The Ultimate Guide to Support your Dog's and Cat's Joint Health
The ultimate guide on how to support joint health & prevent joint issues in your dog & cat before it’s too late
Do you have a dog breed that is prone to joint issues, such as German Shepherds, French Bulldogs, or Labradors? Or maybe you’ve got a middle-aged dog or cat at home and are wondering how to support their joint health naturally to help reduce stiff joints, and arthritis-related vet bills in the future?
For those of you who got a new puppy at home, you’re probably here because you want to support the healthy growth of bones and joints.
I’m here to tell you that you’ve got lots of very effective and 100% natural options to choose from when it comes to supporting joint health proactively and preventing joint issues such as arthritis, limping, stiff joints, ACL issues, Hip dysplasia, and more.
In this blog post, I’m going to be giving you a detailed overview on the best joint care supplements, healthy foods, and lifestyle changes to support healthy joints. At the end of this, you’ll feel empowered to choose the options that are best for your individual pet.
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Table of contents
1.1. Weight Loss For Dogs & Cats
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In 2018, 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs were classified as overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). (1)
Numerous studies have shown that obesity can have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of dogs and cats. Obesity is associated with a shorter life span, and a higher risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and more. (2)
Keeping your pet at optimum weight is incredibly important when you want to support joint health and prevent joint issues. But what is an optimum weight for a dog or a cat?
At optimum weight, you should be able to easily feel your dog's & cat’s ribs without pinching them hard. With short hair dogs, you should be able to see the last 2 ribs when they play. I invite you to take a close and honest look at your pet. Is your pet overweight?
WEIGHT LOSS FOR DOGS & CATS
So how do you reduce your dog's & cat’s weight?
You can reduce your pet’s weight by simply reducing the food intake which reduces the caloric intake of your pet. Research has shown that dogs have lived healthier and longer lives by simply reducing the food intake by 25% of what was recommended on the pet food label. (3)
Many pet parents (including myself) have also witnessed a weight loss after switching to a species appropriate raw diet. This makes sense because raw diets are very low in carbohydrates (sugar) compared to dry food. It is important to note that a study by the university of Helsinki has shown that adding as little as 20% raw food to the diet has dramatically decreased the risk of allergies and disease in dogs. (4)
If your dog or cat is overweight, reduce the food intake. From there, reduce the dry/wet food by another 20% and add 20% of raw ingredients to the food. Consider switching to a fully raw diet.
Natural supplements & foods to support joint health in dogs & cats
At PAWDEGA, we only recommend the safest & most effective pet products on the market, and every single ingredient in every single product that we recommend is well-researched to make sure it’s safe for your pet to consume. Most dog joint aid supplements on the market today only target the joints, which is not ideal, plus, they contain synthetic ingredients as well as fillers that may cause sensitivities in dogs & cats.
All of our dog & cat joint support recommendations below are products that are truly natural (we read beyond the labels). The body actually recognizes these products as nutrition, so you don’t have to worry too much about combining different products with each other. The below joint care supplements are also free from MSM which can cause sensitivities in pets, and the products are also free of shark cartilage, as we care a lot about sustainability.
The truth is, supporting your pet’s health and more specifically joint health is a multifaceted approach and requires different angles. There isn’t a magic pill that will guarantee you that your pet won’t suffer from any joint issues in the future.
The key is combining effective joint care supplements with the right raw pet food,pre & probiotics, superfoods, and lifestyle changes.
HOMEopathy JOINT HEALTH SUPPORT For pets
JUMP FOR JOYNTS by adored Beast
Jump For JOYnts from Adored Beast Apothecary is our number one recommendation when it comes to supporting your dog, cat, or horse’s joint health naturally.
The unique aspect of Jump For JOYnts is that it doesn’t only focus on joint health, but it also supports the ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles, bones, meniscus, joint fluid, and so much more. When we start feeding the muscles and support all the supporting aspects of the joints, that's when we see the best results.
