Joint Support – Demystifying Joint Support Supplements
by Dr. Christine Bessent, DVM
06:16 PM, Sunday, March 11
Providing good quality joint support supplements is one of the most common and important aspects of maintaining joint health, especially in colder weather and as the pet ages. With so many products available how does one choose the right product for your pet’s specific needs? Here are a few key ingredients that are important to look for when shopping for the perfect joint supplement.

Glucosamine is perhaps the most widely known and one of the most important ingredients for joint health. Glucosamine is a fairly small particle and is absorbed well by the body and is used to make thick and viscous joint fluid. This viscous joint fluid cushions the two bone endings and allows them to glide smoothly over each other. The recommended amount of Glucosamine for a 50 pound dog is 1000 milligrams per day. If there is less than this it is simply not enough.

Chondroitin is another common ingredient found in joint supplements. This molecule is an important component of cartilage. It is a larger molecule than Glucosamine and thus is not as readily absorbed into the body.

MSM is an ingredient that is widely known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is important as inflammation causes the release of hydrolyzing enzymes. These enzymes cause the break down of the joint fluid that cushions the joint.

Hylauronic Acid is another component found in many joint supplements that chemically is the same as joint fluid. Wouldn’t this be the ideal product to give to your pet you might ask? The downside of Hylauronic Acid is that it is a very large molecule and unlike Glucosamine it is not absorbed well into the body.

Herbs are also a great choice for joint support. A few herbs to look for are boswelia, an herb that also helps to stop the breakdown of joint fluid, yucca, curcumin, and corydalis. Cinnamon is also a great choice because it has a slight warming quality for pets that have joint issues that tend to get worse in cold weather.

One other suggestion is to add Omega 3 fatty acids to the pet’s diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory by nature and help to provide great joint support as well.

As always, it is generally a good idea to be preventative when it comes to joint care. It is a great idea to support your pet throughout their life rather than wait until problems occur.

Christine Bessent, DVM is the owner and founder of Herbsmith Inc. She created Herbsmith Inc. as a way to provide impeccable quality herbal supplements for pets. Dr. Bessent has been a practicing Veterinarian for nearly 25 years in Southeast Wisconsin, most of which as a Holistic Veterinarian.


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