Last Updated on 2022-07-10 by Admin
It can be challenging to find a good dog joint supplement that addresses joint pain. It’s been over two-plus years that I’m dealing with my Boxer girl Annie’s knee issue. The medication that I got from the vet made Annie depressed, and its use is for the short-term only. My goal was to find a supplement that Annie can take long-term.
While Annie suffers from a torn ligament in her knee, there are many other causes of joint pain and suffering for dogs. For example, Osteoarthritis, is probably the most common joint condition.
Not just Older Dogs Suffer from Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints where the cartilage and bone break down. That breakdown causes inflammation and pain in joints. And that is where a joint supplement can be of help.
Surprisingly, Osteoarthritis is not a disease affecting only older dogs. Some dog breeds are more prone to Osteoarthritis than others, regardless of age. One study out of the UK, “Prevalence, duration and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care,” shows the prevalence of Osteoarthritis by breed and age. You can find the mentioned scientific study and many others at the end of this post.
Before giving a joint supplement is wise to have a diagnosis from the veterinarian. The last thing a dog owner wants to do is provide the wrong supplement.
Trial And Error Joint Supplement Selection
To find a joint supplement that worked for Annie, we tried many high-quality products. Probably like many other dog owners, I started with Omega 3 fish oil. But quickly found that it was not doing anything for Annie’s condition. Then started looking into other joint supplements. And many months later, I had to ask myself. Was there a reasonable chance any of them working for Annie when most contain the same top three ingredients?
The most common ingredients in dog joint supplements are Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM. Based on some studies, there is a lot of evidence that these ingredients should work and are safe.
As with any scientific research, there is a healthy debate regarding the effectiveness of those ingredients to address Osteoarthritis. That brings me to a report called “Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review.” The authors of that report are less convinced of those two ingredients’ effectiveness.
More Research is Required
As part of my quest to find a great joint supplement for Annie, I did a lot of research. It turns out that osteoarthritis and joint issues are pretty common in dogs. One important takeaway for me was that joint supplements may not always be as safe as dog owners assume. So it is worthwhile to investigate the ingredients on the label.
Some joint supplements contain Hyaluronic acid, something that sounds very interesting and effective. But some studies show it might increase the risk of certain cancers in dogs and humans. The Boxer breed is already at high risk for Cancer. For that reason, I do not use supplements that contain Hyaluronic acid.
Dog joint supplements are not always harmless. Reading the findings of a report called “Multiorgan dysfunction syndrome secondary to joint supplement overdosage in a dog” makes me much more careful.
Changing the Approach in Selecting Joint Supplements
All the research I read caused me to change the method for evaluating joint supplements. The focus changed to products with different and hopefully more ingredients. Because it is inflammation that needs addressing, I knew many other substances could help with that.
One ingredient that showed it could reduce pain in several studies was Collagen. Based on some studies, it can reduce pain by up to 60 %. You can read my article on Collagen for more information. Various veterinarians had tried other ingredients like turmeric (turmeric paste) and Dismutase with reasonable success. There was no reason to be limited to only the three most often occurring ingredients Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM.
Effective Dog Joint Supplements
Over about two and a half years, I came across two supplements that work well on Annie. One supplement I found via an online search. The other supplement was on a recommended supplement list when I purchased the Posh Custom Knee brace for Annie.
Maxxipaws – Maxxiflex-plus
After a lengthy search, I came across Maxxiflex-plus joint supplement. What ultimately made me try it out was that there were several good reviews about the product from other Boxer owners.
And the fact that all the ingredients are human-grade was a huge plus for me. The ingredient list also looked different from other supplements:
- Super Oxide Dismutase
Each of these ingredients has shown promising results in human studies. Finding ingredient-specific studies related to dogs is much more tricky.
After completing the ingredient investigation, three bottles got ordered for Annie. By the third week on Maxxiflex-plus, I had the impression that it helped Annie. Yet, I remained skeptical. The only way to determine if it worked was to continue with the Maxxiflex for a while longer.
The supplement worked very well, but repeatedly my orders got held up at customs for a long time. An my last order I ended up paying a $ 80 import fee. So at that point I had to look at another product because of the cost.
NuPro® Joint & Immunity Support
I read about the NuPro supplement in recommended supplements that I received with the Posh custom dog brace. Unlike every other dog joint supplement we tried, it contained ingredients that were less familiar to me.
The NuPro® joint & immunity support ingredients are as follows:
- Organic Flaxseed
- Proprietory Blend (Bee Pollen, Lactobacillus acidophilus)
- Glucosamine Sulfate (Shellfish)
- Chondroitin Sulfate
It is harder to find recent scientific studies for the top three ingredients in NuPro® joint & immunity support. Flaxseed seems to gain in popularity as a source of Omega fatty acids. However, Fish-based Omega-3 is still more absorbable based on my research.
To get the complete ingredient list, one needs to contact the NuPro directly and ask for it. This supplement works well when feeding a cooked or raw food diet. Because the supplement also has vitamins, one should review the total intake of vitamins. Something that would be important when feeding a dog kibble.
NuPro works really well with Annie. After a few weeks of taking this supplement, Annie was noticeably happier. It dramatically increased her quality of life. That is something unexpected but very welcome. Because the results are excellent, I continue giving Annie the NuPro® Joint & Immunity Support supplement.
A Quick Comparison
Because only two out of the many joint supplements tried showed a noticeable positive change, I like to show how they compare.
Maxxiflex-plus is extremely helpful for Annie’s joints. For me, I get satisfaction knowing that only human-grade ingredients are in Maxxiflex-plus.
In contrast, the NuPro® Joint & Immunity Support Supplement provides overall better quality of life. Annie is more alert, energetic and less tired. Should I ever experience Annie being depressed again when not on NuPro, I would give her that supplement. It makes such a massive difference to her overall well-being.
- Noticeable improvement when limping
- Taste-wise, Annie likes it.
- Tablets to add to food.
- Human-grade ingredients.
NuPro® Joint & Immunity
- Some improvement when limping
- Increased Alertness
- Higher Level of Energy
- Annie loves the taste.
- Powder added to food.
Disclaimer: I like to make you aware that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, should you decide to purchase one of the products through the links below, I would earn a commission at no extra cost to You.
NuPro® Joint & Immunity Support
- Availabale at: Amazon Canada
The importance of reading the label
When giving a supplement, it is imperative to read the label. Often, the dog owner looks at the dosing and then provides the supplement based on that recommendation. But many joint supplements also state to reduce dosage after a given amount of time.
Seeing Annie in pain always troubles me. But knowing that two joint supplements can help Annie is rewarding. For Annie’s condition, of course, the Posh custom knee brace also makes a huge impact.
Every dog is different. Like people, they don’t all respond the same way to a supplement. Hopefully, this article helps some other dog owners find a solution to the dogs joint issues.
Prevalence, duration and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884849/
Canine Osteoarthritis and Treatments: A Review – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281442944_Canine_Osteoarthritis_and_Treatments_A_Review
Multiorgan dysfunction syndrome secondary to joint supplement overdosage in a dog – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4357907/
Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5356289/
Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372953/