You have likely seen the strange, shelled mollusk referred to as a mussel on the menu of your favorite seafood restaurant. Interestingly enough, these slippery sea creatures can provide more than a delicious meal. In fact, a mussel species native to the crisp waters of New Zealand is making waves in the world of joint health. In this article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about green-lipped mussels for dogs.
What are Green-Lipped Mussels?
Green-lipped mussels (GLM) are a unique species of mussels that are found exclusively off the coast of New Zealand. Scientifically referred to as Perna Canaliculus, GLM's are easily recognizable by their signature green "lips" on the edges of their shells.
When it comes to treating arthritis and joint pain, few remedies match the natural healing power of the green-lipped mussel.
Green-Lipped Mussel Benefits
New Zealanders have been enjoying the homeopathic health benefits of green-lipped mussels for decades. Finally, western medicine is taking the GLM page out of New Zealand's holistic handbook.
As previously mentioned, green-lipped mussels are specifically renowned for treating joint pain. The unique combination of nutrients in GLM's have been found to:
- Reduce and relieve painful joint inflammation
- Strengthen bones
- Protect joints from future damage
- Build and protect cartilage and joint fluid
- Improve joint metabolism
- Boost overall immunity
Clearly, green-lipped mussels are a joint health superhero.
Osteoarthritis in Dogs
The aforementioned list of benefits is specifically applicable in the treatment (and prevention) of osteoarthritis in dogs. Osteoarthritis is an incredibly common chronic form of arthritis in dogs. Also called degenerative joint disease (DJD), osteoarthritis is caused by the disintegration of cartilage between joints.
With the help of green-lipped mussels, your dog can experience welcomed relief from the excruciating pain of osteoarthritis. Better yet, when administered early, GLM's can actually protect canine joints and prevent arthritis from forming.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
Another common joint affliction affecting our canine companions is hip dysplasia. Much like our own hips, dog hips are skeletally composed of a ball and socket joint. Sometimes, due to a variety of factors, the ball will become malformed and no longer fit comfortably in the socket. Naturally, this results in joint pain and varying degrees of functionality loss.
The joint healing magic of green-lipped mussels can both treat, and actively prevent the terrors of canine hip dysplasia.
Nutritional Components of Green-Lipped Mussels
Clearly, green-lipped mussels promise an impressive array of joint benefits. What makes GLM's so effective at treating joint pain? Well, green-lipped mussels carry a powerful blend of joint health big-wigs, so to speak.
Omega Fatty Acids
When it comes to joint health, you have undoubtedly heard of fish oil. With this in mind, fish oil's claim to fame is boasting high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Interestingly enough, fish oil only has two types of fatty acids, EPA and DHA. On the other hand, green-lipped mussels contain a coveted third omega acid referred to as ETA.
ETA is a rare and unique form of omega-3 fatty acid. Specifically, ETA actively reduces the cellular manufacturing of an inflammatory enzyme called cyclooxygenase.
The unique omega-3 trifecta makes green-lipped mussels especially effective at reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and restoring healthy mobility in your beloved dog.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
In addition to the rare omega-3 trifecta, GLM's are chock-full of the joint healthy duo glucosamine and chondroitin. Also found in the shells of GLM's fellow shellfish, crabs and oysters, glucosamine is pivotal in protecting and repairing cartilage. Found between bones, cartilage acts as a pillow between the joints. When cartilage deteriorates, arthritis and joint pain are soon to follow. Therefore, the health of cartilage is vital to joint pain prevention.
Furthermore, chondroitin works in tandem with glucosamine to help retain essential moisture in cartilage. Chondroitin is usually found in the cartilage of sharks or cows. However, green-lipped oysters naturally produce both chondroitin and glucosamine.
Vitamins, Minerals, and More!
Even more impressive, green-lipped mussels naturally contain an unparalleled blend of joint healthy vitamins, minerals, and other healthy natural "ingredients". Such as:
- Vitamin C
- Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycans (builder of joint fluid and cartilage)
- Vitamin E
- Amino Acids
Individually, all of these elements are valuable to your dog's joints and overall health. However, when combined naturally in green-lipped mussels, the benefits are truly unmatched.
