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A Guide to Joint and Mobility Supplements for Dogs at Risk of Arthritis

Dogs love to run and play, so it’s especially heart-breaking when an illness like arthritis restricts them from being active. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs. And as it doesn’t have a cure yet, prevention is the best solution. What you can do is focus on improving your pet’s mobility and overall health, and dietary supplements can help. This is especially important if your dog is at risk of developing arthritis.

Here's our complete guide to understanding how mobility supplements could help  keep joints healthy, including:  

  • Signs, symptoms and causes of arthritis in dogs  
  • How do supplements help keep joints healthy?  
  • The best supplements for dogs with mobility issues  
  • FAQs 
Signs, symptoms and causes of arthritis in dogs 

Choosing to spend more time walking rather than running (or even lying down) on walks and yelping when being petted are signs that a dog may be in pain. Limping when they walk and licking or biting themselves near specific joints could mean that they’re suffering from joint pain. These are all symptoms that could point to arthritis. 

The real causes of osteoarthritis are still unclear, but some predisposition factors are now known to be associated with the disease – from genetics and old age to injury and obesity. Studies have also concluded that some breeds (specifically larger dogs like Labradors and Golden Retrievers) are more prone to the condition than others. 

For a detailed breakdown of causes and symptoms, read: What are the Causes and Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs?

How do supplements help keep dogs’ joints healthy? 

As a pet owner, there are a few things you can do to help keep your dog’s joints healthy. This includes making some doggy-lifestyle changes to support their weight management and ensuring they consume the right nutrients to strengthen their joints – and this is where mobility supplements can really help. 

Joint and mobility supplements are typically packed with ingredients that support joint function on various levels. While they cannot cure arthritis, they can help improve mobility by keeping the cartilage and fluid in the joints healthy and soothing stiffness, which can massively improve your dog’s quality of life. 

Also read: A Guide to Arthritis Treatment for Dogs

The best joint supplements for dogs at risk of arthritis and mobility issues 

You want to choose a supplement that’s made using the best ingredients to support your dog’s joint health. Look out for omega-3 fatty acids, as they are known to support a healthy inflammatory response. Omega-3s contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). Dogs especially need EPA and DHA to support a normal inflammatory response, and fish or krill oil supplements are great for this. 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is another key ingredient that can help prevent mobility issues. HA is naturally present in the synovial fluid (the liquid that cushions the ends of bones and decreases friction in the joints) and functions as a lubricant. In supplements, it can help with joint maintenance and flexibility. 

Glucosamine is another common ingredient found in joint support supplements. It’s a naturally occurring compound composed of sugar and amino acids, which is involved in the body's creation of joint lubrication and cartilage cell growth. Some studies show that it may help with the maintenance of healthy cartilage and joint function. 

Virbac’s MOVOFLEX Soft Chews contain a unique blend of ingredients that work together to support healthy joints and joint flexibility in dogs. The key ingredient is eggshell membrane (derived from chicken egg) that’s rich in collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans and essential amino acids. It also contains hyaluronic acid (of low and high molecular weight), krill meal (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), astaxanthin (a potent antioxidant that supports joint health), Boswellia serrata extract (a plant extract known to keep joints healthy) and vitamin D3. 

It’s important to remember that supplements can make a huge difference for many dogs but choosing the right one for your dog is key. The best person to ask for guidance? Your vet, of course.  

  • How do you stop arthritis from progressing in dogs?

    There is no known cure for arthritis. However, as we’ve discussed, a vet can offer a range of treatments that may help manage the symptoms and delay its progression.

  • Is it possible to reverse arthritis in dogs?

    While arthritis cannot be reversed, if you identify the condition at an early stage, you can massively improve the quality of your dog’s life. So, if you notice any signs of joint pain at all, get your pet assessed by a vet as soon as possible. 

  • What can you give older dogs for arthritis?

    Osteoarthritis is the most common source of chronic pain in older dogs. If you suspect that your dog could be suffering from arthritis, you must consult a veterinarian. They will examine your dog’s symptoms and potentially prescribe medication, dietary supplements, recommend exercises and lifestyle changes that could slow the progression of the illness.