What Age Should You Give Dogs Joint Supplements?
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Joint supplements for dogs can do great things for making joint issues less painful.
But at what age should you give dogs joint supplements for the best preventative effects?
Many people mistakenly believe that joint supplements are unnecessary until joint problems are present, but that is not true.
In fact, joint supplements are most effective if given to dogs regularly for most of their lives.
Joint care is not only to be done as a treatment but should as a preventative measure far in advance of these problems set in.
Did you know that joints can begin to have issues before your dog has even stopped fully growing?
This is why it is so important to make sure they are getting all of the help they can to have healthy, working joints.
Find out more about joint supplements and how you can help your dog today.
What Age Should You Give Dogs Joint Supplements?
At what age should you give dogs joint supplements for the best effects?
This may be hard to hear, but if you begin joint care only when symptoms have started showing, that means your dog’s situation has already gone too far.
Instead, joint care should be treated as a type of preventative care.
In other words, you should start joint supplements as early as is healthy for your pet and plan to continue treatment long-term.
Supplements are important for the long-term health of your dog, but they will not continue working forever without continuous use.
Improving your dog’s quality of life is reliant on making sure you use the supplements properly.
Since many dog breeds are predisposed to joint problems like hip dysplasia, it is better to start supplements earlier rather than later.
Many owners of dogs that are predisposed to issues will start supplements when their dog is nearly fully grown.
Before then, they supplement with a healthy diet.
At the very least, you should always make sure to talk with your vet about joint issues like arthritis before your dog is over seven years old.
Dogs commonly start showing joint problems by this age, so you want to ensure you help them as much as possible.
With joint supplements, starting early will ensure the supplements are used to help maintain health rather than try to recover what is already lost.
When Should I Start Giving My Dog Joint Supplements?
So, when should you start giving your dog joint supplements?
Asking yourself a few critical questions can help you determine when to start giving them supplements to maintain joint health.
- Is your dog’s breed predisposed to hip dysplasia or similar conditions?
- Is your dog a very large breed?
- Will your dog live a very active or working lifestyle?
- Do you have stairs in your house?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be a good idea to start supplements when your pet is as young as one year old.
Your dog is naturally going to face some reduction in their joint health over time as they age.
However, those four things will add additional stress to their joints.
By supplementing from a young age, you help protect them from their future as early as possible.
Of course, you want to follow the instructions of the exact supplement you are using and your vet's guidance.
If you did not answer “yes” to any of the questions or are still unsure, you could probably wait to start giving joint supplements until your dog is between five and seven years old.
Your dog’s body will produce the nutrients it needs to support joint health, but the amount produced will go down over time.
As it starts to go down, you want to be able to replace that absence with the addition of a high-quality joint supplement.
What Do Joint Supplements Look Like For Dogs?
Joint supplements are available in many different forms, and the exact form you use will depend on what you choose.
You can give your dog these supplements orally, using things like flavored tablets, pills, powders, or even liquids.
Over-the-counter supplements will be available from pet supply stores or online.
If you want to use a prescription supplement, you may need to contact your vet first to find out how to get it.
These types of supplements often need to be ordered through a vet or with a vet’s permission, so you will have to consider that when choosing your supplement.
Can I Give My Dog Glucosamine?
If your dog is suffering from joint problem symptoms, you can give them joint health supplements to prevent additional issues from forming.
In particular, you should keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Difficulty standing up
- Wavering when walking
- Laying down uncomfortably
- Keeping a paw off the ground
- Hind end not responding easily
- Avoiding jumping or climbing stairs
When you notice these symptoms, you can start to give your dog joint health supplements, and you should also schedule a vet appointment.
Among the most common ingredients in joint supplements for dogs is glucosamine.
As the name suggests, this contains sugar, so keep that in mind if your dog has underlying issues like diabetes.
Vets can give you great guidance about what type of supplement is most beneficial for your dog.
Additionally, they can also take the time to ensure there isn’t anything more serious going on with your dog that needs medical treatment.
These symptoms are not restricted to joint problems, too.
A full examination is important even if you are fairly sure that the joints are the problem.
Can I Give My Dog Glucosamine With Chondroitin?
Many dog owners hear that glucosamine and chondroitin work well together.
Still, they may hesitate to give their dogs more than one supplement.
In reality, there are many joint health supplements on the market that include both of these compounds.
That is because it has been shown that the two are very effective when taken simultaneously.
In combination, they help repair joints and improve the formation of healthy cartilage.
In turn, this reduces the amount of pain caused by joint issues while also slowing the onset of future problems.
Both glucosamine and chondroitin help promote additional fluids, elasticity, and growth factors to the joint areas.
That is why they are so effective when used together for joint health.
At What Age Should Dogs Take Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is just one category of joint health supplements.
The best age for your dog to take it is about the same time as other health supplements.
Generally, you can start giving your dog this type of all-natural preventative treatment around one-year-old and continue doing so long-term.
If you are hesitant and think it’s unnecessary for your dog specifically, consider starting treatment around five years old.
While you can start giving glucosamine at any time, starting treatment earlier will provide a better return on joint health.
In longer breeds, in particular, early treatment is a great idea.
Nearly 80% of dogs have joint problems by the time they are seven years old.
For this reason, early preventative treatment should be seen as incredibly important.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your dog will suffer from pain and inflammation, so work with your vet to determine when to start glucosamine.
What Type of Glucosamine Is Best For Dogs?
Glucosamine is usually given to dogs as part of a joint supplement product.
There are many products containing glucosamine that have benefits for dogs.
When choosing one with glucosamine, make sure it is all-natural and formulated specifically for dogs.
Additionally, it can be helpful if your vet has a recommended brand.
They will be most familiar with that brand, which can help if you have any questions down the line.
As long as the glucosamine is rated to be safe for pets and is natural, however, you can choose from any of the top reviewed options.
Can You Give Cosequin to Puppies?
Can you give Cosequin to puppies, or is this joint health supplements only to be used for adult dogs?
There are a few different types of Cosequin, but some of them are safe to be used on puppies as young as eight weeks old.
Most people wouldn’t start puppies on joint health care that early, but some are at higher risk than others.
Those that own large breed puppies may want to talk to their vet about starting supplements very early.
Puppies can benefit from the support Cosequin provides while they are growing.
Yet, in most cases, it’s OK to wait until they are 12 months old to start treatment.
Joint Supplements: A Lifelong Benefit
For most dogs, starting them on joint supplements as soon as they are fully grown will guarantee the best results.
Joint supplements do not make an immediate change to the body; they take time to take effect.
This means that long-term supplementation is going to be more beneficial than one-time or short-term treatment.
Although side effects of dog joint supplements are possible, they are generally rare.
Remember, joint supplements should be used as part of a preventative care plan.
Don’t just rely on the use of supplements; instead, keep your dog as healthy as possible through a balanced diet and regular exercise.