out its numerous duties, but only Cosequin has them. The chemical known as avocado/soybean unsaponifiable (ASU), which is naturally present in soybean and avocado oils, is present in Dasuquin. Both work well for larger dogs, so the only way to know for sure which one is better for your dog is to test them both out or follow your veterinarian’s advice.

Do Big Dogs Need Joint Supplements?

All dogs with arthritis need joint supplements, regardless of size. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can develop joint pain and damage. Bigger dogs have higher activity levels, which increases their risk of developing joint pain as they age. Although not all elderly dogs require a supplement for their joints, many older dogs can live longer with it.

What Foods Should Labradors Avoid To Reduce Joint Pain?

Avoid grains for arthritis-afflicted dogs. Commercial dog foods contain wheat, rice, soy, and spelt. These grains affect your dog’s blood sugar and cause uncomfortable swelling. Dogs with little grain intake had less inflammation. Most dog meals contain considerably more grains than necessary, which might harm your dog. 

Omega-6s are abundant in dog kibble and canned food. Dog food businesses use cheaper omega-6 oils such as corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and canola. Humans and dogs need more omega-3s than other animals. Omega-3 fatty acids cooperate with omega-6 to reduce low-grade chronic inflammation, which is bad for your Doberman. 

Processed foods inflame. Salts, sugars, and artificial additives in all commercial dog food create unneeded inflammation. Instead of regular merchandise stores, buy dog food at dog food stores. 

More processed foods tend to cause inflammation. All commercial dog diets contain salts, sugars, and artificial ingredients, which exacerbate inflammation; therefore, it is crucial to choose one without them. 

To make sure your arthritic dog’s food is medicine, not a toxin, check the label and avoid these 5 foods.

Are Fish Oil Supplements Good For Labradors Arthritis?

It has been discovered that omega-3 fatty acids are successful in treating canine arthritis and chronic kidney disease. Consult your veterinarian before introducing fish oils as a supplement to your dog’s food, as you should with anything that might affect your dog’s health. Dogs require an omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acid-rich diet just like people do.

Regrettably, many prepared and processed foods lack at least some essential fatty acids, notably foods strong in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is the best source of omega-3s, and dog diets increasingly contain fish. Given that Labradors are prone to hip and joint disorders, these are unquestionably among the healthiest additions to their diet.

Is It Too Late To Give My Labrador Joint Supplements?

Even though it is recommended to start giving your dog joint supplements when they are a year old, you can still add supplements as they age to ease pain and stiffness. Although the supplements will not work as a preventative measure anymore, they can still aid to ease your beloved pet’s aging process by reducing symptoms.

How Can I Help My Labradors Hips?

Canine hip dysplasia can be treated in various ways, from lifestyle modifications to surgery. Your veterinarian can suggest a nonsurgical treatment option if your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe or if surgery is not an option due to medical or economic considerations. Weight loss, reduced activity, dietary supplements, prescription drugs, and physical therapy are a few choices. 

If you can afford specialized care, hydrotherapy can be an excellent way to relieve a dog’s suffering. Exercises in the pool or on an underwater treadmill are part of this therapy. Your dog’s joints are relieved of pressure by the buoyancy of the water, and they can exercise their back legs pain-free. As they get stronger, the back muscles will be able to move more freely.

Additionally, start out a smart vet-recommended exercise program for your puppy as soon as you get them. Certain exercises can promote bone growth and loosen hip joints. Swimming can help dogs exercise without taking a toll on their body. 

Also, start your dog on a healthy diet from the youngest age possible. Nutritionally adequate diets restrict puppy growth, benefiting joints and skeletal systems. Slow, consistent growth may help prevent several developmental orthopedic problems. Feeding too much or too rich a diet can make the puppy gain weight faster than the bones can handle, which can cause orthopedic issues and arthritis.

Do Vets Recommend Joint Supplements For Labradors?

Certainly, glucosamine is recommended by veterinarians for pets with joint issues. The majority of canines do not encounter any negative effects because it occurs naturally in the body, making it completely safe. As usual, consult your veterinarian to be sure this is the best choice for your dog.

What Dog Foods Are High In Glucosamine?

Glucosamine-rich dog food brands like Blue Buffalo and Diamond Naturals can support the health of your bulldog’s joints. If you are unable to find a food that your dog enjoys that has this ingredient, think about using supplements. Remember that only meals containing shellfish naturally contain glucosamine, so look for options that contain shellfish or think about taking supplements.

Can Glucosamine Worsen Labradors Joint Problems?

Since glucosamine is more of a food supplement than a drug, a dog would only overdose on it if it ate a very large amount. Most likely, your dog would throw up or have diarrhea, but the effects would not last. But if the joint supplement also has active ingredients like vitamin D or zinc, this could be a serious problem that needs to be taken care of right away by calling your vet. 

What Are The Signs Of Hip Dysplasia In Labradors?

Hip dysplasia can start to show up in some dogs as early as four months old. Some Labradors get it along with osteoarthritis as they get older. In both cases, owners should be aware of a few signs that something is wrong. These signs can be different depending on how bad the disease presents, how much inflammation your dog experiences, how loose the joint is, and how long the dog has had hip dysplasia. 

Look for the following symptoms:

Reduced activity 

Limited range of motion

Unwilling to do normal movements such as running or jumping

Lameness in the back


Bunny hopping walk

Noticeable growth of the shoulder muscles

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