What to Look for When Shopping for Joint Health Supplements for Dogs

December 19, 2022

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

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There are many factors that can contribute to joint health issues in dogs. Genetics, diet, weight, and trauma can all be factors in the development of discomfort or other joint health issues. The good news is that there are many supplements and joint chews available for dogs with joint issues.

Joint supplements are an excellent way to help your dog improve joint function and promote healthy inflammatory responses. Joint supplements for dogs work by providing nutrients that help the body perform its normal functions more efficiently. Some of these nutrients are antioxidants, which fight free radicals that damage cells and tissues. 

Others work by supporting healthy joint tissue formation and repair. However, the world of supplements is highly unregulated, and not all supplements are created equal.

Does My Dog Need Joint Supplements?

Many dogs suffer from joint discomfort, but they don’t always get the help they need. Joint supplements for dogs are one way to help your dog live a longer, happier life.

As people age, they often experience joint discomfort. This is because as we get older, our bodies produce less collagen and other compounds that keep joints healthy and flexible. In addition, we tend to put more weight on our joints, whether through exercise or just by carrying things around all day.

Dogs are no different. Even if you think your pooch is too young for joint problems, she may still suffer from joint discomfort due to the same causes as you do: aging and increased weight bearing on her joints, like jumping off the couch.

Signs of Joint Discomfort

The following could be warning signs that your dog needs a joint supplement:

  • Limping 
  • Abnormal gait
  • Reluctance to climb stairs or jump into the car
  • Difficulty getting out of bed
  • Weakness in the hind legs
  • Discomfort or agitation when touched

Dog joint supplements can help with these problems. Even if your dog isn’t experiencing any of the signs, a dog joint supplement may be a good way to preserve joint function, maintain joint health, and reduce the risk of these occurring later in life in aging dogs. But with all the supplements out there in the world today, which one do you choose? What should you look for? 

The Best Joint Health Supplements for Dogs

Finding the best supplement can be challenging. There are so many supplements on the market that it is hard to find out what works and what doesn’t for your dog’s joints. But, if you know what to look for, you can find a supplement that works well for your individual dog. 

Before you start looking at products, you should research the company selling them. Ask yourself, or the company, the following questions:

  • Where are their ingredients sourced from? 
  • Do they have 3rd party lab results?
  • Are they transparent?
  • What is their reputation?
  • What other products are offered?
  • Are there added preservatives, chemicals, or fillers?

Earth Buddy’s Background

To provide some background on Earth Buddy, we are a family-owned company that sources local, high-quality ingredients. All products have been tested for quality and safety. And, there are third-party lab results available for each product. We are open to questions and we’re completely transparent. 

Earth Buddy’s hemp is grown on a small, organic farm in Colorado. All of the products offered are made in Earth Buddy’s commercial kitchen and are never co-manufactured. This allows you to fully understand where each ingredient is sourced and allows Earth Buddy to confidently provide information to all customers.

You can find the lab results here

Green-Lipped Mussels 

Green-lipped mussels for dogs are a great food supplement for your dog’s joint health. Green-lipped mussels are a natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids. These three ingredients are known to play a key role in the health of your dog’s joints. This natural product from New Zealand helps to ease the symptoms of joint discomfort in dogs and improve their mobility by promoting healthy inflammatory processes.

Green-lipped mussels can be given to dogs both raw and cooked, but raw is preferable because it contains more nutrients than cooked mussels. You can also try adding them to your dog’s food so that they get all of the benefits without having to eat them directly.

Finding Green-Lipped Mussels

When searching for them, keep in mind that green lipped mussels are also known as New Zealand green-lipped mussels, NZ green-lipped mussels, or may be abbreviated as GLM. They are a type of marine bivalve mollusk that lives off the coast of New Zealand. As they grow older they turn green on their shells which gives them their name.

Learning About Glutathione

Because of its antioxidant qualities, glutathione is often recommended as a dietary supplement for supporting joint health. It helps fight free radicals and promotes immune response. The body produces glutathione on its own in the liver, but aging and other factors can deplete the body of this antioxidant.

Joint issues are often caused by discomfort or swelling in the joint tissue. Liposomal glutathione promotes healthy inflammatory processes by reducing oxidative stress. It prevents damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can harm cells and tissues. 

Maxx-Life Glutathione

Earth Buddy’s Maxx Life-Glutathione product contains the following ingredients: 
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  • Glutathione support complex: Contains a blend of liposomal glutathione, L-cysteine, L-glutamine, L-glycine, and alpha lipoic acid; supplements lower levels and promotes glutathione production naturally
  • Immune support complex: Contains elderberry extract, vitamin C, vitamin D, L-lysine, zinc glycinate, and quercetin to support healthy immune function and allergies
  • Hemp essence trinity: Minimally processed to provide the proper amount of intact trichomes to deliver a 1:1:1 ratio of CBD, CBDa, and CBG, in addition to the other compounds produced by sun-grown hemp. 

