Can You Support A Dogs Joint Health and Mitigate Arthritis?

Vets get asked daily if its possible to support a dogs joint health and mitigate arthritis?  The short answer it yes and it may be possible to reverse come of the damage with Type II collagen found in certain bone broths.

Across all breeds and ages, 20 percent of dogs suffer from canine arthritis. Arthritis in dogs can be mild and unnoticeable or debilitating with lameness and excruciating pain. Read more about the common treatments for dog or canine osteoarthritis and joint problems.

You can help ease your dog’s discomfort by learning about and giving them the proper nutrition and support to minimize the damage and turn on the immune system to lessen the effect of arthritis.

What Causes of Arthritis and Joint Pain in Dogs?

Common treatments for dog osteoarthritis and joint problems

The research into what causes arthritis has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Medical providers no longer believe that arthritis is the result of wear and tear on joints and was inevitable in dogs, or humans for that matter.

Research has shown that inflammation and chronic inflammation can result in degenerative joint diseases and arthritis. Controlling inflammation reduces the risk of immobility and preserves joint health.

Inflammation from injuries or disease turns on white blood cells that start the healing process. Low-grade chronic inflammation, for weeks on end, can turn on the arthritis symptoms in your dog.

Arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, or decreased mobility in the joints and surrounding supporting cartilage, collagen, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Most of the time, fur-buddy parents will notice that their dogs are doing less or having difficulty doing everyday activities.

Your dog has a problem getting up on the couch, going up the stairs, or getting in the back of the family SUV.

With more athletic dogs, they can’t run as long with their owner or don’t want to play as long at the dog park.

Then it progresses to overt lameness — holding the limb up or holding the limb at at an awkward angle to protect it.

Those signs are the most common things we see as dog parents.

Dog joint pain

Rarely will you see overt pain as the first complaint; it’s a slow process.

A joint is where two or more bones come together in the body. There is flexible tissue cartilage between them, as well as synovial fluid. Cartilage keeps bones from rubbing together as you move.

Synovium and synovial fluid are the lubrication for bones and cartilage. The synovial fluid is what allows bones to glide across each other frictionlessly. Arthritis is likely to follow once the cartilage is susceptible to wear and tear, and without the synovial fluid, the cartilage is prone to damage.

Over time, or due to illness or injury, cartilage can wear down, releasing collagen into the synovial fluid. The immune system looks at loose collagen as a foreign invader and increases the inflammation as white blood cells try to kill the interpreted foreign invader.

Add on the fact that cartilage has a limited blood supply. As a result, it does not heal quickly, and often it does not heal completely. Clinical studies show that once bones stop growing, the cartilage stops being able to heal. Without it protecting its bones, your dog can and will experience intense pain.

The two predominant types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis (OA) is the deterioration of the joints.

Autoimmune diseases are where the immune system, which usually protects the body from illness and infection, attacks healthy blood cells.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease impacting the joints and the whole body.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) degrades the cartilage and attacks the joints. Early in the disease state, damage to the joints from RA occurs. RA is uncommon in dogs; it can appear during middle age in small breeds such as shetland sheepdogs and miniature poodles.s The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in dogs often include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Joint swelling
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unwillingness or inability to walk
  • Limb or muscle atrophy
  • Tonsillitis
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Lameness in one or more limbs

Arthritis can strike dogs of any breed or age, and common risk factors and causes can make your dog more susceptible:

Genetic Predisposition:

large breed dogs have a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis

Many large breed dogs have a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis, and some small dogs are more susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis. Of all breeds, Newfoundlands have the highest prevalence of cruciate ligament disease. Rottweilers have more knee and ankle problems. Bernese Mountain dogs commonly get elbow dysplasia.

Some dog breeds carry the genes for a condition that leads to arthritis, but generation-skipping is seen in hip dysplasia cases, where the genes are expressed in their puppies.


Studies have shown that overweight or obese dogs will develop osteoarthritis an average of three years before healthy weight dogs. Researchers have found that approximately 54 percent of American dogs are overweight or obese, a precursor to arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.  

Maintaining a proper weight over your dog’s lifetime is critical as your dog ages.

Joint Trauma and Stress:

Accidents or trauma that damage your dog’s bones, tissues, and ligaments or from high-demand activities that repeatedly stress their joints can lead to arthritis. These post-traumatic can cause damage to the joints and make them more prone to arthritis.

