Over-the-counter joint supplements for pets are incredibly popular. From dogs to cats to horses, many animals suffer from joint pain as the age or after an injury. Here at All Animals, we get questions all the time about whether joint medicine is a smart choice, and whether it’s okay to buy over-the-counter. Let’s break down the pros and cons of joint meds for pets.
Joint supplements Reduce Pain: At least, some do and for some animals. Glucosamine hydrochloride has been shown in clinical studies to greatly reduce pain in animals who are suffering from inflammation, as has Chondroitin Sulfate. They are particularly effective when supplemented in-tandem and long-term.
Supplements support whole health: Some over-the-counter supplements do more than address joint pain. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, support joints as well as improve kidney function and immunity. ASUs (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables) may do the same, albeit with delayed onset.
They are convenient: Over-the-counter joint meds are inexpensive and convenient. In general, there’s no harm in taking supplements as long as it’s done under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Sometimes ineffective: Certain pets don’t respond in any meaningful way to joint supplements. This could be attributed to absorption, activity, or even diet, along with a number of other factors.
Animals dislike the taste: Some animals hate taking supplements in any form! While it’s a good idea to try pills, liquids, and even powders to get your animal to take their meds, some simply can’t see past the taste and the supplement never makes it down.
At the end of the day, pet owners usually aren’t doing anything wrong by starting a supplement regimen under the guidance of a trusted veterinarian. Joint supplements, in particular, require relatively large dosages to even be effective, so it’s difficult to take enough to be harmful.
Wondering if joint supplements are right for your pet?
Contact All Animals Veterinary Hospital in Dawsonville to schedule your appointment today.