This homeopathic product is perfect for prevention, as well as supporting a pet that already has signs of joint issues such as limping, discomfort, immobility, and more. Due to the calendula content, Jump for JOYnts also supports rehabilitation and the growing of healthy tissue which helps to repair tendons and muscle injuries.
When you use Jump For JOYnts for prevention, it isn’t used on a daily basis, so one bottle will last you for more than a few months!
Pssst... We've also got Equine Jump For Joynts for Horses!
Superfoods & Antioxidants for cats and dogs to support joint health
Nourishing our pet’s cells with superfoods, providing high amounts of antioxidants, and supporting the fight against free radicals in the body will also help improve overall organ health, joint health, gut health, immunity, skin and coat health and so much more.
Again, we’ve got a few different truly natural and effective products for you to choose from. You can alternate them, or use them together as you wish.
Superfoods & Antioxidants That Support Joint Health
Healthy Hip & Joint by Kin+Kind
Ever heard about the incredible benefits of golden paste? This product is essentially a ready-made certified organic golden paste in powder form!
The ingredients in this product have incredible studies behind them which proved that supplementing with golden paste is incredibly beneficial to support joint health, lower inflammation and even help prevent cancer.
You can read more about this topic in our blog post “Benefits of Turmeric and Golden Paste for Dogs & Cats”.
Phyto Synergy by Adored Beast
Phyto Synergy supports the entire body, overall health, and longevity. It improves joint health, skin health, organ health, thyroid gland, digestion and detoxification. It also supports energy flow which helps with healthy weight maintenance, so if your pet is overweight, it’s a great product to support!
Phyto Synergy is 100% Pure Marine Phytoplankton, a super antioxidant whole food.
It contains chlorophyll, essential amino acids, EPA, fatty acids, and so much more! You only use a tiny amount (approx 1/16th teaspoon) so it’s especially great for picky pets!
Triple Extracted Turkey Tail or Chaga Mushrooms by Myco-Biome
Turkey Tail & Chaga Mushrooms have both been well researched for their incredible anti-cancer properties and studies show that they can help extend life and longevity. (5)
These medicinal mushrooms contain really high amounts of antioxidants that help to reduce chronic inflammation and reduce cellular damage caused by free-radicals, so they are highly beneficial for pets who suffer from arthritis or other joint related issues and to help prevent many diseases such as cancer and joint issues.
Compared to powdered mushrooms, triple extraction liquids provide the complete full-spectrum compounds of the mushrooms that would be extremely beneficial for the overall health of the body. When you choose triple extracted, you get more for your money.
Pre & Probiotics to support your pet’s joints
It is important to know that a lot of joint issues are immune-mediated and caused by chronic inflammation throughout the body. When we want to support our pets' joint health, we also need to address systemic inflammation throughout the body and work on lowering inflammation in the gut.
There are many ways we can support gut health and lower inflammation. We recommend rotating between the different Pre&Probiotics: Fido’s Flora, (Feline) Gut Soothe, and Healthy Gut.
We recommend rotating between the different Pre&Probiotics:
FIDO'S FLORA BY ADORED BEAST
Fido’s Flora is the world’s first canine-specific probiotic, and the most effective probiotic on the UAE market today.
Fido’s Flora supports gut health and lowers inflammation in the gut, which in turn helps improve joint health. It has been scientifically proven to modulate (balance) the immune system and survive the dog's acidic stomach acid, even alongside antibiotics. It is a beneficial addition to any dog’s diet as it has powerful properties to help prevent common health issues such as arthritis, allergies, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, loose poo, auto-immune disease, organ disease, and more.
This is a 16-strain product including 2 canine specific strains as well as PREbiotics and the organic minerals humic and vulvic acid that also help with detoxing the body.
