The last decade has been a time of tremendous learning and growth for us dog owners. Many of us have gone from watching helplessly when our dogs get sick; to being able to diagnose a problem, research it and try a series of natural remedies before resorting to mainstream treatment.
One of the breakthroughs of the last few years is the introduction of dog collagen supplements. For a long time, humans have been using collagen for many reasons, from beauty to joint pain. But now, our dogs are starting to enjoy the same benefits. Here are the top ten reasons to start using dog collagen supplements as part of your dog’s overall health plan.
We all know that collagen is used as a treatment for arthritis in dogs, but as they say – prevention is better than cure. You may think that because your dog is young and healthy, it doesn’t need collagen. The sooner you start your dog on a collagen supplement, the better. Increasing the amount of collagen in your dog’s diet can help to build a steady foundation – robust, capable joints that will allow for better mobility and that may decrease the chances of arthritis and joint breakdown later in life.
Joint pain – arthritis
Probably the most known use of dog collagen right now is for older dogs suffering from various arthritic pains. Bad hips can be a source of tremendous suffering for dogs. The addition of collagen in an older dogs’ diet has been shown to reduce inflammation in the joints and help rebuild cartilage, thereby reducing the overall joint pain felt by your dog.
This digestive tract is particularly susceptible to inflammation and subsequent rotting in dogs which can create the equivalent of leaky gut -a condition where toxins from the gastrointestinal tract leak into the bloodstream creating a toxic environment. Collagen supplements are said to be able to repair the lining of the digestive tract since this tract, like most things in the body is made from collagen.
Everybody wants their dog to look healthy, and the primary indicator of a dog’s health is its coat. There is a layer of the dog’s skin known as the dermis. This dermis is made mainly of collagen. Ultimately, it is a healthy dermis that produces healthy fur. Dog show people have known about the benefits of collagen supplements for years, but now everyone is catching on. Having a healthy coat on your dog is also good for their self-esteem and can reduce hair shedding – a relief for dog owners with carpets everywhere!
As well as keeping fur healthy, dog collagen can stimulate new hair growth. Humans have been experimenting with this for some time now. Finally, dogs with thinning hair can have the same benefits as their balding owners!
Strong teeth and nails
For a long time, we thought teeth and nails were made up entirely of calcium. But in recent times we are discovering that while they do contain minerals such as calcium, teeth and nails are mostly made up of collagen. So, the addition of collagen supplements can help keep teeth and nails stronger and healthier.
A whole number of conditions can reduce a dog’s desire for food. Particularly if the dog is feeling any pain, intestinal discomfort, or nausea, they can be put off eating altogether. Collagen supplements are a superfood in that they can supply amino acids and nutrients in a high density from a small amount of powder. Most dogs love the flavour of collagen so sprinkling their food with some can quickly get them to start looking forward to their dinner again.
As a dog ages, their skin loses elasticity. This tightening of the skin is due to the breakdown of collagen. Supplementing collagen stimulates the dermis and can bring the youthful spring back into a dog’s skin. Particularly if your dog suffers from dry or flaky skin, this is often a side effect of inflammation. So, as the collagen can reduce inflammation, it can also heal up their dry or flaky skin.
Collagen doesn’t just magically rebuild cells from fresh air. The amino acids, called glycine, encourages the creation of lean muscle within the body. It is common knowledge these days that muscles require a lot more calories to sustain themselves than fat. Hence a diet rich in collagen can increase dog’s fat-burning potential, thus helping them to lose weight in the long term.
It is easy to think that anxiety is a mental issue. But anxiety is more often a physical condition that is then projected onto some external object. The situation is not different for dogs. The cause of anxiety usually begins with inflammation and muscular tension. These things prevent the blood, oxygen and other compounds from moving freely in the body. Particularly when these compounds can’t get to the brain, it induces a mild panic that is a gentler version of the feeling you experience when holding your breath. Dogs feel this as much as we do. Collagen supplements help reduce inflammation in the body. The subsequent opening of the channels can revive the flow of compounds to the brain, thus reducing the feeling of anxiety.
Collagen for dogs
Of course, there are many other benefits of collagen. Since collagen is the main protein and the building block of bones, muscles, blood and pretty much every other part of your dog’s body, it goes without saying that supplementing their diet with collagen can only be beneficial.