Developmental or Degenerative: Dog Joint Disease Categories

Diseases of the joints fall into one of two categories: degenerative or developmental.

Hip sockets are often too big, resulting in the hip bone popping out and in, rubbing the two bones together. This constant friction is what causes hip dysplasia as a dog ages.

Developmental joint issues are from either the over-development or underdevelopment of the bones connected at the joints.

Osteoarthritis, the other type of joint problem, is a degenerative joint disease. DJD is the most common cause of arthritis in dogs, and it occurs when the cartilage deteriorates around the bones. Older dogs are prone to develop osteoarthritis, especially if their synovium stops producing lubricating synovial fluid.

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Joint Problems

Due to the constant pain associated with osteoarthritis, dogs really can’t hide it. An inattentive dog owner will  likely notice one of the various signs of joint issues:

  • Limping or favoring one leg over the other – The most noticeable sign your dog is developing arthritis is when they prefer one leg or limp. They do this to keep the weight off their arthritic joint.
  • Standing using only front legs: Hip dysplasia is the most common form of arthritis. You see this when your dog stands up. They’ll use their front legs and keep their back legs folded under or next to them. They do this to stop putting weight on their hips and hind legs.
  • Reluctance or refusal to jump or climb stairs – Jumping and inclining are stressful activities on joints. If your dog suddenly looks at a bed or couch that they always jumped upon and gives you the “you’ve got to be kidding me” look, you’ll know it’s time to visit the vet.
      • The joint pain caused by joint pain is from inflammation. Catching this early can be one way to prevent further damage to the joint.
      • Dogs sometimes try to hide their joint pain by placing their weight on their other legs. This quickly results in muscle wasting as the muscles around the affected joint, making the problem worse. 
  • Licking the affected joint – When dogs get a minor cut, they’ll lick the wound to help it heal. Sensing that there’s something wrong with their body, dogs will lick the impacted joint to lessen the pain.
  • Temperament changes: Being greeted by our fur buddies after a long day is a treat for every dog parent. When our dogs develop chronic pain in the hips, knees, or elbows, this regular meeting you at the door suddenly stops. The inability to move can cause a complete change in temperament and can even cause irritability.
  • Depression or lethargic behavior: Part of being a dog is the excitement of running around, smelling new smells, and playing with the most fantastic toy humans have ever invented, the squeak toy. When all of this is limited by their joints’ pain, their mood can sometimes spiral into depression.

To summarize, the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:  

the signs and symptoms of canine osteoarthritis
    • Limping
    • Stiffness
    • Favoring a leg
    • Difficulty getting up and down.
    • Reluctance to climb, jump, and play
    • Licking of the affected joint
    • Fever
    • Appetite loss
    • Fear of touch
    • Swelling or tenderness
    • Lethargy
    • Limited mobility

Joint problems are in elderly dogs are common and are a result of normal aging.

They can occur in young dogs because of joint, cartilage, or collagen injury.

Different factors can contribute to arthritis and joint disease, including genetic tendencies towards hip and elbow dysplasia and early arthritis. Joint soreness will happen at some stages of our pet’s lives. However, it does not have to be debilitating.  

How to Manage Your Dog’s Joint Pain and Arthritis and Joint Pain

To help support the joints in your fur buddies, seek ways to increase or maintain your dog’s joints health. This can include different activities, such as muscle and ligament strength building, taking supplements, or eating a diet that promotes joint health.

Massage their leg until the dog begins to relax the leg and then gently rub-down the leg, extending the leg a little at a time until it is fully extended. Then apply a heating pad to warm the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Common treatments for osteoarthritis and joint problems

There are surgical and non-operative treatments.

Surgical treatments range from arthroscopic cleaning of a joint to total joint replacement.

Weight Management

For non-surgical options, the option that has the most significant impact and highest effectiveness is weight management and build up the strength of supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The goal is to get your dog to an ideal weight to decrease the stresses on the joints. 

Muscle function and mass will help protect the joints and support the overall function. Fortunately for your dog, they most likely love to exercise.

Maintaining an ideal body weight will reduce joint pain and inflammation, reducing the effects of osteoarthritis in dogs.


Exercise is a magic pill that can aid your dog’s immune system health, helping them in many ways. Maintaining ideal body weight is a byproduct of daily exercise and will put less inflammatory stress on your dog’s joints and immune system.

Daily exercise acts as mental stimuli to improve your dog’s outlook on life and reduce stress, and prevents boredom, just as it does for you. Exercise-induced stress reduction boosts the immune system in both dogs and people.

