Although dog arthritis supplements can improve your dog’s mobility, they can cause diarrhea and/or vomiting, or a sudden onset of scratching. These side effects are often a result of an allergy, which means that something in the supplement may be setting the allergic reaction off.
Allergic reactions only happen when dogs are repeatedly exposed to an allergen (or antigen). And in dog supplements, these are usually the natural ingredients, such as:
- Animal protein from beef, chicken, or pork. In oral preparations, liver is often used to make tablets more palatable to dogs.
- Natural flavorings
What dog owners should realize is that their pets must be exposed to these ingredients before their immune system can develop an allergic reaction. Your dog can’t be allergic to something it has never had before!
So if your dog has suddenly started itching on your new dog arthritis supplement or has developed vomiting and diarrhea, you need to find dog joint supplements with components that your dog has never been exposed to.
Now, this may sound simple. However it can be a tricky process of trial and error. Here is a method you can use:
- Start by feeding your pet with food that does not seem to cause any allergic reactions. For most people, this will be their normal dog food.
- Administer Adequan or Cartrophen for 4 weeks. Normally, these medications do not cause any stomach problems or skin allergies. See my article on these drugs.
- You can then administer a dog arthritis supplement. Below are supplements you might want to try. Remember this is trial and error but start as follows:
- Dasuquin. The supplement is the gold standard so I am always going to suggest you try it first; however, it contains shellfish and beef so some dogs will be allergic to it.
- Synovi G3 low allergen granules. This is made from a “novel marine protein”. Unfortunately, the product is hard to find.
- Deva Vegan Glucosamine with MSM and CMO. This has components come from vegetable sources so is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than animal protein sources.
- Omega-3 Supplements. The best kinds are the ones made from fish oil such as Welactin – they are generally safe for dogs. These supplements can also be taken in conjunction with glucosamine products. Flax seed can also be a good source vegetable Omega-3 but read my article on flax seed before you start.
- Administer the dog arthritis supplements for 2 weeks making sure no other part of the diet is changed. If your dog starts to scratch or gets diarrhea, then your dog may be allergic to the supplement. Discontinue administering the supplement, return to the normal diet, and wait for the symptoms to go away. After this, you can start the process again with a new supplement until you find one that is well tolerated.
As a vet and dog owner, I know that the process can be long and tedious. Nonetheless, the relief dog owners will feel after finding a dog joint supplement that does not cause any allergic reactions in their dogs makes it all worthwhile.
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