According toa recent studycarried out byVetCompass™, osteoarthritis in Labrador retrievers is“one of the biggest problems facing dogs today”. And that’s not all. Over 11% of Labradors affected by this debilitating, painful condition face a shorter lifespan because of it.
So, could feeding a good-quality joint supplement prevent your beloved Lab from developing painful, crippling arthritis that could shorten his life? And could that same joint supplement improve your dog’s overall health too?
Here are six essential things you need to know to make sure you choose the right joint supplement for your Labrador.
#1 Choose a Joint Supplement That Contains the Right Active Ingredients
Also, look out for supplements whose formula includes Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce joint inflammation. And hyaluronic acid, which helps to thicken the lubricating fluid within the joint capsules, promoting freer movement and greater suppleness.
All these nutraceuticals are proven to support your dog’s joint health by boosting the levels of these substances that are usually produced naturally by his body. As your Lab ages, his body becomes less efficient at producing these natural vital cartilage repair compounds, leading to joint degeneration and arthritis.
By feeding your Labrador a supplement that contains all these essential cartilage repair and joint support elements, you will help to save your Labrador from the misery of stiff, aching joints. You’ll also give him the best chance of sharing a long, happy, and active life with you!
#2 Look for a Joint Supplement That Offers Other Health Benefits for Your Labrador
Labradors can be prone to skin conditions such asatopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is a common allergic skin disease that affects over 10% of Labs at some point during their lifetime. The condition causes intense itching, potentially leading to skin damage and infection as a result of the dog scratching or rubbing.
Supplements that containsalmon oilare very beneficial for Labradors who suffer from atopic dermatitis. The Omega-3 contained in the natural fish oil helps to keep skin hydrated and supple, preventing and relieving itchiness.
Within a few weeks of introducing salmon oil to your Lab’s diet, you will notice how much shinier and softer his coat is. And his joints will be suppler too – it’s a win-win!
Labradors are predisposed to certain forms of cancer, includingmast cell skin tumors. Particular Paws joint supplements contain a naturally occurring anti-oxidant called Boswellia serrata, more commonly known asIndian frankincense oil. Boswellia serrata has potent anti-inflammatory properties to ease joint pain and is also medically recognized as a cancer preventative.
#3 Check the Quantities of the Active Ingredients the Supplement Contains
Many cheaper joint supplements contain only negligible amounts of active ingredients. In fact, most of the product is bulked out with fillers that have no nutritional benefits for your pet!
Be sure to read the ingredients list on the product packaging carefully. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the amount of the active ingredient contained in the product, the nearer the top of the contents list it will appear.
It is much better for your Labrador in the long-run to invest more money in a top-quality supplement that will improve your dog’s health than waste your cash on cheap products that are of no benefit to your pet.
#4 Avoid Foreign-Made Products
Although some of the ingredients used in making many of the very best joint supplements do originate outside of the USA, such as New Zealand green-lipped mussels, you should always choose a supplement that is USA-produced.
Foreign pet food producers often do not have the same high standards of manufacture and quality control that you can expect from home origin goods. Furthermore, imported supplements are often bulked out with fillers and chemicals called “excipients," many of which are toxic to pets.
In the USA, only pet food ingredients that are approved by theAAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials)only permits approved pet food ingredients for use in pet supplements. In short, when you buy USA-made, you can be confident that your Labrador is receiving a supplement that's completely safe.
#5 Choose an All-Natural Joint Supplement
Labradors have the reputation as the walking waste disposal units of the canine world! Unfortunately, this habit of gobbling up anything and everything that comes their way can lead to tummy upsets.
Sometimes, feeding your Lab a supplement that contains synthetic ingredients can exacerbate gastric problems. To be sure that your Labrador’s digestive system remains on an even keel, choose a supplement that contains only natural ingredients.
High-quality joint supplements such as those made by Particular Paws are formulated to include pro-biotics such as protease andbacillus coagulans. Pro-biotics help to promote a healthy and settled digestive system – perfect for “eat anything” Labradors!
#6 Help Prevent Arthritis through Early Supplementation and Weight Control
A major contributing factor in early-onset arthritis in Labradors isobesity. Labs are notoriously greedy and as a result can quickly become overweight.
Carrying extra pounds places additional strain on the joints of your dog’s legs and feet, causing degeneration of the protective cartilage and thus hastening the onset of arthritis. It's a vicious circle; the more overweight the dog becomes, the worse your pet's arthritis gets, and the less able or willing your Lab is to exercise to shed the excess weight.
By keeping your Labrador fit and at thecorrect weight, you’ll help to delay the onset of arthritis. And rather than waiting until your pet’s later years when arthritis may already be troubling him, you should ideally begin giving your Lab a daily dose of a joint supplement from his first birthday as an effective preventative therapy.
Drug treatment involving anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving pharmaceuticals will relieve an older Lab’s pain, but their long-term use can interfere with the body’s natural healing abilities, as well as causing other health problems. By feeding your Labrador a joint supplement throughout his life, you may negate the need for any drug therapy whatsoever in his later years.
Important Points to Take Away
To keep your Labrador’s joints supple and healthy, feed him a high-quality, USA-made combination joint supplement from his first birthday and for the whole of his life.
Look for a supplement that contains fish oil to help prevent atopic dermatitis and antioxidants to keep cancer at bay.
Choose a supplement that contains only natural ingredients and probiotics to soothe a greedy Lab’s tummy.
Prolong your Labrador’s active life by keeping him fit and at the correct weight.
If your Labrador is showing signs of arthritis or other joint problems, always consult your veterinarian for expert advice and guidance.
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