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Dog Joint Health: Everything You Need to Know

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The chances are high that your dog is the greatest athlete you know. His athletic ability is a natural gift, visible in his speed, agility, strength, and endurance. Your dog’s super athleticism is due in large part to his genetic blueprint, which comes from an age-old necessity to be physically superior to survive. While your dog no longer needs his genetic superiority for survival, as an athlete, your dog needs to be cared for in a way that protects his bones, muscles, and most importantly, his joints.

Dog joint health is a significant concern for all canines, as their bodies are in constant motion. Even dogs who seem to spend a majority of his day lounging are continually stretching, adjusting, and moving his body to stay limber. But why is joint health for dogs important? Today, more and more owners are giving their four-legged companions dog digestive supplements and canine joint supplements to keep their bodies in tip-top shape. 

If your pup suffers from joint discomfort, you need to add in natural anti-inflammatory ingredients into your dog's diet as soon as possible. Adding supplements that support your dog's health can provide your canine with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support your dog’s bones, muscles, and connective tissue. A daily chew can also help to promote normal inflammatory response and may help joint discomfort, and other issues within your dog's body.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about dog joint health and discuss different ways that you as the owner can help keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come. 

The Short-Term

According to, joint health is vital for keeping your dog active. An active dog is a healthy dog as movement is key to good cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and mental health.

All of the activities your dog loves to do daily stem from his ability to move his body without discomfort. Finally, the movement itself is good for keeping his joints healthy and well-conditioned. So long as the exercise isn’t too strenuous, movement is good.

The Long-Term

Pro Plan Veterinary Diets lists the two most significant factors for long term joint care are diet and regular check-ups. It may seem rudimentary, but as our dog ages, we need to take care to focus on more preventive health measures that keep him healthy for longer. That means your vet should be checking for signs of inflammation, joint mobility, and monitoring his overall health.

Your vet is a great resource to help you figure out what kind of regimen your dog should be on to help stimulate joint health long term. Many vets recommend some dietary mobility supplements in addition to proper diet and regular exercise. 

Supplements with tumeric for dogs, have anti-inflammatory properties. This is one such dietary supplement that Miracle Vet claims has the potential to help with long-term joint health. 

What Joint Problems Should I Be Watching For?

According to the American Kennel Club, most dogs deal with joint issues that stem from hip problems. Especially in larger dogs like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, hip and joint problems can begin around middle age. 

Because your dog is mostly on four feet, the shoulders are likely to cause trouble and will become aggravated if he is compensating for the discomfort in his back. 

Back and neck issues are the third most common form of joint problems found in most dogs and can be attributed to leaning down to eat and drink. If your dog’s health is deteriorating due to joint discomfort and issues, it is highly advised to talk to your veterinarian about joint supplements and other recommendations to make your dog more comfortable. A daily supplement for dogs can actually help with major joint discomfort and keep your dog’s stiff joints moving more freely. 

What Can I Do to Promote Healthy Joints?

  • Exercise is a great way to keep your dog’s joints healthy. 
  • Dietary supplements and vitamins are an excellent addition that help keep bones healthy and muscles lubricated.
  • Avoid jumping outside of play. Darwin’s Pet says: “Try stairs for getting into the car or onto the bed.”
  • Massages. Yes, your dog likes massages! Needing and rubbing his muscles and joints, especially after a big day of running and playing helps to keep him loose and limber.
  • Get elevated bowls for him to eat and drink out of. The less your dog has to strain his neck, the better off his upper and lower back will be.
  • Have soft places for him to lay down. Even if your house has carpet, something comfortable and supportive like a dog bed or another type of cushioned surface helps keep his body in proper alignment.

By feeding your dog a daily joint dietary supplement and following these tips above, you’ll be able to better support your pup’s health and well-being.

How Much Exercise Is Too Much?

As we have established exercise is one of the best ways to promote joint health, both short and long term, but how do you know when enough is enough? Your dog is great about telling you when he has had his fill of exercise. 

Typically a dog will run and play until he is too tired to do it anymore. Sometimes during play, your dog may lay down until he gets his second wind. But eventually, he will let you know that he is too tired to continue. 

Some of the signs that your dog has completed his desired exercise for the day include heavy panting, laying down somewhere cool, a calm demeanor and general sleepiness. While you don’t need to push your dog to the brink of exhaustion every time you play or exercise, you should let him push his limits at least once a week. 

It is never too early to begin a mindful, proactive approach regarding dog joint health. Joint supplements with active ingredients are great additions to your dog’s diet. One chew a day is all you need to help protect your furry friend. Remember that short-term joint health and long term joint health contain a lot of overlap and diet, exercise, and even some additional supplements for dogs play a significant role in keeping his joints healthy. Joint health is essential for your dog because he is at his core, a natural athlete. If you make joint health a priority, he will be ready to prove it to you for years to come.

Looking for a health supplement that is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for your four-legged friend? Discover the best natural treatments for dogs with major joint problems with our wide selection of dog health supplement products from Pet Honesty today.  

Camille Arneberg and her dog

Camille is a co-founder of Pet Honesty and VP of Pup Parent Education. After watching her own family dog suffer from joint issues for years she became passionate about improving dogs' quality of life. With the help of a team of veterinarians and dog nutritionists she now helps educate other dog owners about the small but powerful things they can do to positively impact their dogs' health and wellness! She lives in Austin, TX and loves cuddling puppies, being outside and reading.