Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and that holds true whether you are a human, canine, equine, feline, or so forth. Think of collagen as the glue holding the contents of the body together. About one-third of the protein in your dog’s body is collagen.
As your dog's body ages, collagen production slows down. That is also when most arthritic issues start to surface, and skin and coat quality may decline. Collagen for dogs collagens supplementation isn’t a fountain of youth for your dog, but it can help him combat and delay many of the signs of aging.
So, what are the benefits of collagen?
Benefits of Collagen for Dogs
Collagen, available in water-soluble vitamins, has many benefits. The three most desirable are its positive effects on mobility, the dog's 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 joint health.
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 health issues.
For those dogs that are collagen or biotin deficient, collagen is an excellent way to boost the quality of your pet’s coat and skin health care professional. Skin is supposed to be elastic, and collagen is what gives your dog's skin is healthy elasticity.
Dogs with healthy collagen levels tend to shed less, itch less, and have a softer, shinier fur coat. It's also beneficial for their nail health as well as to prevent various skin conditions.
Dogs suffering from gastrointestinal issues may benefit from collagen too. Collagen helps to soothe and repair tissues in your dog's digestive system 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. Natural chews, like beef tendon and bone, are an excellent source of collagen. Collagen supplements for dogs can be added as meal toppers or tasty bone broth recipes can be fed as a side dish to your dog's regular meal.
When to Start Feeding Collagen Supplements
While it is true that young dogs do not have the same need for supplemental collagen as older canines, osteoarthritis and joint disease might start earlier than many people suspect.
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 the aging process 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 the dog ages, you may even avoid the need for prescription canine arthritis drugs or reduce the amount necessary.
Dietary Sources of Collagen
- 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 –Derived from the bones, hides, and cartilage of cattle, bovine collagen is especially useful for skin, bone, joint, and leaky gut health. Bovine collagen can boost the body’s own collagen production.
- Porcine collagen – Derived from the bones, skin, and connective tissue from pork.
- Fowl collagen –Collagen derived from chicken, turkey, duck, and other domestic poultry aids in cartilage support.
- Eggs are another good collagen source.
Vegetable sources of adding collagen include:
- Leafy greens
- Red and yellow vegetables
If you do choose a vegetarian collagen source to give 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 5 lbs of body weight.
While this small quantity of garlic offers many health benefits, it will hardly be a sufficient source of the best collagen. Instead, try to offer a variety of collagen sources from both plant and animal ingredients to meet your dog's health 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.
Collagen Chews for Dogs
Since your pet loves to chew, one of the best ways to boost his collagen intake is by providing him with natural collagen chews for dogs. Backstrap or beef tendons for dogs are good sources of dietary collagen, and they’ll enjoy every minute of chewing.
You can also offer raw bones for dogs, as the connective tissues on knuckles, shoulders, and kneecaps are an excellent source of collagen for dogs.
Bone Broth for Dogs
Bones broth for dogs is another good source of collagen for dogs and is especially beneficial in gut lining repair. Its growing popularity has produced some simple coconut oil commercially made bone broth products for easy supplementing. Honest Kitchen bone broth consists of various types, including beef and turkey. Grass-fed beef bone broth is available from Open Farm.
Bones broth is easy to make if you would rather do it yourself than purchase it from the pet store. You will need a crockpot and Mason jars. Follow these simple steps:
- Add 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- On low heat, cook 24 hours
- Strain all bone
- For more benefits, add turmeric, kelp, or coconut oil
- Let mixture cool completely
- Put the mixture in Mason jars
- You can use the mixture for three days after refrigeration. Freeze any excess
Whether you buy bone broth or make it yourself, go organic. That way, you are not passing on the potential antibiotic or pesticide residue to your dog.
Raw Diets and Collagen
If you are feeding a raw diet, you have already gotten a good start on collagen for dogs. Amino acids from beef and chicken help produce collagen for dogs, so raw diets are suitable for dogs with mobility issues or arthritis.
How Much Collagen Can You Give a Dog?
You can’t really overdose your dog on collagen if fed as part of his natural dog diet, but you do want to make sure you are not feeding excessive quantities. Collagen is essentially protein and will contribute to your dog's overall protein intake for the day.
When supplementing with collagen, it's best to determine the portion based on your dog's size and body weight. If your dog is already getting a meat-rich and healthy diet, then a little bit of collagen supplementation will go along way.
Dogs love the taste of collagen supplements, so you should not have any problem getting your pet to eat them. Because the taste is so appealing, you can use some forms of collagen supplements to hide medication or other supplements your dog is less likely to scarf down.
Human Collagen for Dogs
People consume collagen for dogs for many of the same reasons dog owners give it to their pets. Humans seek arthritis joint pain relief, joint and muscle stiffness, tendon flexibility, skin health, and muscle strengthening.
Do you need to buy collagen for dogs supplements, especially for dogs or can you give your dog collagen designed for human consumption? If the product is strictly dog collagen, you can probably give it to your pet after calculating the right amount for his size.
Most human collagen biotin supplements contain other ingredients, though, and this is where you must be careful. Some of these ingredients are not suitable for dogs, while others will contain more of a particular substance than your dog should have.
It’s in your dog’s best interest to give him collagen and supplements designed with his needs in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is collagen, and why is it important for dogs?
Collagen is a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of connective tissues, such as joints, skin, and bones. In dogs, collagen provides structural support and elasticity to these tissues, promoting overall mobility, joint health, and skin condition.
Can dogs benefit from collagen supplements?
Yes, dogs can benefit from collagen supplements, especially as they age or if they have joint issues.
What are some signs that a dog might benefit from collagen supplements?
Dogs that show signs of joint stiffness, decreased mobility, or discomfort during physical activities might benefit from collagen supplements.
Can collagen supplements be used to prevent joint issues in active dogs?
Collagen supplements might be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to joint health in active dogs.
Are there any risks or side effects associated with giving dogs collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe for dogs. However, on occasion, some dogs might experience digestive upset or allergies to certain sources of collagen.
Can I use human collagen products for my dog?
It's recommended to use collagen products specifically formulated for dogs. Human collagen products may contain additives, flavours, or other ingredients that could be harmful to dogs.