Joint care for dogs isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some simple steps you can take from day one to encourage a healthy lifestyle that prevents joint problems from developing later on. Here are some of the most important …
Fuel your puppy’s growth
Over the course of a year, the average Golden Retriever puppy grows the equivalent of an 18-year-old. In other words, puppies grow really fast!
Just like humans, rapid growth can take a toll on joint development, so it’s important to give your puppy the nutrients they need to grow safely.
(While any dog can have joint problems, if your puppy is a large breed dog like a retriever or a shepherd, you will want to be more aware, as these breeds are genetically predisposed to joint conditions.)
Nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin are natural building blocks of cartilage, while nutrients like calcium and phosphorus support healthy bone development. You’ll find these essential nutrients (and more) in all Pic ZIWI whole prey recipes, designed for dogs of all breeds and ages, including puppies of large breeds.
Training is also a big part of your puppy’s life, and while it can be tempting to give him lots of treats (especially when he’s having a hard time figuring out a new command), too many bad guys can lead to excessive weight gain. and other health problems.
Health and fitness for adult dogs
Weight control is an important part of the overall health and well-being of your dog. Being overweight puts pressure on your dog’s joints, which increases his risk for arthritis, hip dysplasia, and many other health problems.
On the other hand, keeping your dog at a healthy weight has been shown to reduce the process of degenerative joint disease by relieving stress on the joint. Even a small amount of weight loss lowers your dog’s risk of developing arthritis, so if he needs to shed a few pounds, it’s worth helping him do so.
Switch to the right amounts of the right food (what our power supply calculator can help) is a great place to start, but exercise is also important.
Running, walking, and playing aren’t just fun ways for you and your dog to stay fit, regular exercise tones and supports the muscles around your dog’s joints, keeping them strong and agile. In addition, it’s good for their mental health!
Because dogs tend to ignore discomfort (making it difficult to spot warning signs), we recommend regular visits to your veterinarian to make sure your adult dog’s joints are healthy and consult your vet immediately if you think he is in pain.
The good news is that good nutrition, combined with low impact exercise, can help your dog move comfortably.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two most common nutraceuticals (health-promoting foods) used to relieve pain associated with arthritis. These nutrients are abundant in New Zealand green mussels (a key ingredient in all of our wet and dry food) and have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA) are also present in these molds and are widely recognized to provide benefits against a range of canine ailments and disorders.
There are many supplements out there and your vet will tell you when or if your dog needs extra support. But, as a general rule, a preventative approach to joint care is preferable! To remember:
• Feed your dog a high quality diet with natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3, calcium and phosphorus.
• Train, motivate and reward with high value natural treats rich in meat and other superfoods.
• Watch their weight—a healthy dog is a happy dog!
A balanced lifestyle with good nutrition, proper exercise, and a lot of love will save you time, money and stress on the track.