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Joint Health

The typical behaviors of most pets include running, jumping off of furniture, and chasing their own tails. Your dog’s joints may become seriously strained from all the running, leaping, and jumping. For your dog to be able to run, jump, and play pain-free throughout the entire year, we asked the experts for the best ways to maintain their joints in top condition.

Common types of joint pain

Osteoarthritis, also referred to as a degenerative joint condition, can result in joint pain. Hip or elbow dysplasia is another cause of joint pain in your dog. This indicates that the enarthrodial joints at the elbow and hip are out of alignment.

How can I tell if my dog has joint pain?

Your dog can’t really tell you where it aches or even if it doesn’t hurt at all, so you’ll have to do some detective work. The following are typical signs of joint pain:

  • Difficulty standing
  • Refraining from running, jumping, or playing
  • Difficulty making its toilet
  • Irritability when touched
  • Changes in behavior
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Lack of energy, fatigue
  • Gaining weight

You may want to take your dog to the vet for a checkup if you observe any of these warning signs and he or she doesn’t start to feel better after a few days.

The first step in providing relief for your dog’s discomfort is scheduling an appointment with your vet.

Your dog’s range of motion will be evaluated by the vet, and they’ll also conduct an X-ray to check for any joint damage.  Your vet will create the most effective treatment plan for your pet based on the results of these evaluations, their age, and their medical background.

While your vet will want to make sure your pet’s pain is under control, he or she may prescribe some supplements for your pup. These will help reduce inflammation and slow the progression of any joint damage. Supplements are not a magic cure for joint problems, but they can be very helpful in keeping your pup moving for longer without pain.

Some of the most common supplements for joint pain include:


This supplement might sound familiar to you if you are a runner or suffer from joint pain because it is used frequently by people. By accelerating the healing of damaged cartilage, especially articular cartilage, or the moist, spongy substance that serves as a cushion between joints, glucosamine supplements are said to alleviate the signs of joint damage.


Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage. By encouraging water retention and flexibility in the cartilage, it serves to ensure appropriate shock absorption and adequate nutrition of the tissues surrounding the joint. Chondroitin, like glucosamine, which is frequently combined in supplements, has the ability to reduce the production of harmful inflammatory mediators in joints.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids top the list of the healthiest nutritional supplements for dogs. In addition to helping keep your pup’s joints healthy, they’re also important for eye health, skin health, and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation and help joints feel their best. At Happy Tail, we add Omega-3s to our delicious Fish Meal recipe, so in most cases, you may not need to supplement with additional sources. If your puppy is getting Omega-3 from his diet, you can check with your vet before adding any more supplements to make sure you’re not giving him too much.

As for treating human pain, there are alternative treatments for joint pain. These include hydrotherapy, massages, and acupuncture.

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