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Why Does My Pet need Joint Care?

Published date: 23 February 2024

Joint Care is essential for our furry friends. As our dogs and cats go through their busy lives, they put stress and strain on their joints. Using supportive diets and ingredients across their life will hugely reduce the chance of a joint disease developing.

Do Puppies and Kittens need Joint Care?

Joint care is not for our golden oldies. Our puppies’ and kittens’ joints are still developing so support is essential. Whilst growing, their joints are especially vulnerable to wear and tear, as they are still developing their skeletal and muscle structures.

Some breeds will also grow at a much slower rate than others. Large Breeds such as German Shepherds can take two or more years to fully mature. Remember to look for specific large breed puppy diets, these will provide higher levels of support.

The key is prevention rather than cure. By finding ways to support them early on, you reduce the potential for joint problems in later life.

What causes joint problems?

There are many contributing factors to joint health:

  • Wear and Tear – Repetitive movement such as running up and down stairs, on and off the sofa and jumping in and out of the car, can cause damage over time.
  • Being Overweight – Carrying extra weight puts more strain on the joints. Pets should be kept in an optimal lean condition to help reduce excess stress on their joints. Did you know our stores offer a free Health Club Service?
  • Getting too much exercise – Puppies and kittens grow rapidly and too much exercise at a young age can cause their joints to be stressed and damaged. Short, little bursts of play and walking are best. Too much exercise can also be damaging to those pets who aren’t prepared for strenuous activity. Ultimately fitness must be built, taking a pet on a long walk they are not ready for can lead to problems.
  • Getting too little exercise – Keeping pets moving, especially older pets, is important for keeping them at the right weight and strengthening their joints. Our feline friends can be very guilty of lazy behaviour, for help getting them off their furry backsides, take a look at our Guide to Playing with Cats.
  • Inherited Health Conditions – Some breeds are more at risk than others. Getting a pet from a responsible breeder and researching their needs is essential.

How do I look after their joints?

Feeding a high-quality premium food is the easiest way to get joint care into your pet. The best diets will include joint supplements at a high enough level to provide proper support.

Look for Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM. These supplements work together to rebuild, protect and soothe the joints.

A joint care pack should be at a minimum level of 750mg/kg for a dog diet and 350mg/kg for a cat diet. Many lower quality diets lack a sufficient level of these ingredients, so it is essential to look carefully at the packaging. For help finding the most supportive diets, head over to Pet Food Expert. This website has the comparison tools you need to discover more about your pet's food.

The best diets will provide these high levels of supportive ingredients and give furry friends the building blocks they need to keep their joints stable and strong.

If you are wanting in person advice, head over to your local Pets Corner to talk to our Academy trained staff.

Written by Lucy Marcham

Lucy teaches all aspects of the Pets Corner curriculum and specialises in animal nutrition, ensuring that our staff have the right knowledge and understanding of pet diets to assist customers with confidence and care.