Is your dog suffering from arthritis? Green Lipped Mussel Supplement for Dogs
Dogs, like humans, suffer from joint pains; and for some pet owners, green lipped mussel supplement for dogs has proven to be highly effective in relieving their furry friends’ aches. You might have heard of nutritional supplements being used by humans to manage arthritis and other joint-related problems, but did you know that dogs can also benefit from these supplements?
GLM extract works on dogs for the same reason it does on humans. You may, however, have concerns about the safety and effectiveness of green lipped mussel for dogs. Let’s find out how it works, whether the extract is safe, and see what the experts have found in clinical trials relating to one of nature’s greatest food extracts.
Is there Supporting Evidence for Green Lipped Mussels as Supplements for Dogs?
As they age, dogs become more prone to having joint problems. Veterinarians have revealed that nearly 20 percent of adult dogs suffer from arthritis and that this condition has become one of the most common concerns that veterinarians encounter daily in canine patients. They also report that dogs that gain excess weight as they age are the most prone to arthritis.
Such reports sound a lot like arthritis in humans, with age and weight gain being the most common culprits of joint problems in people. And like us, our pets can also find relief from pain. For dogs, green lipped mussel (GLM) nutritional supplements have been found to be as effective in relieving arthritic pains as they are in humans.
Several studies from both the U.S. and New Zealand (the latter being the primary source of green shell mussels) have shown that dogs fed with GLM mixed in their daily food exhibited fewer symptoms of arthritis. Joint swellings and movement disorders were diminished and even eradicated in dogs that received supplements made from green lipped mussels within less than two months, a study has revealed.
How Does Green Lipped Mussel Work on Dogs? The Evidence Explained
GLM-based supplements mixed with dog food relieve arthritis and other inflammatory conditions in dogs the same way they work for humans, experts have reported. Green lipped mussels, also called green shell mussels in New Zealand, are known for having the ability to inhibit leukotrienes activity, a process that has been identified as a major factor behind inflammation.
Conditions that have components of inflammation include arthritis, asthma and joint tissue weakness. The omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids that are abundant in this shellfish also help strengthen the cartilage, joint tissues and bones of dogs. Added to this are the high contents of iron and glycosaminoglycan found in greenshell mussels which are universally considered good for promoting bone strength and overall health.
With some products, many of the claims are unsubstantiated, or rely on evidence collected anecdotally, and without any significant scientific research. One of the reasons why green lipped mussel powder and other extracts have become so popular, is because the claims of the product can be backed up by real science.
Arthritis is classified as a usually painful condition that is caused by inflammation of the joints. As joints become inflamed, movement is restricted. This can cause mood changes in your dog, as a loss of mobility leads to depression, even in animals. You could find that your dog eats less, and shows less interest in daily activities. Taking the pain away could restore your dog’s interest in life.
Green lipped mussel, like many seafood products, is exceptionally high in Omega 3 fatty acids. This same acid, often marketed in fish oil products, is an excellent alternative to the typical non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID) that are on the market. This includes over the counter drugs like Advil and other Ibuprofen derived medications.
Are the Published Studies Supportive of the Claims?
In a study published by Surg Neurol in 2006, 250 human patients suffering from neck and back pain were subjected to a trial where they would each consume 1200mg of Omega 3 extract. The study lasted for one month, after which time the patients were surveyed to collect data regarding the effectiveness of the extract. 88% of the patients surveyed reported improvement following the treatments. This same group also noted that they would like to continue treatment with the extract. Perhaps just as important, was the fact that none of the patients reported any significant side effects from taking the extract. The study concluded that the use of Omega 3 was at least as effective as NSAID medication, with none of the typical side effects.
Now you might be wondering, what does this have to do with my dog? Well, human studies mean more than you think. A pure extract like the green lipped mussel powder extract Xtend-Life, is safe for consumption by dogs, and even cats. This is because the product doesn’t include flavors or other ingredients that could be harmful to your dog. There are a number of multi vitamins and GLM extracts that include other vitamins and minerals, these are not safe for dogs. Dogs don’t require the same nutrients as humans, and in some cases they even synthesize nutrients in their bodies, such as Vitamin C. So while dogs don’t need all of the same nutrients that humans do, they are biologically similar enough to humans that some supplements are safe and even beneficial for their consumption. GLM extract falls into the latter two categories.
Perhaps one of the most important studies that can give you confidence that GLM is the best joint supplement for dogs, is one performed at Massey University in New Zealand. The study looked at just over 80 dogs that were suffering from joint conditions, and much like human studies, scientists put the dogs on a diet which included a GLM extract. The study was double blind, so both the researchers and the dog owners were unaware of which animals were given the extract, and which were given a placebo. The result was an average rate of improvement in 74% of the dogs that were given the extract. The improvements were noted as an increase in mobility and a decrease in lameness. If your dog suffers from a degenerative disorder caused by inflammation like arthritis, then you can have the confidence that even leading institutions have found GLM to be effective in clinical studies.
Choosing the Best Green Lipped Mussel Option for Your Pets
Nutritional supplements made from green lipped mussels vary in their form; there are those available as pills, while there are supplements being sold as oil extracts. There are also those available in gel form. However, most experts agree that supplements manufactured without freezing or using extensive heating methods are the best in terms of retaining the most nutrients from the raw mussel.
With this in mind, a lot of them recommend the powder-form supplement. Looking at various research reports and analyzing the pros and cons of different extraction procedures, I would have to say that I agree with them. Why, you might ask.
First, powdered green shell mussel only requires half an hour to extract, which means that shorter time is required to derive the final product from the raw produce. The fresher the raw material, the better the quality of the final manufactured product.
Second, powder supplements can be easily added to dog food and will not change the taste of the food much, which will make it easier to get dogs to take the supplement.
Third, powdered mussels do not need freeze-drying or extensive heating to be produced; hence they are more likely to retain the nutrients contained in raw green lipped mussels.
Lastly, most powder form supplements don’t require the addition of other ingredients to make them digestible. Regular capsules and gel caps with oil are produced with a number of additional ingredients, which may not always be safe for consumption by dogs. The contents in the gel capsule alone are enough to compromise the purity of the GLM extract.
When it comes to the brand of green lipped mussel supplement for dogs, I would have to say that Xtend-Life Green Lipped Mussel Powder will be the most appropriate. After all, you would want to give your pets products that are manufactured by a trusted name and a brand that has earned its reputation as a quality provider of natural supplements.