Are there any vitamins or supplements I can give my dog to help with arthritis?
Yes, some additives like glucosamine/chondroitin can help when arthritis is present. It will not cure the joint, but it may slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Fish oils are anti-inflammatory in nature and may have fewer side effects than medications, but you should always discuss all the options with your vet before starting your dog on any food or diet supplements. (6)
Are some breeds more prone to joint issues and arthritis?
In general, large and heavy breeds are more at risk for joint problems. (4) There are also certain breeds that have a higher risk for joint problems. For example, Rottweilers are prone to hip dysplasia (7), while Bernese mountain dogs are prone to elbow dysplasia. (8) The key is to research your dog’s breed to be informed of any specific predispositions toward joint issues.
What can I do to help prevent joint injuries in my dog?
First and foremost, staying on top of your dog’s weight and fitness is paramount to preventing arthritis. A balanced and nutritional diet and an appropriate amount of activity will help keep their joints in good health throughout their life.
In the case of a breed-related or hereditary predisposition, make sure you take your dog to the vet regularly – at least annually – so their joint health can be monitored. If you are proactive, then you and your vet can catch signs of arthritis early and take measures to prevent their condition from worsening over time. (5)