The Best German Shepherd Supplements for hip and joint care must be approved by your vet, and will ideally make life easier for your GSD (German Shepherd Dog).
Among the potential benefits of using natural joint supplements for your dog include:
- decreasing pain,
- helping movement,
- accelerating joint repair and rebuild, and
- having a cheaper and different alternative to prescription medication!
We’ve put together a best dog supplements list, buyer’s guide and dog supplement reviews to help you pick the best supplements for your dog or puppy.
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Best German Shepherd Supplements For Hip & Joint Care: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Our top picks for the best dog supplements for hip and joint care are:
Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewable Tablets for Dogs (on Amazon) – Supplement For Large Dogs Over 60 pounds
Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM Chewable Tablets (on Amazon) – Supplement For Dogs Of All Ages
Vetri-Science Laboratories Glyco-Flex III Bite-Sized Dog Chews (on Amazon) – Supplement In Treat/Chew Form
Best German Shepherd Supplements For Hip & Joint Care: Reviews
Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewable Tablets for Dogs
These supplements are chewable tablets with one range formulated for large dog breeds over 60lbs – which suits German Shepherds perfectly.
It contains all three joint health compounds – 900mg of Glucosamin, 800mg of MSM, and 350mg of CS.
The label recommends administration of 2 tablets per day for the first 4-6 weeks, before hitting a maintenance stage where 1 tablet a day will suffice.
Based on these dosage amounts, a 150 tablet bottle will last you around 4 months.
If you spread the initial bottle price out over a 4 month period, it’s relatively cheap on a per month basis.
Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM Chewable Tablets
Nutramax Cosequin is formulated for dog’s of all sizes.
It seems Nutramax has cut the dosage of joint compounds because of this – 600mg of Glucosamin, 300mg of CS and 250mg of MSM.
The label recommends administration of 3 tablets per day for the first 4-6 weeks, before hitting a maintenance stage where 1-2 tablet a day will suffice.
Based on these dosage amounts, a 132 tablet bottle will last you around 2-3 months.
The 132 tablet bottle Cosequin is less than half the price of the Dasuquin (but you also get a lesser dosage of joint compounds), and a 180 tablet bottle is also available.
Vetri-Science Laboratories Glyco-Flex III Bite-Sized Dog Chews –
Instead of chewable tablets, these supplements come in treat form – which is handy for fussy eaters, or dogs that refuse to eat tablets.
These particular supplements are chicken flavored.
There is a HEAP of joint compounds in here with 1000mg of Glucosamine, 1000mg of MSM, 600mg of Perna CanaLiculus ( a green lipped muscle compound), along with DMG and a few other supplements and vitamins.
GlycoFlex claims this range of supplements has been clinically proven to increase hind leg strength in dogs by up to 41% in 4 weeks.
GlycoFlex 3 has been made for working dog breeds, very active dogs and senior dogs showing signs of joint health problems – and German Shepherds are a working breed.
This is a 120 chew pack, and Vetri-Science recommend 4 chews a day for dogs 61-100lbs for the first 4-6 weeks, and then 2 chews daily after that – so one pack will last you 1 month.
Best German Shepherd Supplements For Hip & Joint Care: Buyer’s Guide
In What Ways Can Supplements Improve My German Shepherd’s Joint Health?
German Shepherd Supplements can be particularly useful if your GSD suffers from:
- Hip, Elbow or any other form of Dysplasia
- Joint Problems caused by surgery, injury or old age
- General German Shepherd Joint Pain or Problems – Hip Problems , Elbow Problems, Back Problems, Front and Rear Legs Problems, Knee Problems and So On
In fact, one brand – Glycoflex (on Amazon), has been clinically proven to increase hind leg strength by 41% in 4 weeks in some cases.
Do German Shepherds Like Supplements? Are They Safe?
Chewable flavored tablets (liver is tasty for dogs) are usually not an issue for most GSDs in terms of taste and texture.
Supplements are what is known as a nutraceutical.
They are essentially considered as food, and are safer than prescribed drugs and medication as they are mostly natural and have low toxicity because of the small amount of non-natural ingredients.
There are few side effects to taking supplements and vitamins compared to prescribed medications.
Always check out the ingredients, and get your vet’s advice if you are unsure.
Purpose of German Shepherd Supplements For Joint Health
German Shepherd Supplements can be used to contribute and assist in joint health in the following ways:
- Rebuilds cartilage and strengthens it
- Restores joint functionality and your dog’s mobility
- Increases activity levels and German Shepherd movement, which improves cardiovascular health also
- Reduces overall pain in the joint
- A lower likelihood that your pet will need expensive pain medication
Supplements are generally seen as longer term management tools for joints than prescribed medications like pain killers and steroids.
