Why your dog needs collagen

Collagen has many benefits, but the three most desirable are it's positive effects on mobility, skin and coat, and digestion. Let's take a look at how collagen interacts with each of these systems.

Collagen can improve mobility in dogs afflicted with arthritis. It’s a natural supplement that helps to lubricate and protect connective tissues that support the hips and joints. It can also help to replenish your dog's natural collagen levels. It can be used preventatively in dogs that are approaching senior years or even for breeds that are prone to joint issues.

It is an excellent way to boost the quality of your pet’s skin and coat health. Skin is supposed to be elastic, and collagen is what gives your dog's skin it's healthy elasticity. Dogs with healthy collagen levels tend to shed less, itch less, and have a softer, shinier coat. It's also beneficial for the health of their nails.

Dogs suffering from gastrointestinal issues may benefit from collagen too. Collagen helps to soothe and repair tissues in your dog's digestive tract that can contribute to poor digestion and nutrient absorption. It's also a common holistic approach to managing leaky gut syndrome.

Finally, the bonus benefit of collagen is that it's delicious. It's best sourced from animal sources, so it's a welcomed treat for even picky dogs. Collagen supplements for dogs can be added as meal toppers.

Genetics plays a role, as some dogs and breeds are more susceptible to joint disease than others. Large dogs are more prone to joint disease and arthritis, but all dogs are vulnerable.

By adding more collagen to your dog’s diet early on, you may fend off some of the aches and pains of aging down the road. While you should consult your vet about any supplements you give your dog, collagen is a safe product and will not harm your pet.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with collagen, as well as other natural products enhancing joint mobility such as turmeric, MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin, can keep him feeling pain-free longer. As he ages, you may even avoid the need for prescription canine arthritis drugs, or reduce the amount necessary.

Dietary Sources of Collagen

Collagen is derived from various animal proteins, along with some non-animal sources. The primary sources of collagen for dogs include:

Marine collagen –Derived from fish, marine collagen comes from the skin, scales, bones, and fins. Its low molecular weight allows for efficient absorption.

Bovine collagen by Health Nutrition – Derived from the bones, hides, and cartilage of cattle, bovine collagen is especially useful for skin, bone, joint and gut health. Bovine collagen can boost the body’s own collagen production.

Porcine collagen – Derived from the bones, skin, and connective tissues from pork.

Fowl collagen –Collagen derived from chicken, turkey, duck, and other domestic poultry aids in cartilage support.

If you do choose a vegetarian collagen source for your dog, then make sure you are feeding it safely and in appropriate quantities. Garlic, for example, can be toxic if fed in large doses. To safely feed garlic, dogs should only be eating about 1/6 of a tsp per 5lbs of body weight.

While this small quantity of garlic offers many health benefits, it will hardly be a sufficient source of collagen. Instead, try to offer a variety of collagen sources from both plant and animal ingredients to meet your dog's needs.

Speaking of feeding vegetables safely, some pet-safe collagen-rich vegetables, like tomatoes, can be dangerous if fed wrong. Ripe tomatoes are perfectly safe, but don’t feed your dog unripe tomatoes or parts of the tomato plant that are toxic.

You can also offer raw bones for dogs, as the connective tissues on knuckles, shoulders, and kneecaps are an excellent source of collagen.

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