FIDO's FLORA Supports:
Dogs on Antibiotics
World's First Canine Specific
(Feline)Gut Soothe by Adored Beast
Due to the inflammatory nature of general joint issues, we recommend adding Gut Soothe if you’d like to support joint health naturally.
Gut Soothesupports joint health and also helps to relieve and prevent issues such as arthritis, diarrhea, vomiting, burping, lung issues, bladder infections, respiratory concerns, IBD and so much more.
Gut Soothe contains 14-strains of probiotics as well as prebiotics and anti-inflammatory herbs. The pre & probiotics support gut health while the anti-inflammatory herbs help to lower inflammation throughout the entire body and offer relief of inflammatory conditions of any kind.
We’ve also got a Feline and an Equine version of this product!
Healthy Gut by Adored Beast
Healthy Gut is a pre & probiotic with digestive enzymes. This is an especially important addition for pets on canned, cooked and dry food diets. The mentioned diets are processed and heated which is why they lack in natural enzymes and our pets have a harder time digesting and utilizing the nutrients from this type of food.
When you add digestive enzymes back into the food, your pet will absorb more of the nutrients which benefits joint health, organ health, skin health and the entire body functions. Plus, you will see reduced poops too.
Please note: You can give all three probiotic products on a daily basis, or you can alternate between them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. However, for pets on a dry food diet it is best to include a source of digestive enzymes with every meal.
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids to support your pet’s joint health
Providing your pet with a good, fresh source of Omega-3 is very important for good joint health as it helps to lower inflammation throughout the body largely due the EPA & DHA. Veterinarians highly recommend including Omega-3 in your pet's diet either as a whole food or as a supplement. You’ve most likely heard about the benefits of fish oil before, but HOLD ON! Omega-3 can be controversial and I’m here to tell you that fish oil is not the safest option, in fact, we do not recommend using fish oil at all! Fish oil oxidizes very easily when it comes in contact with air, light, heat, or freezing which can contribute to inflammation in the body. The risk of feeding a rancid fish oil is too high, and there are plenty of safer options for you to choose from.
Safe sources of EPA & DHA are actually not that easy to come by, but we’ve got you covered.
Omega-3 Joint Health Support
Potent Sea (Algae Oil) by Adored Beast
Potent-Sea Algae oil provides above industry average amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA and more importantly - it does not harm the oceans. Micro-algae is known for its high DHA and EPA content. It provides Omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial compounds that support the health of the entire body of our pets. Micro-algae is nature’s original source of omega-3!
Frozen Wild-Caught Fish by Paleo Ridge
We recommend feeding small oily fish like frozen wild-caught mackerel, sardines, sprats, sea bass, or herring a couple of times per week. Small fish are at the bottom of the food chain and will have much lower levels of contamination from toxins such as heavy metals. These fish will contain high amounts of EPA & DHA.
Do make sure that the fish has been frozen for at least 3 weeks (to kill any potential parasites). For most convenience, you can purchase wild-caught frozen whole fish here, and wild-caught frozen ground fish here.
Raw Hemp Oil by Adored Beast
Raw Hempseed Oil is high in Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids and helps lower inflammation throughout the body.
It helps support joint health, skin health, organ health and so much more.Hemp Seed oil is high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA which is not found in abundance in fish or algae, but hemp seed oil is also not high in EPA or DHA.
We recommend alternating hemp seed oil with small oily fish or algae oil.
The best pet food for joint health
The food that your dog and cat eats has a significant impact on their health. Feeding a low inflammatory, low carbohydrate diet with lots of fresh, wholesome nutrition is important for optimum health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to supporting joint health.
Holistic veterinarians recommend feeding a raw food diet which is anti-inflammatory and rich in moisture, nutrients and natural enzymes. If you’re ready to switch your dog & cat to raw, we offer Paleo Ridge, the highest quality raw pet food in the UAE, sourced ethically from high-welfare UK farms.
You can find our Easy Switch to Raw Bundle here, but please do get in contact with us with any questions you have about switching to Paleo Ridge.
