What Are Chondroprotective Supplements for Dogs?

05 September, 2020
Chondroprotective supplements help our pets avoid or alleviate joint problems. They're basically food supplements and are extracted from skin or cartilaginous areas of other animals' bodies.

Chondroprotective supplements or products for dogs are used as food supplements that help maintain our pets’ joints in good conditions or for alleviating any joint injuries.

We can also administer them when the joint injury has already occurred, while in other cases we may use them to prevent them or at least so they take longer to occur.

Some dog breeds show a genetic predisposition to present these types of problems. In addition, these usually occur in large dogs and those who are overweight, as they are prone to suffering cartilage and joint problems.

Chondroprotective supplements will always be of great help to our pets, contributing to their well-being, and helping maintain healthier joints.

Some joint injuries that we can treat with chondroprotective supplements

We should note that factors like our pet’s age, daily physical activity, weight, and diet play an important role in the development of injuries. Here are some of the most common pathologies:

Arthrosis

Also called ‘Osteoarthritis’, this is a degenerative and progressive joint disease common in older dogs. It occurs due to wear and tear of the cartilage at the joints, and sometimes due to abnormal bone growth that can form around it.

Symptoms to identify that our furry friend has osteoarthritis include: limping, difficulty getting up, refusing to take walks, or stiffness when waking up.

Arthritis

This condition is similar to osteoarthritis, as it causes the wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the joints and a consequent degraded bone. The main difference with osteoarthritis is that arthritis can occur not from degenerative problems but from infections, trauma, or an autoimmune disease.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that affects hip mobility, as the name suggests. However, it doesn’t develop until the dog is around 5 to 6 months old. In addition, it’s normal to discover it when the dog is already an adult unless tests were performed to obtain an early diagnosis.

Hip dysplasia is such a painful condition for the dog that it can sometimes render its hind limbs useless.

Trauma

Trauma can be caused by a blow or a bad fall, and the clinical diagnosis will vary depending on its intensity.

If this situation affects the joints, then we’re facing what we call joint trauma, which has caused damage to the cartilage and/or bone to different degrees. Those degrees can vary from mild trauma to more complex injuries that require more time to heal or that last for the rest of the dog’s life.

In these last two cases, chondroprotective supplements can greatly help us alleviate our friend’s painful situation. They can also help improve their well-being.

A sick dog laying down.

Main types of chondroprotective supplements

These dog supplements are usually composed of glucosamine and chondroitin. These are the main components the body uses to create collagen.

Generally, these compounds are generated autonomously by the dog’s cellular mechanism. However, when we find ourselves dealing with a joint problem or our dog is getting older, it’ll no longer produce these substances. At least not in the same quantity as it once did.

In these situations, including chondroprotective supplements in our dog’s diet certainly becomes crucial for its health.

These supplements are usually obtained from animal parts such as ears, legs, pork face, lamb, pork or cow tracheas, chicken skin, and mussels, clams, and octopuses.

Below we discuss which elements can contribute to the animal’s health, making them useful in alleviating the pathologies described above:

  • Chondroitin Sulfate

This is one of the structural components that connective tissues have, such as cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and skin. It improves joint function, and also reduces inflammation and pain, while moisturizing cartilage.

  • Glucosamine

Glucosamine is the main component present in cartilage and is the molecule in charge of producing glycosaminoglycan. These molecules are responsible for the formation and repairing of cartilage.

It improves joint mobility, relieves joint pain, and delays cartilage deterioration. In addition, chondroitin sulfate along with Glucosamine may reverse cartilage loss.

  • Hyaluronic acid

This kind of acid is naturally present in the body (mostly on the skin, vitreous body, and joints). It’s mainly concentrated in the synovial fluid and cartilage.

Moreover, it decreases joint pain and inflammation, and it could also be able to recover synovial fluid. This kind of body fluid is crucial for proper joint motion.

A dog munching a bone.

How to use chondroprotective supplements

In these cases, we always recommend the same principle. It will always be your veterinarian who determines what kind of ailment your dog is suffering from. Always consult your vet and he or she will prescribe what kind of chondroprotective to give them. In addition, it’s important to know how much, and how often, the dog should eat them.

We can usually find these supplements in the form of tablets or granules. The idea is to have a simple and easy way for our pets to eat them. It’s also necessary to note that they should always be taken as a dietary supplement. Make sure you use them to replace a single treatment for solving joint problems. 

Even if we could easily obtain the properties needed from the animal parts indicated above, it wouldn’t be enough. These supplements must be taken at a certain concentration so that their effects are more efficient. In this way, we can ensure that our pet’s condition will definitely improve.

Sulfato de Condroitina, MedlinePlus. Recogido a 30 de Abril en https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/druginfo/natural/744.html

Ácido Hialurónico, NCBI. Recogido a 30 de Abril en https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6531630/