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Healthy dog food
supports your dog's joint health

Much like humans, dogs can develop issues with joints from years of stress from running and playing. Poor joint health is more prevalent in older dogs. A well-balanced diet from healthy dog food can help maintain healthy joints. There are specific ingredients that we use to provide the right balance for your dog’s joint health.

How does nutrition affect joint health?

Joints are complex structures that enable the body to move, stretch, bend and rotate. Nourishment is delivered to the joint via joint fluid, which helps lubricate the joint for ease of movement.

By design, joints rely upon an intricate balance of strength, flexibility and lubrication for proper range of motion and are continually employed during periods of both rest and activity.

Complete and balanced nutrition ensures each component of the joint’s anatomy receives the right nutrients necessary to execute normal cell regeneration and metabolic processes.

What are glucosamine and chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin are molecules that are part of the structure of cartilage in joints. The body can either make these from other nutrients or use what is provided in the diet through ingredients that contain some cartilage components.

Glucosamine is a small carbohydrate molecule that is rapidly and almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in dogs.

Chondrocytes (cartilage cells) can make glucosamine from glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid), but this is a rate-limiting step and can delay the production of larger structural molecules in cartilage. Therefore, a dietary supply of glucosamine can be important at times of high demand.

Chondroitin sulfates are pre-formed structural molecules and stimulate cartilage production by providing necessary building blocks. Chondroitin sulfates are large molecules and the fate of dietary chondroitin sulfate is less predictable than that of glucosamine, as digestion will break down some of the chondroitin before absorption.

In addition to glucosamine and chondroitin, the diet can provide other nutrients important in cartilage structure, including glutamine, sulfur-containing amino acids and glucose.

Glucosamine & chondroitin in joint health

The levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in our healthy and natural dog food are intended to maintain the nutrient balance of healthy joints.

Joints are active tissues, and old cartilage is constantly being broken down and replaced by new cartilage. The levels of glucosamine and chondroitin provided by our dog food support the natural turnover and daily rejuvenation of cartilage.

Glucosamine and chondroitin in dog food are not intended to recover the health of joints that have been damaged through arthritis. This would require far more than could be delivered in pet food, and the research to support such a benefit is unclear.

Studies using high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation in dogs have resulted in both no effect and positive effects on joint health1 2, meaning that these high levels may or may not have a beneficial effect on joint health.

These studies used doses of 1000–1500 mg glucosamine hydrochloride and 800–1200 mg chondroitin sulfate for 20–40 kg dogs. For a typical dog, food would need 2,300–3,850 mg/kg glucosamine and 1,860–3,115 mg/kg chondroitin depending on dog size to get similar daily amounts in these studies. These levels far exceed current inclusion in dog food formulas, which are typically less than 1,000 mg/kg.

Glucosamine & chondroitin in healthy dog food

Glucosamine and chondroitin come from natural ingredients such as meat and meat meal. We use chicken, lamb, salmon, chicken meal, lamb meal and fish meal in our healthy and natural dog food. Typically, any product containing these ingredients will have certain levels of glucosamine and chondroitin already naturally present. We add glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to help support health joints.

What benefit do New Zealand green mussels add to healthy dog food?

New Zealand green mussels (NZGM) provide the nutrition to help nourish healthy joints and promote general mobility.

NZGM contains a unique profile of omega-3 fatty acids not found in any other species, including high levels of eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), which is an intermediate in the metabolism of ALA to EPA. Nutrients supplied by NZGM include:

    • Omega-3 fatty acids (ETA, EPA, DHA) which promote the natural rejuvenation of healthy joints
    • Amino acids such as glutamine and building blocks for cartilage, such as glucosamine and chondroitin
    • Vitamins, including vitamins E and C, and minerals inc, copper and manganese, which act as antioxidants

Together, these components provide the necessary nutrients for healthy joints.

NZGM – New Zealand green mussels
ETA – Eicosatetraenoic acid
ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid
EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid

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