Dog arthritis is very common in older dogs. With more than 5 million dogs affected in the U.S.A. alone, there are plenty of companies looking to grab a share of the money that’s spent every year on dog arthritis treatments.
One industry that’s really trying to grab some market share is pet food manufacturers. In order to attract dog arthritis business, some pet food companies are selling products that contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and Omega 3 fatty acids. But are the supplements present in sufficient quantity to help relieve the pain and swelling of dog arthritis? Let’s find out.
Although glucosamine has been successfully used to treat dog arthritis, there are three KEY questions you must ask yourself when it comes to buying supplemented dog food.
- Does the quantity of food your dog eats each day supply a beneficial dosage of glucosamine?
- Is the glucosamine provided the correct type for your dog?
- Are the other fortification supplements present beneficial and provided in the correct dosages?
In most cases, the answer you will find to each of those questions is “NO.” But before you walk away without buying dog food fortified with glucosamine to help treat dog arthritis, consider this:
Glucosamine-Supplemented Dog Food is Great for Weight Control
Most dog foods containing glucosamine are generally low in calories. And since keeping your dog’s weight under control is such a big part of dog arthritis treatment, it may very well be a good idea to feed your dogs these glucosamine-supplemented products for weight control reason alone.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Provide the Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Joint foods are generally super high in omega 3 fatty acids, this provides an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect – this is how most arthritis diets work. The omega-3 fatty acids are also very good for skin problems (for the same reasons) and will often be used for both.
It is often more economical to use products such as Hills JD or Royal Canin Joint & Coat Care if you want the omega 3s than to buy them separately.
The Dose of Glucosamine and Chondroitin is NOT Enough
You actually can’t blame the food companies for this – they are restricted by food regulations that prevent medication of food. They would love to put more glucosamine and chondroitin in their foods but if they go above a certain amount, the food is considered medicated – a big no no. Different states have different regulations but last time I checked Texas was the most strict, so food such as Hills JD will have as much of these ingredients as the Texans will allow.
So Should I Use These Foods?
Yes! I think they are worthwhile for the caloric restriction and the Omega 3 fatty acids. So while your dog will still need you to provide him with additional dosages of glucosamine beyond what’s found in the dog food, you can still be doing your dog a great favor by feeding him these low calorie alternatives. But don’t just choose any brand – stick with the good quality brands and watch for the results.
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