Healthy bones and joints are important to large dog breeds, but maintaining them requires specific types of nutrition that must be taken regularly. From the diet, right down to the amount of exercise needed, these steps are vital to preventing osteoarthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis
Having strong bones is useless without proper joints to move them. This is why Osteoarthritis is a disease that targets the cartilage in dogs’ joints.
The US National Library of Medicine defines it as a slow and progressive illness that affects 20% of the canine population over the age of 1, resulting in pain and decreased mobility.
Large-breed dogs are also prone to developing more severe signs and symptoms of this disease. Given that they need strength to support their large frame, large dog breeds like Huskies and Golden Retrievers will need an even larger amount of nutrition to sustain their frames.
Symptoms of this disease include reluctance to exercise, decrease in overall activity, stiffness, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
For large dog breeds, not being able to exercise will also mean the eventual deterioration of muscles and bones. After all, they do need strength to support themselves and their large frames.
However, there are ways to prevent such a worst-case scenario, and it starts with getting the proper nutrition and exercise.
Essential vitamins and minerals for dog bone and joint health
Maintaining optimum bone and joint health for dogs begins with getting the right nutrients. The National Animal Supplement Council recommends giving vitamin D for starters.
This vitamin is responsible for controlling calcium absorption in the body and is a building block of bones. It also controls the absorption of calcium from the intestine, how it moves in and out of the bones, and how much is excreted by the kidneys.
As a secondary role, muscles, and nerves also require vitamin D in order to work properly. Since the heart is also a muscle, dogs will need this organ properly functioning in order to properly distribute blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Not having enough of it can result in osteomalacia, which is a disease involving the softening of bones. To have sufficient Vitamin D, the National Animal Supplement Council recommends beef as one of the top foods to feed large dogs.
As a metric, the Association of American Feed Control Officials also recommends adult dog food have at least 500 international units (IU) of vitamin D per kilogram.
Glucosamine for maintaining joints
Glucosamine is crucial for joint health. According to the US National Library of Medicine, it regulates the synthesis of collagen in the cartilage and may also provide some anti-inflammatory effects.
It also needs to work with Chondroitin Sulfate in order to suppress destructive enzymes in both the joint fluid and cartilage of dogs.
Pet Veterinarian Dr. Sara Wooten recommends at least 30 milligrams of Glucosamine Hydrochloride in order to properly maintain your dog’s joints. If you own large breeds, or if your pet is prone to suffering joint problems, then this can be administered as early as 8 weeks old.
Proper exercise is needed for dogs
Just as humans need exercise to stay fit, dogs need it as well. Large dog breeds whether indoor or outdoor require it in order to keep their bones, joints, and muscles healthy.
Taking them with you when you ride a bike, swim, or even play fetch outdoors are some of the activities that the American Kennel Club recommends for your dog.
If you can’t involve yourself or your dog in outdoor exercises due to the pandemic, then indoor exercises like running up and down the stairs are useful for building up muscles and keeping the bones and joints healthy.
Treadmills are also recommended, given that they also give the same kind of workout as running outdoors. If you’re feeling creative, then setting up an obstacle course for your dog with regular household items can be done. Boxes, hula hoops, and other materials can suffice if you want to give your dog that needed exercise.
If you have none of these, playing fetch with balls, frisbees, or even toy bones can be done to keep your dog fit.
Giving them pet food with a “Complete and Balanced” label
We’ve talked about nutrition and exercise thus far, but the most important thing is their everyday diet. For dogs, giving food with a “Complete and Balanced” label is one of the best things to do.
These products are usually high in protein content and have the necessary Vitamin D, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, and Taurine that large dogs need.
One particular product that meets these requirements is the Addiction Foods’ Mega. It’s a multiprotein formula that contains New Zealand Beef and Lamb. Glucosamine and Taurine are also added to maintain mobility and joint function.
Last but not the least, it also contains a blend of fruits like Cranberries, Blueberries, and other antioxidants to boost the immune system.
This formula is specifically blended for medium to large dog breeds, and also comes in a large kibble size to encourage slow feeding. That way, they have proper time to break down and digest all the nutritional goodness of this product.
In order to maintain the proper bone and joint health of your dogs and prevent Osteoarthritis, Addiction Foods’ Mega is the best-recommended product, especially if you own active pets.
Get Mega at a store near you!