The joints are a key part of the locomotor system, thanks to which the dog has freedom of movement, can satisfy its physical exercise needs and can mainly relate to its external environment.
As popular wisdom indicates, “prevention is better than cure”, therefore, it is not necessary for the dog to suffer from joint disease to pay attention to these structures, but it is important to take care of them naturally to avoid any complications.
In this article we talk about vitamins for dogs’ joints.
What is a joint and what are its functions?
Just as humans have joints; these structures are also present in the dog’s locomotor system.
A joint can be defined as the point of union between two bones; however, it is a complex structure that has several parts, such as the capsule and synovial membrane, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, among others, since according to the mobility of a joint this will be formed in one way or another.
The function of the joint is mainly to allow mobility and cushion impacts, preventing both bone ends from rubbing against each other and wearing out.
When should we pay special attention to the dog’s joints?
As owners, we must defend responsible ownership, this means that from the adoption of the dog we must provide hygienic, dietary, sanitary and affectionate care that allows to cover all its needs and provide the highest quality of life possible.
Through food and physical exercise we must always try to maintain a good state of health in our dog, but we must be especially concerned in the following cases:
- Large dogs predisposed to hip dysplasia
- Overweight or obese dogs
- Elderly dogs
- Dogs that perform activities with a high joint impact, for example, that go for a run on a regular basis
- Dogs that have suffered some type of trauma
Vitamins to maintain the dog’s joint health
The nutritional requirements that the dog presents must be covered mainly through food, however, in those cases necessary a nutritional supplement based on vitamins of special importance for joint health can be carried out:
Vitamin C: In addition to being an excellent antioxidant vitamin, vitamin C or ascorbic acid promotes the internal synthesis of collagen, a complex protein that forms cartilage and is present in all joints.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and for its fixation to bone tissue, therefore it is important to strengthen bones and prevent joint wear.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is another powerful antioxidant and reduces the damage that free radicals can cause to the joints. This vitamin reduces inflammation and prevents loss of joint mobility.
Never give your dog a vitamin supplement without medical supervision since the veterinarian is the person who can best advise you on which product to choose and indicate at the same time how it should be used and for how long. There are many brands that sell supplements, so when buying joint supplements for dogs, evaluate them all and do your research.
Remember supplements help but they can never replace good healthy food. Mostly use supplements when directed by a veterinarian. For all the other times rely on a balance of diet which provides all the necessary nutrition that your four legged friend needs to be healthy and active.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of joint disease
Your dog may suffer from a joint disease despite the care you have been able to provide, and in this case it is convenient to know what the main symptoms of this type of condition are:
- Pant excessively
- You have lost interest in any type of activity
- Walk slowly and stiffly
- Difficulty in daily activities
- Manifests restlessness and pain
- May have a slight limp and walk sideways
If you observe any of these symptoms, go to the vet as soon as possible as the speed of care can determine the prognosis.