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Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular among pet owners looking to support their dog's joint health.
And for good reasons: studies have shown promising results in dog health, especially joint health with some specific collagen. As a result, more vets consider using collagen to help support joint health in dogs, as I do with my patients.
Are collagen supplements good for dogs?
It is well-established that collagen, a naturally occurring protein in the body, is present in various organs of the dog's body, such as the skin, blood vessels, hair, and joint cartilage. Therefore, it can be confidently stated that collagen supplements do not pose any negative effects on the health of canines if used appropriately and with the proper dosage.
Furthermore, it is essential to note that different types of collagen are naturally present in the body and have distinct functionalities. Undenatured type II collagen has been demonstrated to reduce pain and discomfort and improve joint function to support joint health in dogs.
However, while the potential benefits of collagen undenatured type II collagen supplements on skin and coat health have been suggested, limited studies support these claims. Type I collagen seems to work best if your main desire is to help your dog's coat and skin, not joints.
Why are collagen supplements good for dog joint health?
The scientific community believes that undenatured type II collagen has a unique mode of action called oral tolerance. The oral tolerance mechanism refers to the immune system's ability to distinguish self-collagen from foreign collagen and recognize self-collagen as non-threatening. This recognition is achieved through exposure to a specific type of collagen, UC-II® undenatured type II collagen.
Oral tolerance helps decrease the immune system's response to collagen:
- Allowing the body to utilize the collagen for joint health better.
- Limiting cartilage degradation.
What is the collagen supplement dosage for dogs?
When determining the recommended dosage of collagen supplements for dogs, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian. Dosage can vary based on your dog's size, weight, and health needs. However, in most cases, the recommended dosage in studies for UC-II® is 40mg for a 50 lbs dog.
As a vet, I recommend the following doses for UC-II® collagen:
- 20mg for dogs under 25 lbs.
- 40mg for dogs from 25 to 75 lbs.
- 60mg for dogs above 75 lbs.
On the other hand, it takes 3 to 4 grams (and not mg) of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides, according to studies, to achieve mitigated results.
Top 3 best collagen supplements for dogs
Now, let's take a look at the top 3 best collagen supplements for dogs:
The vet's choice: Jope Hip & Joint Dog Chews with UC-II® collagen - These chews use a proprietary form of undenatured type II collagen called UC-II®, which has been shown in studies to be more effective than chondroitin and glucosamine in supporting joint health. They also contain high doses of omega 3 and curcumin, which benefit the joints.
Condrovet by Elanco - This product contains a blend of type II collagen, chondroitin and glucosamine, which are all essential for maintaining the health and integrity of cartilage.
Ceva Geri-Active - This supplement contains a combination of chondroitin, glucosamine, and undenatured collagen, making it a comprehensive joint support supplement.
While it contains undenatured type II collagen, a scientific study suggests that UC-II® is best when used alone, not in combination with chondroitin and glucosamine. So we recommend the first choice which is a better choice.
As a veterinarian, I recommend these top 3 collagen supplements for dogs. Still, my first choice is always Jope Hip & Joint Dog Chews, as the combination of active ingredients synergizes well. Overall, these three supplements support joint health and mobility effectively.
However, it's always best to consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on any new supplement. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your dog's specific health needs.
In conclusion, collagen supplements can be a great addition to your dog's health regimen, especially in supporting joint health. The use of UC-II® collagen has been shown to be effective through its ability to downregulate the immune system's response to collagen, which allows the body to utilize collagen better for joint health.
Author: Dr. Jeremy
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), MS