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"Supplements for Dogs: What You Need to Know"

What you need to know when buying supplements for your horse or dog.
Always check with your vet the specific needs of your animal*

Joint supplements are often recommended for older animals, particularly with arthritis or with a high chance of developing arthritis. They usually contain natural anti inflammatory to help stiff joints, and have active ingredients to keep joint fluid healthy and feed cartilage.

Common uses

Animals with arthritis - this helps slow the progression and reduce joint pain. They are generally safe to use alongside medications (but do always check any interactions)
Older animals - this helps with general wear and tear of the joints
Joint injuries - A joint issue can increase the risk of arthritis and therefore supplements may reduce the risk of arthritis
Working animals - animals in heavy work they are at higher risk of developing arthritis due to the high levels of exercise.

Generally there are no side effects with joint supplements but do always check ingredients if your animal has any allergies.

Joint supplements often have lots of different ingredients, the most common are listed below:
  • Glucosamine

  • Chondroitin

  • Beta Glucans

  • Green Lipped Mussel

  • Omega 3

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin E

  • Hyaluronic acid

  • Manganese

  • Turmeric.

Things to remember

Do remember that not all brands are created the same and there are many supplements out there that are heavily processed with lots of filler ingredients. This may make it difficult for your animal to absorb.
Also check the active ingredients, there are usually many choices to supplements with different active ingredients. A reputable brand will discuss the benefits of these active ingredients so you can make an informed choice of the best supplement for your animal.

Before giving your animal a joint supplement you will need to evaluate these things.
Using a joint supplement to attempt to cover an unhealthy lifestyle and mask problems is not a solution.
Assess your animals needs first:

1) Body condition (weight of your dog) - if your animal is overweight this can add extra pressure on the joints and increase pain, If you can bring your animals weight down this will have a positive effect on joint health. Research from the Canine Arthritis management group found that 63% of dogs are overweight and 90% of owners couldn't recognise their dog was overweight. (Marshall, et al, 2010) found that weight reduction has a significant impact on lameness in dogs with OA and weight loss should be a essential treatment modality in dogs with arthritis.
If you need help with your dogs weight follow this link

2) Quality of diet - does your animals diet offer a full range of nutritional needs, is the condition of your animal good? Check fur/hair quality, eyes, gums

3) Fitness level - is your animal fit enough for the work load you give them. Do you never walk your dog for a week and then expect them to do a 5 hour hike?

4) Joint health - assess your animal regularly, do they limp, creak and crack when they move, have they started to have any behavioural changes, these are possible indicators there may be a joint issue.

Supplements Vs Physiotherapy

Joint supplements do not replace the needs for veterinary or physiotherapy care. Joints supplements are here to help promote good joint health internally, whereas physiotherapy deals with the external compensation and pain that may be associated with these issues.


I am a proud stockist of Riaflex joint supplements for both my equine and canine clients.
Riaflex offers a high strength, with high levels of active ingredients supplement that is not processed and full of fillers. These are a brand I recommend to my clients, however there are alternative supplement brands out there so make sure you do your research!
I stock canine products in clinic and can order in equine products and anything I don't currently stock.
Drop me a message to order now!

Do you give your animal supplements?

  • Yes

  • No

  • No but I am looking for one

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