A quick way to lower your dog’s blood pressure, increase circulation, and promote joint health and well-being is exercise. All of these are byproducts of activity and lead to a more robust immune system for your dog’s health.


Dehydration can cause joint pain because of the lubricating effect it has on the joints. It’s estimated that 70 – 80% of joint cartilage consists of water. Synovial fluid is the thick lubrication between the joints, giving our pets a cushion, so the bones don’t come in contact. This fluid is located in the joints throughout their body: hips, knees, feet, shoulders, and paws. 

Dehydration can cause joint pain because of the lubricating effect it has on the joints

If your dog is hydrated, then the synovial fluid, which is the gel-like liquid, provides nutrition, shock-absorption, lubrication, and cushioning in the joints. The framework is like a sponge, with the water filling the space to cushion the joint.

Chicken bone broth contains proline and hyaluronic acid, which have been shown to reduce the effects of joint and skin aging in human and animal studies. The hyaluronic acid in chicken bone broth helps regulate water balance in the connective tissues and keeps joints hydrated.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with bone broth could help provide the body with more dietary “conditionally essential” amino acids involved in collagen synthesis and healing processes.

Bone broth is a rich, gelatinous substance that offers health benefits that go beyond joint health.

It’s a natural joint supplement and contains the probiotic Lactobacillus demonstrated a reduction in inflammation to aid in digestive health in preclinical studies.

It prevents dehydration, hydrates, nourishes, and boosts flavor for picky eaters. 

Dehydration complicates joint problems, so it’s essential to provide fresh, good-quality water in clean bowls at all times.

To actively encourage your dog to drink more water, add small amounts of organic chicken bone broth to a bowl of water. 

Medications, food, and food supplements

Today, there are various types of medications and food additives available. For drugs, there are analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers. All have positives and negatives.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs can have beneficial and noticeable effects for dogs with joint pain. NSAIDs intended for human use have a high incidence of potentially serious side effects in dogs.

Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx have been designed specifically for dogs and are much safer than ibuprofen or aspirin. However, these dog NSAIDs can still cause gastrointestinal upset and liver or kidney dysfunction in rare cases.

Galliprant is a reasonably new NSAID that is considered safer on the kidneys in aged dogs and is frequently used by veterinarians today.

NSAIDs have common issues that can impact your dogs’ health, and you should review these with your vet. 

A veterinarian should always supervise NSAID use in dogs.

With traditional drugs, NSAIDs, dogs typically demonstrate improved comfort in a few days. Dog joint supplements may take several weeks of administration before there’s a noticeable improvement in mobility and attitude.

Supplement A Dogs’ Diet with All-Natural Supplements for Healthy Joints

One of the best ways you can support your dog’s immune system is through supplementation. Again, your dog is active and vibrant, and they need extra resources to combat the source of inflammation to prevent the progression to osteoarthritis and joint issues. 

Even if you’re hyper-vigilant and monitor your dog’s diet, they may be missing out on required and essential minerals and vitamins. Adding a nutritional supplement to make the following nutrients bioavailable:

dog Supplements help slow the aging process, eliminate free radicals, and reduce inflammation.
  • Supplements help slow the aging process, eliminate free radicals, and reduce inflammation.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics, the second-largest fortress of the immune system, is your dog’s gut. Prebiotics and probiotics ensure your dog’s stomach is full of healthy immune-boosting bacteria.

The Best Hip and Joint Health Supplement for Dogs Based on Clinical Research

Every year, thousands of American dogs are diagnosed with arthritis and other joint problems. If you’re like most dog lovers, you’ll do anything to help your beloved pet get around with less pain and regain mobility.

There are a wide variety of treatments you might try to aid in regain lost mobility. NSAIDs are the gold standard. However, they have issues with the inhibition of Cox-1, which can lead to GI issues and ulcers.  

Natural joint supplements for dogs come without side effects (some potentially serious), gaining popularity as dog parents reach for healthier alternatives.

Natural dietary supplements and joint supplements are an easy, effective way for you to provide joint health support. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are widely available and offer some minor relief. 

Dog Immune system and dog arthritis

The health benefits of chondroitin and hyaluronic acid found in chicken bone broth powder for dogs with arthritis are well documented. In a study done by the Animal Science Division of Oeste Paulista University, hyaluronic acid was injected into dogs with hip dysplasia.  The treated group of dogs with osteoarthritis showed lower Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) scores (a), Canine Brief Pain Inventory or pain relief scores, and in the veterinarian evaluation, compared to the Control group.

