Time to read: 8 mins
Mobility or joint supplements are one of the most popular range of supplements available to our pets. These types of supplements can be used proactively in younger animals to prevent a problem before it becomes a major issue. Supplements are used to help maintain joint health. Supplements can be particularly helpful for dogs that may have a predisposed condition due to their breed or size. Some of these problems can include hip and elbow problems. Giving your pet a supplement can help ensure the joint is protected against wear and tear potentially reducing the likelihood of a painful condition occurring at an early age.
Arthritis is thought to affect 80% of dogs over the age of 8 years old. Joint supplements are more commonly used in ageing pets who are already showing signs of osteoarthritis and are struggling with their mobility.
Signs of this may include:
- Reluctance to walk far
- Difficulty getting out the car
- Unable to climb the stairs
- Difficulty getting on or off the sofa
- Licking feet
- Yelps when touched
How do joint supplements work?
Joint supplement work by aiding the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory activity by supporting the metabolism of the joints and supporting joint structure.
The ingredients often found in joint supplements include:
- Green lipped muscle and Omega 3 fatty acids. When used together they have anti-inflammatory action to support stiff joints providing lubrication and help support and maintain healthy joint structure
- Glucosamine and chondroitin provide building block of cartilage
- Manganese supports collagen formation in the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments
- Hyaluronic acid helps lubricate and cushion the joint
Joint supplements are available in different presentations, most commonly a flavour coated tablet, they can also be in a capsule that can be pulled apart and sprinkled onto your pet’s food, a flavoured liquid that can be poured on to the food or as a tasty chew. Because of the fish oil in the supplement most pets do find them quite palatable.
Skin Supplements are another popular range of supplements for our pets. These are often used to aid skin conditions like dry, flaky skin or general seasonal itchiness. They can also be used as a maintenance supplement which can help maintain a healthy glossy coat. The skin is the largest organ in dogs and cats, making up 10-15% of their body weight.
Basic function of the skin include:
- Protection – the skin and coat provide a barrier that protects a dog or cat from chemical damage, trauma, UV light and contact with hot surfaces
- Immunity – the skin plays an important part of the immune system. If the skin’s immunity is compromised, infections could occur
- Hydration – dogs and cats do not have sweat glands, so excess water loss through unhealthy skin (trans epidermal water loss) often causes health problems
- Nutrient storage – the skin also serves as a storage site for several nutrients. Protein and amino acids are present in the skin, as are collagen fibres and enzymes
- Temperature control – a healthy coat can efficiently regulate body temperature by moving hair follicles to bring hairs closer together to insulate or allow air to enter under looser hairs to cool a dog or cat
Skin supplements are formulated to support the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory processes and to calm sensitive skin
- Omega 3’s EPA and DHA has a natural anti-inflammatory action, soothing dry and sensitive skin and reducing itchiness
- Biotin strengthens brittle nails
- Vitamin E provide immune support
- Linoleicacid reduces dry flaky skin
- Zinc to prevent hair loss and skin infections
Like joint supplements, skin supplement come in various forms. If your pet does have sensitive skin, there are special diets available to support the skin. These are prescription foods that will be recommended by your vet.
Always consult your vet before putting your pet on a supplement or food regime. If you have any questions, contact our registered vet nurses on the Scratch & Patch Careline. They will be able to answer any questions you may have. Injury and illness can affect our pets at any age and stage. Have a look to see how you can protect your pet by getting a free quote today.
No matter what time of the year it is you will want your pet to be protected. Have a look at our wide range of cover levels to find a plan that suits you and your pet best. Get a free quote today.