Shark Cartilage for Dogs

Shark cartilage is used as a supplement in the treatment of canine arthritis and joint injury, as its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation and joint swelling. It also stimulates the dog's immune system. Shark cartilage supplements are available in powder and capsule forms that can be administered as prescribed by the vet. It's also believed that shark cartilage can be used in the treatment of a variety of cancers, in both humans and canines.

Shark Cartilage

Cartilage tissue from the skeleton of a shark that has been dried and powdered is known as shark cartilage. The shark cartilage should be manufactured in such as way that the proteins are not destroyed by the heat required to clean, dry, sterilize and pulverize it. Shark cartilage contains chemicals that inhibit the formation of blood vessels and is therefore beneficial to arthritic dogs. The inhibition of the formation of blood vessels prevents essential nutrients from reaching tumors and stops the growth of tumors in early stages of canine cancer.

According to research, 80 percent of arthritic dogs treated with shark cartilage showed an improvement in their condition. Mucopolysaccharides are available in large amounts in the cartilage and act as pain relievers and also nourish and heal joint cartilage. Dogs had to be given 750 mg of shark cartilage for every 5 kg of body weight for three weeks before an improvement was observed. Shark cartilage has a strong smell and a fishy taste that dogs love. Small dogs may require one to two capsules of shark cartilage daily, whereas larger dogs need up to 10 capsules daily. However, the dosage should be administered only after vet consultation.

Nutrients Found in Shark Cartilage Include:

  • Mucopolysaccharides
  • Amino acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Proteins

How to Administer Shark Cartilage to your Pet

You can mix powdered shark cartilage into moist food. Since the supplement should be given before meals, give the required amount in a teaspoonful of moist food prior to feeding your dog his entire meal. This can be given three times daily or according to vet instructions. Alternatively, you can mix the powder with a glass of water and let your pet lap it up. Shark cartilage is also available in capsule form. This is more expensive than the powdered form but is easier to administer. You can incorporate the capsule into a spoonful of butter or cheese and feed it to your pet.

Disadvantages of Using Shark Cartilage

Shark cartilage is very expensive to procure and involves the killing of sharks. This is a concern for environmentalists. Apart from this, large dosages of shark cartilage are required to be administered in order to prove effective and since there are other effective supplements available at affordable prices, veterinarians generally don't prescribe shark cartilage for treating canine arthritis and joint injuries. Shark cartilage supplements are also known to cause a few side effects like nausea, fatigue, low blood pressure and constipation.

There are several natural substances apart from shark cartilage that can prove beneficial in the fight against cancer. These supplements also provide pain relief to arthritic dogs. Since most of these supplements are more affordable than shark cartilage, you should weigh the pros and cons before you supplement your pet's diet with them.