If you don’t yet feel comfortable switching to a fully raw diet, that’s okay too. However, according to research, adding as little as 20% of raw food into your dog’s diet can dramatically decrease disease markers and the risk of allergies. (4)
A full switch to a raw diet would be best in most cases, however, mixing raw food and dry/wet food would also be an overall improvement of your dog’s or cat’s diet. If you’d like to start adding some raw ingredients, you can find a selection of delicious additions here.
Raw Meaty Bones & Chews for Joint Health Support
Raw Free-Range Duck Necks contain plenty of connective tissue and cartilage which is an amazing source of natural Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
It supports joint health, oral health, and offers great mental stimulation at the same time. Free-Range Duck Necks are a great chew for small to large dogs and even cats.
Dog & Cat Treats for Joint Health
FREEZE-DRIED WILD CAUGHT SALMON TREATS BY GREEN JUJU
The best way to support joint health with every treat! These treats are a great source of omega-3, as well as antioxidants, due to the certified organic superfood content!
Plus, they are super delicious and can also be used as meal toppers for picky pets.
DETOX, LIVER, & Kidney SUPPORT FOR CATS & DOGS
This may not be directly related to joint health, BUT, detox support is one of the most undervalued parts of pet health. Our pet’s bodies are bombarded with unnatural amounts of environmental toxins on a daily basis, so it is important to take a proactive step here. We recommend Liver Tonic by Adored Beast, or Faith’s Cleanse and Detox by Augustine Approved.
AT WHAT AGE should YOU start A joint health PROTOCOL for YOUR cat and dog?
That’s a great question which we get asked a lot. Here is the thing… Many of the recommended products such as raw fish, superfoods, and pre & probiotics should be introduced to your pet as early as possible when they are a puppy. These products are part of offering your pet high-quality nutrition and providing them with a pet wellness routine that sets them up for a healthy life.
Joint health supplements such as Jump For Joynts can also help large breed puppies in their healthy joint & bone development, so you can definitely use this during puppyhood as well.
Personally, we started providing our French Bulldog with more targeted joint support when she was 3 years old, but you can start even earlier than that.
Remember, it’s always cheaper to invest money into preventing health concerns, rather than investing money, pain, and stress into trying to find a cure.
There are many options for you to support your dog's & cat's joint health naturally.
It is recommended to take a multifaceted approach and combine Jump for JOYnts with Omega-3 Support, superfoods, and pre & probiotics as well as adding as much fresh food to the diet as possible. Keeping your pet at optimum weight is also detrimental, and can help prevent not just joint issues, but many other ailments too.
Don’t wait until your pet’s joint pain symptoms start… Start implementing a joint health routine TODAY, so you can save money in vet bills and help prevent joint issues from ever occurring!
It is important to note that all of the recommended products are professional human-grade, completely natural, and do not contain any synthetics or fillers. They are recognized by the body as nutrition, so they can be combined with each other. For pets with sensitive stomachs, we do recommend adding new additions slowly, over the course of 1-2 weeks.
Since all of the products are truly natural, they are very versatile and actually help prevent and address not only joint issues but also many other ailments throughout the body at the same time.
I know this was a lot of information, but I’m sure you’ve got a lot of really great value from this. If you have any further questions at all, we would be more than happy to answer them. Feel free to get in touch with us via our website chat (bottom right corner), or here.
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About Charly Pruden
Charly is the #dogmom of French Bulldog Milka, and Co-Founder of PAWDEGA. Charly has always had a passion for animals, but her passion for pet wellness activism began when Milka’s undiagnosed health issues were healed by adapting a natural, non-toxic, and proactive pet wellness lifestyle. Through extensive research, content creation, attending pet health conferences in the US, and working with world-renowned holistic and integrative veterinarians, Charly continues to raise awareness on important pet health topics to empower pet parents to help their pets live longer.
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