They take longer to see the positive effects, but there are less overall negative side effects because they are made with mainly natural compounds.
Two Things To Be Aware Of With Dog Supplements
1) They are supplemental to a good diet, and you should be aiming to also get nutrients into your dog from a balanced diet primarily.
Supplements can’t reverse damage done to joints like scarring or structural damage for example – they only aid in repair and rebuild of the joints. They are not a cure.
2) The second is that as with any product, always get the all clear from your vet before you decide on a particular supplement. It should be a well established brand you buy from, that has conducted extensive research.
Supplements are intended to minimise joint problems in the hip, elbow, back, knees, front and rear legs, spine and improve overall health in other areas such as the coat for example.
How Many Bottles or Tablets Do I Get? How Long Do Supplements Last, and How Many Do I Feed My Dog?
It depends on the supplement brand themselves as to dosage. Some brands cater their supplements specifically towards big dogs like GSDs for example.
Check the label of the supplement brand that you purchase for amounts, dosage and time periods. One brand for example has the following guidelines:
- Bottles or packets of tablets come in amounts of 120-240 units
- For the first 4-6 weeks, this is called the administration period, and for a dog over 60 pounds, you will feed them 2 tablets/treats daily.
- After the first 4-6 week administration period you should see some improvement in your German Shepherd
- Following this, you are in maintenance period which required 1 tablet daily for a dog over 60 pounds.
Obviously there are different QUALITY brands and supplements, but the best way to calculate cost is to look at the number of tablets or treats and the cost of the product.
Also, consider the quality. You can get a cost per week for each supplement – it’s usually very cheap per week once you hit maintenance period – especially when compared to prescribed painkillers and steroids.
Features of the Best German Shepherd Supplements – What Supplements Should I Give My German Shepherd?
The Best German Shepherd supplements for joint health usually include the following:
- Contain Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM – one of, or a combination of all these natural compounds which research shows has and may help joint health
- Are tasty in terms of flavor and texture for your GSD
- Show noticeable improvements in your dog’s movement and function
- Contain mostly natural ingredients – naturally occurring compounds from humans, animals and plants
- Are recommended/approved by your vet
- Easy to read instructions – specify dosage based on the weight of the dog and timing
- Have some form of clinical research results available – and other buyer reviews to check out to read about the results they have been getting with their dogs
Common Ingredients and Compounds Found In Dog Supplements
There are three main naturally occurring compounds that you want to see in the German Shepherd supplements for joint health that you purchase:
Composed of sugar and amino acid. Glucosamine is made in the joint cartilage and it is one of the major compounds that provides lubrication and shock absorption to the joints of a healthy dog.
In addition to being one of the major components of joint cartilage, is also helps rebuild damaged cartilage.
Glucosamine is also involved in the health and formation of nails, tendons, skin, eyes, joint fluid, bone, ligaments, heart valves and in certain parts of the digestive, respiratory and urinary systems.
Because there are different forms of glucosamine, you want to pick a supplement with the SULFATE form.
Chondroitan Sulfate (CS) decreases in the body with age – so is especially useful to older dogs as a supplement.
Some studies show that CS has three main effects:
- Decreases pain,
- Repairs damaged connective tissue iand cartilage n the joint
- Strengthens existing cartilage by keeping it hydrated – increasing integrity in the joint and its ability to absorb stress
Contains sulfur compounds that decrease pain. MSM is a naturally occurring in humans, animals and plants, and similar to CS, it helps strengthen joints, as well as repair them.
Other beneficial ingredients that among other things decrease joint pain include Perna canaliculus, and ASU (Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables).
Types of German Shepherd Supplements & Dog Supplements
As we mentioned above, the main types of German Shepherd supplements and vitamins available for joint health come in either tablet, or treat form.
The tablets are usually chewable and flavored (and more popular).
The treats are more so for German Shepherds that don’t like the taste or texture of the chewable tablets.
Final Consideration For German Shepherd Supplements
It is important to note that supplements work for some and not for others (depending on a lot of factors).
Some people find them to be extremely helpful in managing pain and movement/function in their GSD, and others have had no results at all.
It is best to see what works for your dog individually, as long as you have your vet’s approval.
German Shepherd owners have seen positive results to varying degrees (some very positive) with each of the supplements mentioned above.
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