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Choosing The Best Joint Supplement for a Shiba Inu – 6 Things You Must Know

Written by: Justin Palmer
Justin Palmer is a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist and co-founder of iHeartDogs.com. 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 5, 2018

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

When most people think of a joint supplement for their shiba inu, 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 shiba inu’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 Shiba Inu

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 Shiba Inu’s Age and Condition

Ideally, a joint supplement regimen should begin before signs of pain are present in your shiba inu. (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 Shiba Inus)

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. 

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