Of note was that clinical improvement was observed in 100% of the Hyaluronic acid group animals versus only 50% in the control group (saline solution) regardless of body weight.

The fact that older dogs showed a clinical improvement, including restoration of the elastic and viscous properties of the synovial fluid and anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects, was beyond impressive and is a viable treatment for osteoarthritis. 

How Type II Collagen Can Help Your Dog with Osteoarthritis

Research has shown that in animals with arthritis and joint disorders, the immune system acts and attacks exposed collagen.

With OA, collagen fibers that are damaged fill the joint space in synovial fluid triggering your dog’s immune system to view these fibers as a hostile attack, causing the painful inflammatory cascade responsible for your dog’s symptoms.

Collagen is described as “the glue that holds the body together.” Its amino acid profile is unique because of proline, glycine, glutamine, and arginine – 4 amino acids the body needs to…

Reduce Joint inflammation and pain…

Reduce gut inflammation…

Aids in digestion…

Regulate stomach acid secretion…

It helps maintain healthy gut flora by rebuilding the intestinal wall and repairing leaky gut syndrome.

A study in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics Efficacy and Safety of Glycosylated Undenatured Type-II Collagen in the therapy of arthritic dogs Dogs receiving oral doses of Type II Collagen alone showed 33% showed significant reductions in overall pain within 30 days.

After 60 days, 66% demonstrated less pain upon limb manipulation and exercise-associated lameness after 60 days of starting treatment with Type II Collagen added to their diet.

At 90 days, ground force plate studies showed significant improvement on pressure plates demonstrating that dogs could put more weight on their arthritic leg than 90 days previously. 

At 120 days, the maximum reduction in pain was noted with an overall pain reduction of 62%; reduction in exercise-associated lameness, 78%, and pain reduction upon limb manipulation, 91%.

A relapse of pain was demonstrated in all the dogs after 30 days of the withdrawal from oral Type II Collagen.

How Type II Collagen Can Help

The unique ingredient Type II Collagen works with your dog’s immune system to interrupt the cycle of inflammation. In dogs with OA, damaged collagen fibers are released into the synovial fluid that fills the joint space. These fibers trigger your dog’s immune system, causing the painful inflammatory cascade responsible for your dog’s symptoms.

Type II Collagen works to retrain your dog's immune response

Type II Collagen works to retrain your dog’s immune response. Naturally sourced from chicken sternum, and is an all-natural product. Active Dawg Organic Chicken Bone Broth has similar properties to the damaged collagen released by your dog’s body.

With the ingestion of Active Dawg USDA Certified Organic Chicken Bone Broth, the dog’s immune system learns to tolerate the damaged collagen and becomes less reactive to the collagen fibers released by their own body. Through this oral tolerization process, inflammation is reduced, which can alleviate your dog’s symptoms, helping them get back to doing the things they and you love together.

Type II collagen administered orally helps the body differentiate between bacteria, and essential elements that are good for the body, such as nutrients and amino acids.

Oral tolerance is series of complex immunological events.

Lymphoid tissue patches surrounding the small intestine screen incoming compounds and serve as a “switch” to turn the body’s immune response on and off to foreign substances depending upon what that substance is.

This is oral tolerance and takes place in the small intestine, where food is absorbed.

With Type II collagen, a small amount (typically 10 mg / 1 tablespoon of Active Dawg Chicken Bone Broth) taken orally has been clinically demonstrated to switch off the immune response that is targeted at the Type II collagen present in bone joint cartilage.

This suppresses the action of cells involved in the normal breakdown of collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins, giving the body a better chance to repair joint damage, reduce arthritis pain and joint issues.

Is Active Dawg USDA Organic Chicken Bone Broth Safe To Use For Arthritis Pain?

One of the significant concerns with progressive diseases like osteoarthritis is how the medications used to treat

Active Dawg What is Bone Broth? Why Should I Feed It To My Dog…

them affect dogs over time. Some medicines can cause harmful changes in your dog’s liver or kidneys. This is the advantage of Active Dawg Chicken Bone Broth; made from natural sources, it is a supplement that does not produce any liver or kidney function changes, making it safe to use for more extended periods.

High-quality supplements are very safe; they work best in combination with other arthritis treatment forms.

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