Joint pain is often caused by bone-on-bone wear and tear to a joint. If the fluid and cushion between joints has worn, and bone is rubbing on bone, this can cause joint pain in your senior pet. Once the cushioning is worn, there is very little that can be done to restore the cushioning. Some pet medications and joint supplements can alleviate the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis in senior dogs, but there is no medication or supplement that can fully restore the cushion. Pain management is typically the course of treatment your vet may prescribe for your senior pet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, supplements are not recommended for your senior pet unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian. If your pet is eating a complete and balanced commercially available pet food, supplementation may not be necessary.
That being said, if your senior pet suffers with joint pain or arthritis, supplements that are prescribed by your vet may be helpful in decreasing your pet’s discomfort and increase their joint mobility.
It is vitally important that you discuss any pain management and treatment with your vet. Supplements are not regulated and may contain ingredients that can potentially be harmful to your pet, especially if they are taken in conjunction with other medications.
Also, supplements do not provide instant results. Oftentimes, supplements can take up to 4-6 weeks before your pet exhibits relief. If your dog is in pain or showing signs of distress, he should be seen by his vet immediately. Your vet may prescribe an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and your vet may also recommend a joint supplement. Keep in mind, NSAID’s that would be prescribed for a dog are NOT the same as an NSAID that would be prescribed for a human, and some of these drugs (including ibuprofen and acetaminophen) can be toxic for pets.
If your vet has authorized the use of joint supplements for your senior pet, there are several that may be helpful to your pet. Some studies suggest that Glucosamine and Chondroitin may help alleviate joint pain symptoms and it is very likely if your vet suggests a supplement, that it may contain one or both of these ingredients, depending on your pet’s unique situation.
Joint supplements typically come in a pill or chewable tablet form. Below are a few supplements that are highly rated. Before purchasing any pet supplements, please discuss them with your vet.