Green-Lipped Mussels vs. NSAIDs
As can be seen, green-lipped mussels are a natural agent of holistic healing like no other. On the other hand, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are still often used in today's society to combat joint pain. Unfortunately, more and more adverse side-effects are plaguing the recipients of traditional western medicine.
According to the FDA, common side-effects of NSAIDs in dogs include:
- Lack of appetite
- Intestinal and stomach ulcers
- Kidney Failure
- Liver Failure
Diarrhea and vomiting are pretty standard side-effects. However, long term diseases like kidney and liver failure are simply unacceptable. Furthermore, death is not a side-effect, it is a downright tragedy. To make matters worse, NSAIDs do not actually cure the cause of joint pain. Instead, they simply mask the symptoms and temporarily dull the pain.
Fortunately, advancements in homeopathic alternatives to NSAIDs are proving more beneficial than ever before, with GLM's leading the pack. According to this study published by the National Institute of Health, green-lipped mussels cause zero side-effects in dogs. Moreover, GLM's actually work to repair the source of joint pain.
How to Feed Dogs Green-Lipped Mussels
Rest assured, you are not going to have to special order rare shellfish from New Zealand for your dog. To enumerate, the growing science behind GLM's powerful benefits has resulted in several canine curated products made with this "magic" ingredient.
For example, you can opt for pure GLM powder for dogs that can easily be mixed right into your dog's regular food. You can also choose from a selection of joint healthy treats your dog will love. Notably, our PetHonesty Pure Mobility Joint Support Chews combines the impressive power of green-lipped mussels with:
- Turmeric - This rooted herb has long been used in holistic medicine to naturally reduce inflammation and joint swelling. Better yet, turmeric helps promote a healthy weight which reduces stress and pressure on the joints
- Collagen - Over 70% of your dog's cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are naturally composed of collagen. Collagen supplements can help rebuild damaged joints, promote joint elasticity, and prevent joint distress
- Glucosamine - As previously stated in this article, glucosamine is an effective natural treatment for arthritis and joint pain
- PurforMSM™ - Sourced from sulfur, MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory that promotes joint elasticity
The five powerhouse ingredients in Pure Mobility are an effective way to treat and prevent canine joint issues. Better yet, all of PetHonesty's products are 100% all-natural, soy-free, and non-GMO and safe for dogs of all breeds and ages.
Healthy Canine Joint Tips
In order to truly maximize the positive effects of your dog's GLM supplements, a healthy lifestyle is key. In particular, your dog needs a well-balanced diet and consistent exercise.
Obesity is a very common cause of joint decay in dogs of all ages. Naturally, carrying excess weight is incredibly stressful on the body. Therefore, it is essential to keep your dogs weight at an optimal level.
Of course, diet is the first line of defense against weight gain. Did you know that dogs do not biologically need carbohydrates? Unlike humans, dogs get their energy from protein. Sadly, many generic dog foods are packed with starchy fillers that add no nutritional value to your dog's diet. As a result, your dog simply gains weight and craves more satisfying nutrients.
Instead, opt for a natural, protein-rich diet for your dog. Your trusted veterinarian can recommend a food that would best suit the needs of your dog's unique physique.
As pet owner's we can all agree that there is a very special form of endorphins released when you run and play with your dog. Accordingly, the joy of playing with your dog does a lot more than put a smile on both of your faces. In fact, regular exercise helps stretch, lubricate, and protect the joints. Furthermore, combined with a healthy diet, exercise helps combat obesity and added stress on the joints.
Green-Lipped Mussels for Dogs: In Closing
Naturally, we all want what is best for our family's cherished four-legged friend. While joint issues are common in canines, advancements in holistic medicine are changing the way we combat joint ailments. Green-lipped mussels are working wonders in healing, treating, and preventing joint pain in dogs.
Talk to your vet today about making GLM's a staple in your dog's dietary wellness plan.
From all of us here at PetHonesty, may you and your sweet dog have a happy and healthy day!