We have a Lab who will be 6 in January (ish?- she's a shelter dog). She's a healthy weight and active (walks once a day, the occasional swim or romp at the barn) but I worry about hip displaysia and joint issues since she's a large breed. When should we think about adding a joint supplement for her daily, and do you all have any recommendations? She's not showing any signs of discomfort now but of course I would like to prevent anything we can!
Me: In a long-winded explanation of who GM is and why he is Important to the Sport
Mr EmJ: So what you're saying is GM is so Important he could get Chik-Fil-A on Sunday?
My big lab is almost 8, runs every day at least two hours in the countryside and goes into any open water he can find, no matter what the temperature is! I started him on supplements last winter when I realized he looked stiff getting up. I have kept him on it all year. He looks good now.
Right now, he is on a supplement given to my daughter by a friend whose dog did not like it. I don't know that it is the best, but since she had three big jars... It has all the ingredients glucosamine, etc.
My guy weighs 95 lbs of muscle, no fat.
If you're going to put your pup on a joint supp, I'd stick with Cosequin or their avocado version, Dasequin. Except for in the case of allergy or something, you're not going to hurt anything (except maybe your pocket book) by giving the supplement. Just keep in mind that a supp isn't going to help with a dysplasia situation. It may help with inflammation and joint lubrication.
By the time you really start noticing stiffness in joints, I'm not terribly convinced that a supplement is going to do the trick as far as keeping the pet comfortable and reducing inflammation like an NSAID would.
My lab acts very similar to FI's lab. He's 9 1/2. I do not have him on joint supps though I would not be averse to it. But I think the best things we can do to prevent dysplasia and joint problems is to keep them at a good weight and keep them exercising.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
agree best thing is keep the dog thin and active- build muscle.
You should be feeding the dog fish body oil- all dogs who eat commercial diets should be supplemented with fish body oil from early puppyhood onward. The essential omega-3 fatty acids are lacking in dry kibble (even if they say they put it in there because they are unstable to light, heat and oxygen, and by the time your dog eats the kibble they are probably not there in any usable amount), and omega-3's are very important for puppy brain development, for immune system function, and for reducing inflammation. Inflammation is a key component of arthritis.
You can buy cheap fish oil intended for people, or buy pump bottles of salmon oil or sardine oil sold for dog use. Either works.
For joint supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin may be preventative- their mechanism of action suggests they should be. I put all of my dogs on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement from age 6 months onward, just in case it helps/ there are no side effects, so why not? There are many many brands of basic glucosamine/chondroitin on the market, pick one. Often the ones marketed to horses are the most cost-effective. You'll have to adjust the dose for your dog's size.
Unless the dog is actually symptomatic with arthritis, most of the other oral supplements- MSM, cetyl-M, durlactin, etc.- aren't going to do anything much so save your money.
Wow, smart to think ahead! I started my dog on Dasuquin and fish oil capsules around age 10. She first showed signs of arthritis about 2 years later. Those two years happened to be a time when we were going on long, easy hikes almost every day. The arthritis really showed up after I'd gone back to work and her exercise was cut significantly. So I think steady, low-impact exercise really helps to stave off joint issues. I have no idea if the supplements work, but since they might help, and they don't hurt, I continue with them.
I've had my 13 year old lab onq cosequin & fish oil since I adopted him at age 2. He's still able to do a comfortable 2 mile jog and sprint around the yard like a crazy man so it's well worth it. Also, you can use the horse formulation for dogs and make it much more affordable!