An Introduction to Pet Joint Health

Pet joint health support is one of the best ways you can ensure that your dog enjoys a high quality of life even into old age. While joint and cartilage degeneration may be inevitable and progressive, that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to prevent and even reverse the symptoms of such conditions as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Here's some more information about your pet's joint health.

Symptoms of Joint Problems

The best way to support pet joint health is to be aware of the symptoms of joint problems. Conditions such as osteoarthritis, arthritis and hip dysplasia can cause the following symptoms:

  • Lameness
  • Swelling around a joint
  • Heat around a joint
  • Soreness in the joints
  • Inflammation of the skin around a joint
  • Limping
  • Stiffness

If your dog becomes less active with age, it may be a sign of worsening arthritis symptoms. He may exhibit stiffness with movements; he have difficulty standing, sitting, jumping and squatting; he may seek out cool places to rest, for the relief that this affords his sore joints.

Causes of Pet Joint Problems

Joint problems in dogs have a number of causes. Some conditions, such as hip dysplasia, are genetic, and symptoms may appear even in puppies as young as five months of age. Others, such as arthritis, occur with old age, as a part of the aging process.

Arthritis occurs because, as your dog ages, his body becomes less able to produce glucosamine, a natural lubricant for the joints. This causes cartilage to wear away until eventually the bones rub together painfully.

Pet Health Joint Support

Caring for you pet properly throughout his life can be of vital importance to joint health. When purchasing a puppy, ask your breeder for proof that his parents and grandparents were free of genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia. This particular disease can cripple your dog, and since it's the result of a genetic deformity of the hip joint, there isn't much you can do about it. Surgery can be useful, but is usually only performed on severely crippled dogs.

Maintain your dog's weight at a healthy level throughout his life to help prevent the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts unnecessary strain on your dog's joints, which can lead to advanced progression of arthritis. If your overweight dog begins to show arthritis symptoms, encourage him to lose weight through low-impact exercises such as swimming.

You can prevent arthritis and help support pet joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. These supplements contain the same nutrients produced within the bodies of healthy adult animals as a lubricant for the joints. When your dog ages and his body produces less of these nutrients, add glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to his diet to help replace them.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are safe. They have few side effects, and those side effects they do have are not serious. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can not only relieve the symptoms of arthritis, they can actually reverse the disease, allowing your dog to enjoy a full range of pain-free mobility in his final years of life.