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Learning the foreign language of joint supplements
If you have an older dog or a working breed that is prone to arthritis, you might hear your veterinarian or dog trainer throwing around words like "chondoprotectives," "chondroitin," "glucosamine" and other similar buzzwords. These may seem like a foreign language to you now, but if your dog is suffering from arthritis (or is bound to in the future), you will probably find it helpful to become fluent.
What are chondoprotectives?
Chondoprotective supplements are designed to protect cartilage and keep it healthy. They contain a number of natural properties that work to increase moisture in cartilage so the bones have plenty of cushioning between them. Chondoprotectives also encourage the production of healthy joint fluid to lubricate the joint and stimulate cartilage production.
What are typically in chondoprotectives?
The most common ingredients in chondoprotectives are chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs. These are both naturally occurring in cartilage, so feeding your dog pet products like Dasuquin or Cosequin essentially work like any other supplement – they give the dog an added boost of these substances to support joint health. Glucosamine has an anti-inflammatory effect, and when chondroitin and glucosamine are together in a supplement, they have an even more beneficial effect.
What other ingredients are in chondoprotectives?
Glucosamine and chondroitin are not the only ingredients in joint supplements. Some contain MSM (methylsulphynolmethane), a natural sulphur compound that is also believed to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and inflammation. This ingredient is particularly good for dogs recovering from surgery, because it acts like an herbal aspirin to control pain. Plus, unlike many pain-relieving pet drugs like aspirin, MSM doesn't have negative side effects. MSM Green-lipped mussel is a common ingredient in joint supplements as well, because it is a good source of protein, minerals and chondroitin sulfates.
Where can I find chondoprotectives?
Like other vitamins and supplements, chondoprotectives can be found in pill form. Usually, you can wrap the pills in a piece of cheese or a spoonful of peanut butter, but some dogs may prefer to have them in Greenies Pill Pockets. Dasuquin with MSM for Dogs is a good option, as is Cosequin for Dogs.
Chondoprotectives can also be found in pet food. Many high-quality pet foods like Now Fresh Grain Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food have glucosamine and chondroitin in them, supporting joints in every meal.