Big dog? Old Dog? New Puppy? Whether you are working to prevent hip and joint issues, or you're already at that stage these are some incredible natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin that will get that pupster up and groovin'!
is for Cartilage! That is the word of the day. You want to fuel and support the cartilage building blocks that your dog needs while they are developing or aging, and believe it or not the most direct way to do it is to feed it cartilage. You can pay out the nose for expensive vet supplements (that mostly come from shellfish shells - natural but not very bio-available), wind your way through seedy back alleys to pay some troll under a bridge for fresh cut shark fins, or you can get smart and get some of these awesome natural low cost sources from your local natural pet supply, butcher, or farmer:
1. Trachea - oh those sweet, sweet moo tubes. Bovine trachea (also called windpipes) are powerhouses of chondoitin and glucosamine. Packed with these joint nourishing molecules, feeding just an ounce of quality trachea gives a dog about 1000-1400mg of chondroitin and glucosamine to help those developing or achey joints. Not only that it also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been noted to help wounds heal at a faster rate. Another bonus to these bad-ass pipes is that they help clean teeth as well as provide a long chewing experience that provides entertainment as well as relax and de-stress your proud pooch.
This is a must in your pet pantry if you have a large breed dog or a dog that is moving past 6 or so years old (that middle age moment) - simply great to give as a recreational chew that truly aids in joint and hip maintenance.
2. Chicken or Duck Feet - Feet don't fail me now! Chicken and duck feet are also packed with our dynamic duo of chondoitin and glucosamine. Consisting mostly of cartilage these can be found both dried and raw or frozen. Either way they are a great (and affordable) way to boost your dynamite dog's intake of chondoitin and glucosamine. These are an easy snack to be fed daily - added to the food bowl, or used as a treat, either way the continuous uptake of chondoitin and glucosamine will ensure those hips and joints are supported as they grow and age.
3. Tendons - Not only do they sound like the name of an evil family empire from Game of Thrones, they help clean the teeth while adding some chondroitin and glucosamine to that doggy diet. Be it pork, beef, or even kangaroo there is a variety of tendon out there to choose from. Tendons are great as they provide a long chewing experience that helps de-stress as well as provide a great workout for the jaw, gums, and teeth.
4. Knuckle Bones and Femur Heads - you probably went to high school with some (emphasis on "high") - as you remember, these guys are meant to be served raw. Both of these bone ends are pure cartilage and provide hours of chew time as well as immediate raw uptake of chondroitin and glucosamine, with the added bonus of getting some bone builders: calcium and phosphorous.
5. Omega-3's - Sounds like a failed emo band from the 90s, which means it will definitely be a successful post-punk hipster band full of millennials. Omega-3's are completely necessary for overall health and optimal nutrition. Much like the tin-man, these fatty acids keep them joints loose and limber. They also help with the uptake of all those chondroitin and glucosamine molecules from all those tasty chews you've been serving from the list above. These can be gotten from a variety of sources, and yes, fish is one of the best. You can purchase quality fish oils (remember to keep refrigerated - and buying smaller bottles more often keeps it fresher), or you can simply serve sardines or herring - fresh or frozen. Sardines in spring water or olive oil (with nothing else added) are a great way to get these Omegas in the system. Omega 6 comes fairly easy for dogs on a good diet, but these Omega 3s really should be supplemented to maintain optimal heart, joint, skin, and brain health and development.
So there you have it my Good People of Pupster Town - go forth and supplement!
C IS ALSO FOR CORGI AND CABBAGE! NOM! NOM! NOM!