You can find the lab results here

CBDa to Support Joints

Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the trichomes of cannabis plants. It’s often referred to as “acidic CBD” because it has a lower pH than other cannabinoids. Acidic cannabinoids are known for promoting healthy inflammatory responses which can promote healthy cartilage and preserve joint health.

CBDa from Earth Buddy

Earth Buddy’s Mobility 500mg-CBD:CBDa for dogs and cats has a 4:1 ratio of CBDa:CBD. The whole plant extracts were extracted using supercritical Co2 to preserve the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in the plant profile to form the entourage effect. The product also contains organic MCT oil to promote healthy inflammatory processes in the body.

The lab results can be found here

The Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs

You can purchase bone broth from a reputable source or you can make it yourself. The benefits of bone broth include the following:

  • Rich in minerals, collagen, gelatin, and other nutrients that promote a healthy immune response
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to promote joint health and joint cartilage. Glucosamine is a natural component of joint cartilage and synovial fluid. Promotes joint health and aids in the production of synovial fluid, which protects and cushions the joints, and maintains joint lubrication. 
  • Aids in the absorption of nutrients
  • Contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus that support immune system health
  • Contains amino acids like glycine and glutamine that promote cell growth and repair
  • Contains glycine which may aid with joint discomfort by promoting joint health

The best type of bones for making bone broth are knuckles or feet from grass-fed cows or sheep. You can use either fresh or frozen bones, whichever you have on hand, but make sure they haven’t been processed with any chemicals or additives like sodium phosphate or phosphoric acid hydrolysis (PHH). The best place to purchase bones is a co-op, local farmer’s market, or the butcher. 

Make Your Own Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the easiest, most nutrient-dense foods you can make for your dog. To make it yourself, follow these steps:

First, fill your crockpot with bones. You can add garlic cloves if desired for added benefit and taste. Then, add filtered water to the bones, covering them completely.

Once the bones are covered with water, add 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. There’s no need to mix it. Just let it sit for one hour without turning the crock pot on. Then, remove any foam or mixture that has formed at the top. The mixture contains impurities that aren’t necessarily bad but impact the flavor of the broth. 

Turn the crockpot on low and cook the bones for 6-24 hours. As the mixture is cooked, more nutrients are drawn out of the bones. If you aren’t using organic bones, the time frame should be closer to the 6-10 hour mark. Keep the mixture on low so it does not boil. You want this to cook slowly.

Once it’s done cooking, strain the mixture to remove all the bones. They are no longer nutritious and pose a choking hazard. 

Using a ladle, place the mixture in storage containers, then put them in the refrigerator. Once it’s cold, you will notice the fat has hardened at the top. Scoop as much of that out as possible and keep the remainder. 

You’ve made bone broth! You can serve this alone, add it to water, or place it over their food each day for an added boost. 

Collagen for Dogs

As dogs age, their bodies produce less and less collagen. This can lead to dry or brittle hair and nails, joint discomfort due to decreased joint lubrication , and poor muscle tone because the body doesn’t have the right building blocks to make new collagen fibers. Senior dogs with poor diets are especially at risk for developing these problems since they don’t get enough nutrients from their food to create new collagen fibers needed for healthy skin and bones.

Collagen is another option to look into as a supplement for senior dogs. Collagen is a protein that’s naturally present in your dog’s body, as well as in the meat and bones of the food she eats. Collagen improves the strength of the skin and tendons, resulting in more flexibility and less likely to suffer from joint discomfort.

Turmeric for Dogs

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. The spice comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Today, turmeric is used as an ingredient in everything from ice cream to cosmetics because of its bright color and strong flavor. 

Turmeric can be beneficial for your dog’s joint health by promoting proper inflammatory responses and encouraging the immune system. The best way to use turmeric for dog joint health is by adding it to your dog’s food every day. You can also add it to bone broth if you have some on hand. 

Choosing a Fish Oil 

Fish oil for dogs is a popular supplement that provides a variety of health benefits for your dog’s joint health. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids help maintain your dog’s skin and coat, promote healthy inflammatory responses, and promote heart health. There are a few factors you should look for when searching for a product: 

Fish oil is prone to oxidation. Similar to fruits you buy from the store, oxidation can cause the product to go rancid. To help the product remain viable, purchase fish oil in small amounts. 

Keeping the bottle out of the sun will also reduce the risk of oxidation. Find a cool place in the house without sun to make the oil last longer. An amber-colored bottle can also enhance the viability of the product.


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