Spinoff arthritis -best canine supplement for performance dogs?
I was reading that thread and it is timely as I need to make a decision. I have two small dogs (16 pounds) both very active and I do agility, earth dog, obedience, they run around the farm, etc. What supplement is best for dogs? After 30 years in event horses, I like to be proactive rather than waiting. I was using phyto-flex from Natures Farmacy but before re-ordering, wanted to get some opinions. My horses were always on Cosequin, Adequan, MSM, etc. But wondering what seems to work for our agility dogs to keep them sound over time?
I don't know how you'll figure out what is "Best" since no one has directly compared supplements. Just looking at labels, something like Hylasport Canine, with its cocktail of supplements, or one of Smartpaks canine joint supplements, with similar ingredients, would be likely to work fine.
What I see a lot of in agility is the dogs aren't properly physically conditioned for the sport, and that probably has more of an adverse impact on their joint health and longevity than any supplement.
You see overweight dogs all the time- in fact, last trial I was at, I was kind of shocked to notice that of all the dogs present I think only a handful of them appeared to actually be at a proper weight. Most are what I call "show ring fat", which is not grossly obese, but there's definitely excess weight. And you rarely see dogs that look like you'd expect a sprinting type athlete to look, hard, lean, and tough as nails. If you do some casual asking around about what kinds of exercise people put their dogs through to prep for agility you often get "Well we walk on leash" or "he plays in the backyard" or "we go to class once a week" rather than the expected answer of endurance running, sprint sets, hill work, swimming, muscle-building exercises, etc.
Wendy, many of the dogs I trial with are in good working condition (think Rolex event horse). I'm really fortunate with my young dog as he is basically built to run and jump and is very fit. I also have the exercise peanuts and pods and work a lot on core strength. That and being able to go on long runs with me on rolling hills, streams, woods,etc. where they are running and tumbling and leaping around is one of the things I feel very fortunate to have. But maybe I'll just skip the supplements for now and wait for when they are older.
FWIW, I put my older dog on SmartPak's Canine SmartJoint Ultra and it's done wonders for her. She did a partial tear of her CCL and wasn't the best surgical candidate so she needed some supportive care. She's been on it for 4 months now and is moving great. For dogs under 25 pounds, it's $10.50 a month, so really cost effective.
I've been using the Canine Hylasport from Horsetech for about 6 months now on my 3yo lab. We do competitive dock diving, and I was looking for something to maintain his joint health as he ages. More than a few people recommended the Hylasport, and it is very economical. I purchase it directly from Horsetech, and they were gracious enough to send a free sample (almost a month's supply) to try first! I highly recommend both the company, and their product!
I put my older large dog on Smartpak's SmartCanine Senior and within 3 weeks
she was running and playing like she hadn't in a long time. I had noticed some wonkiness going up and down stairs and she wasn't as active anymore. It has lots of goodies in it: Glucosamine, Chrondroitin, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid and many other great ingredients. I highly recommend this.
I started Old Man Joey on Smartpak's Grand Mobility. Both dogs get fish oil. I did side-by-side comparison's of the various canine supplements Smartpak carries.
FWIW, I recommended it for my mom's elderly Lab who had difficulty rising, walking, stairs, etc and it did absolutely nothing.
The specialty practice I worked in recommended Synovi G3 for the TPLOs, hip replacements, etc. That stuff is seriously smelly and lingers on your fingers so I am using the Grand Mobility. Once it runs out, I'll probably go to Synovi since Joey experienced ataxia a few weeks ago. Prior to that, fish oil and supplements were purely preventative/mainly my peace of mind.
I noticed last week on vacation that my agility Pap is fat! We have a trial this weekend . Kibble and treats are cut back and walks and balance disc increased for the week.
As a horse person, you probably practice balancing movements on both sides and warm up and cool down. So many competitors don't! They are more worried about their dog being amped mentally than ready physically- they pull them out of the crate cold. Tug tug tug than into the ring. Jump, jump, jump than into the ring. No walking or trotting. Some people stretch but again they are stretching their dogs cold: a big no-no!
I was told by an equine and canine masseuse and sled dog competitor the best warm up is walking. NOT trotting. My dog is a mere 11" tall so forcing him walk is a real challenge...I basically have to stand still and pull backwards for each step. Must practice this. She also said to stretch and massage after exercise or at the end of the day, not before.
Another discovery this past week is the Pap is pacing instead of trotting. Oh no! I took off the harness thinking the front strap across the chest was blocking his forearm and encouraging a pace. On collar or off leash, he's still pacing. I am very worried this means something is wrong. I'll try to get him an appt with that masseuse to see if she can identify any problem areas.
I like Cosequin/Dasuquin. The clinic I work at recommends Phycox, and we do see good results for some patients. I am skeptical of oral joint supplements... IMO Adequan injections are the most effective.