Vitamins & Minerals
When it comes to strengthening your dog's bones, getting the right vitamins and minerals is vital. Your dog should be receiving a balanced diet and eating healthily anyway, but some specific nutrients are excellent for bone and joint health. The most popular is Calcium, which is widely recognised for its bone-strengthening benefits. But here are a few you might not have been aware of.
For instance, Vitamin D plays several roles in bone health. Firstly, it helps the absorption and utilisation of Calcium, so combine the two for maximum doggy benefit. In addition to this, Vitamin D also assists bone maintenance itself, making it an excellent choice to include into your dog's diet in general.
Vitamin K and Magnesium also help to maintain healthy bones. Combine all four of these fantastic minerals to keep your dog’s bones as healthy as their appetite.
Another great nutrient is Vitamin C. This popular vitamin is known to have many benefits for your dog's health and wellbeing, including for their immune system, tiredness and fatigue, and their skin too. And yes, it even benefits their bones. Vitamin C aids collagen formation, helping to maintain their structure and strength.
Finally, do your dog a favour and add Vitamin E to their diet. While this doesn't directly support the bones like the others, it can still be immensely useful. This is because Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. This may sound complicated but simply means it helps to protect all cells within the body, including the bones, against damage caused by free radicals.
|Vitamin or Mineral||Benefit(s) for Bones||Food Sources Safe for Dogs|
|Vitamin C||Contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of bones||Broccoli, leafy greens and sweet potatoes|
|Vitamin D||Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption and utilisation of Calcium, maintains normal blood calcium levels and the bones themselves||Oily fish (such as tuna, salmon and mackerel), beef liver and eggs|
|Vitamin E||Contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress||Sunflower seeds, spinach and peanuts|
|Vitamin K||Contributes to the maintenance of normal bones||Chicken, Brussel sprouts and green beans|
|Calcium||Cheese, milk (in moderation) and fish|
|Magnesium||Legumes, bananas and peas|
Plenty Of Protein
Did you know that around 50% of bones are made from protein? As a result, it is essential for keeping your dog's bones healthy. Getting the right amount of protein in your dog's diet can support bone formation and maintenance. Therefore, not getting enough protein can weaken your dog's bones. It's said that low protein intake can affect calcium absorption, having an even more significant impact on bone health.
The good news is, getting protein into your dog's diet isn't that difficult; there are plenty of protein sources that your dog will happily gobble down and many dog foods contain high levels of protein. The best sources of protein for dogs include poultry such as chicken, red meats such as beef, fish like tuna, and dairy products - milk and cheeses. There is also an abundance of plant-based protein sources, including pumpkin seeds, potatoes and oats.
Every single dog requires exercise of some kind to keep them fit, healthy and happy. The amount and type will depend on your dog's breed and age, but you should still be giving them a minimum amount of exercise per day. And to keep their bones healthy, regular and consistent exercise is the key. Irregular walks, say one every other day, means your dog's bones and joints aren't getting used on the off days. Plus, dogs love walking. Absolutely love it. They deserve it too. Denying them will not only be detrimental to your dog's bones, but they'll also likely be annoyed and restless. Maybe even sad too.
Do the right thing and give your pawed pal the walk he deserves. Just don't go overboard. You wouldn't take a pug for a 5k run, but you may take a Labrador. Pushing them too far is an easy way to cause bone and joint complications, so keep their needs in mind.
Maintain Their Weight
Just like in humans, being overweight can cause serious problems for your dog. Additional weight puts too much pressure on the bones and joints, which not only makes it uncomfortable for them to move around, but can also weaken their bones over time. Also, your dog being overweight can have a massive number of other implications for their health, especially their heart. Keeping their weight at the right level is good for the bones, their overall health, and their wellbeing too. On the other hand, it's also essential that you don't go too far the other way and feed your dog too little. Your dog needs plenty of nutrition to keep them healthy and their bones strong, so if they become underweight, this can equally cause issues.
Bone & Joint Supplements For Dogs
One great way to easily support your dog's bones is through natural supplementation. Bone and joint supplements for dogs allow you to provide all the required nutrition your dog needs for strong bones in a simple capsule, powder or soft chew. But what are some of the best bone and joint supplements? Firstly, try one that's full of vitamins and minerals. These are great for your dog's overall wellbeing - just make sure they contain all the bone and joint supporting vitamins listed above!
Two other amazing ingredients you can find in bone and joint support supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin. These are both natural compounds found within bones and joints. But with age, and inevitable wear and tear, their levels slowly decrease. As a result, they are needed from an external source to keep levels up, which is why Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs is a very popular bone and joint supplement. When choosing one of these supplements, look out for glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate, as these are said to be the most bioavailable form.
The next ingredient in some of the best bone and joint tablets for dogs is collagen. Just like Glucosamine and Chondroitin, collagen is naturally occurring in your dog's bones and joints, but levels slowly decline over time, meaning external supplementation is ideal. The best form of this supplement is hydrolysed collagen, as this form is more bioavailable so your dog's body can make the most out of it. What makes collagen even more impressive is that, while it's a super bone and joint supplement, it also provides other benefits to your dog's skin and fur.
The final ingredient to look out for when choosing bone and joint supplements for dogs is fish oils. These are full of essential fatty acid omega 3, which is known to be beneficial for the bones. The best fish oils for dogs include cod liver oil, salmon oil and krill oil, so there is plenty to choose from! These can also be ideal for your dog's health. Alongside bone support, they also help their joints, heart, skin, fur, vision and more, making them a truly amazing and rounded supplement for dogs.