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Do Joint Supplements Work?

Posted on June 19, 2015

As we head into cooler weather, where most of us will enjoy all winter has to offer, but there are many pets out there that this brings pain – pain in the form of inflammation or discomfort through arthritis and other degenerative disorders.  Many will reach for one of the many treatments now available to help relieve the pain and inflammation to help their pets make it through winter comfortably.

As the owner of an arthritic 10yr old (beautiful!) German shepherd, the question for me is – do joint supplements work?

We have been giving joint supplements daily to her for the past 5 years - have they made a difference?  I guess that question can’t be answered with 100% certainty and that is where the uncertainty kicks in. 

For many years Vets have been recommending using supplements to help rebuild cartilage in the joints, supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin.  Why?  Whilst there is no clinical evidence that joint supplements work, there is also no evidence to suggest that they don’t work, and there are rarely any negative side effects.

Joint supplements do seem to work and many pet owners and vets do report seeing improvements in their pet’s movements after starting supplements.  Both Glucosamine and chondroitin do help rebuild cartilage in the joints, and these are the 2 most popular joint supplements.  Their use is very safe to use for your pet.

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So is it worth it?

Has it been worth it for us?  I believe that our aging Shepherd has definitely benefited from the use of supplements.  From a diagnosis of hip dysplasia and having the early signs of arthritis from the age of 2, she has lived a very healthy and active life, and will hopefully live many more (slightly less active) years.  We will definitely continue using supplements and have been very happy that we started early – she is definitely the little heartbeat in our family and only want the best for her.