How Effective Are Joint Supplements For Pets With Arthritis? Over the last decade the use of nutritional supplements and vitamins for humans has increased tremendously, as the American population ages continuously. Recently, a radio show discussed that people in the US spend more on their pets than pet owners in any other nation would and one thing they love to give to their pets are supplements and vitamins. A veterinary study published in The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association in 2006 mentioned that pet owners give their companion animals in first place nutritional supplements for joint problems and arthritis. On second place come vitamins and essential fatty acids (EFA) to enhance well being and general health. A very common question pet owners have got is if nutraceuticals actually work and are safe for their pets and animals. Obviously, this cannot be answered adequately in a short article, because there are many factors that need to be considered. However, more general tips can be given. Also, don't forget that there are a few similarities in their effectiveness for humans, too. Make sure you use products only from manufacturers with an excellent reputation, as they will use high quality ingredients and adhere to quality standards in their production. Therefore, try to avoid products of the cheapest range and always remember that expensive products do not guarantee high quality either. The two most popular supplements for arthritic joint problems, glucosamine and chondroitin, are discussed in more detail in this article. A study published in 2007 in The Veterinary Journal researched the effectiveness of the treatment of dogs suffering from arthritic joint problems with joint supplements that contained glucosamine and chondroitin. They concluded that during a treatment period of about 8 -10 weeks there was a correlation between the use of supplements, better mobility and decreased pain. Only be aware that as in us humans, not all pets will respond to treatment in the same way and therefore it is a good idea to consult your own veterinarian about this treatment option first. Chondroitin and glucosamine can be bought and given to your pet separately, but both are necessary components to influence cartilage production positively. On the other side, research did prove that there are far better results when they are administered together. This is the reason you find usually both ingredients in a supplement. It is also important to think about possible side effects and the duration of treatment with a supplement. Always get the advice of your veterinarian before you start to give your pet any medication or supplement. Joint supplements that contain chondroitin and glucosamine normally do not cause side effects in pet animals, but sometimes problems in the digestive tract, such as vomiting or diarrhea can occur if you start with the highest recommended dosage. Therefore your vet will most likely start with the lowest effective dosage. Most animal patients are fine to remain on joint supplements for arthritic conditions life long. Of course, there will be always exceptions, but your veterinarian will be able to give advice on how to introduce any supplement, adjust the dosage appropriately and monitor this long term treatment accordingly. Sometimes, a balanced multivitamin supplement may help to enhance joint health and reduce symptoms, such as swelling. Well known components such as vitamin C for example, can help to get inflammation in joints better under control. Best is to get professional advice and do some research to get an even better knowledge about nutraceuticals and supplements for your animal companions.