Nature is pretty amazing. Some of the most powerful nutrients come in the tiniest packages. Green lipped mussels for dog are a powerful hip and joint aid and a tasty snack to boot. Stick around to learn about the green lipped mussel benefits, and how to feed them to your dog.
What are Green Lipped Mussels
Ok, so really though. Why all the buzz around these popular Kiwi shellfish? Green lipped mussels maybe be small, but they are a potent and tasty mollusk.
They offer a number of health benefits and are commonly used in natural joint care supplements for both dogs and people. Can too much glucosamine hurt a dog?
Perna Canaliculus - or more commonly known, green lipped mussels - are a species of mussel hailing exclusively from the pristine waters of New Zealand. NZ is praised for its clean waters and sustainable fishing practices, so green lipped mussels are the best mussels in the world.
The common name comes from the distinct green edge on the shell of the mussel. Green lipped mussels offer nutrients that other species of mussels don’t. This is because of their environment and their antioxidant-rich food source, phytoplankton.
Benefits of Green Lipped Mussels
Green lipped mussels are extremely potent and are widely regarded as a superfood. But what do they do, and why are they so popular? Here are three reasons that green lipped mussels would be a great addition to your dog’s diet.
Like fish oil for dogs, green lipped mussels have a concentrated omega fatty acid content. They are loaded with EPA, DHA, and ETA, three very important fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation in all parts of the body.
This omega hat trick can support all systems in the body, including digestion, hip and joint, skin and coat, circulatory system, and immune system. They are an excellent supplement for older dogs and puppies, as well as dogs that don’t get enough fish or fish oils in their regular diet.
Hip & Joint Care
This is the number one use of green lipped mussels for dogs. They are widely regarded as one of the most effective natural mobility supplements. In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega fatty acids, green lipped mussels further support joints and connective tissues in the body by providing a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
These well-known supplements are the foundation of joint and mobility supplements for both humans and pets, though getting it from a natural food source is always better that a synthetic supplement.
Glucosamine and chondroitin can provide relief from the pain associated with arthritis, hip dysplasia, floating kneecaps, and the general joint aches and pains of large breed, senior, and overweight pets. It works by helping to repair, protect and rebuild connective tissues like ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
They also help your dog’s body to retain moisture and elasticity of the connective tissues that support mobility, thus prolonging their health and effectiveness. Natural wear and tear will occur over time, but the healthier the connective tissues, the slower the damage.
As if green lipped mussels aren’t already doing enough, these powerful shellfish also provide a host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to support your dog’s overall health.
Mussels are especially rich in vitamins B12, magnesium, and selenium but have trace amounts of important minerals like zinc and copper. These minerals are easiest to digest and absorb in their natural food states and support thyroid and enzyme production, as well as playing important roles in cellular functions.
Although a green lipped mussel a day might just keep that scary vet away, you should still consult your vet if your dog is experiencing worsening mobility or skin problems. Holistic options are great, but they are not a replacement for veterinary care.
Prevention is Key
Green lipped mussels are often used at the first signs of hip and joint or skin and coat issues, but the smartest way to use this powerful superfood is as a preventative supplement. They can be added to any diet to help protect your dog’s connective tissues and immune system to help reduce the side effects of aging.
For large breeds and breeds that are most likely to have a genetic predisposition to joint deterioration, green lipped mussels are an excellent food to help maintain the delicate tissues that keep the joints healthy.
How Much Green Lipped Mussel Does Your Dog Need?
Supplementing with green lipped mussel is very beneficial, but only in the right doses. It’s very nutrient-dense, so overdosing green lipped mussel can lead to an excess of nutrients that can be harmful to your dog, instead of helpful.
According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, the following guidelines are appropriate for dogs:
- <10 lbs. – 200 mg
- 11-25 lbs. – 400 mg
- 26-50 lbs. – 800 mg
- 51-75 lbs. – 1200 mg
- 76> lbs. – 2400 mg
Keep this in mind if you are feeding green lipped mussel from multiple sources. You can also rotate other healthcare aids, like glucosamine, MSM, or fish oils. This can help to prevent overdosing any one supplement.
How to Feed Green Lipped Mussel
1. Powdered Supplements
Most green lipped mussel supplement come in powdered form and can easily be added to any diet. Like most shellfish, green lipped mussels have a strong fish odour that most dogs love.
Here are some of our favourite brands that offer green lipped mussel Supplements:
For dogs that aren’t fond of fishy flavours, then you can easily hide this nutritious supplement in homemade bone broths, frozen treat recipes, or goat’s milk. This will allow you to discreetly provide a nutritional boost to your pup, and he’ll get to enjoy a delicious snack.
2. Whole Mussels
Whole, freeze-dried green lipped mussels also make for a delicious crunchy snack. K-9 Natural Green Lipped Mussels are perfect for dogs of any size, age, and breed, and are even safe for cats.
3. Treats and Food
Using green lipped mussels preventatively is easy if you can incorporate it into their regular treats and diet. Many foods are including this superfood in their recipes to help support your dog’s health and development. Check out our favourite brand that utilizes this nutrient-dense sea creature:
You can also look for treats that offer hip and joint support. Functional treats are becoming more and more popular, and green lipped mussels are a great ingredient choice to boost these recipes. Open Farm Hip & Joint Supplement Chew for Dogs treats are our top pick.
Supporting your dog’s joints, skin, and coat can be done using natural ingredients like turmeric. Talk to your vet about holistic treatments compared to prescription medications. Often, mild symptoms can be managed with natural food ingredients, saving more potent medications for when or if the symptoms worsen as your dog ages.
Do you feed green lipped mussels to support your dog's joints? Share your success story, struggles, and tips with us in the comments below.