Increasing numbers of people are catching on to the incredible benefits of collagen for their long-term health. If you have already made collagen a regular part of your diet, you may be wondering if it could also help your four-legged friend in similar ways.
Collagen supplementation is well-known for its many benefits for the human body. You may use it for improved joint health, smoother and younger-looking skin and its general anti-aging benefits. Similarly, dogs can also often benefit from this protein, which makes up approximately a third of their muscular bodies. As you think about ways to help your dog become or stay healthy, consider these tips for adding collagen into your furry friend’s diet.
Benefits of Collagen for Dogs
Dogs can benefit from collagen in many of the same ways that humans do with most canines experiencing improved digestion, a shinier coat and improved mobility with regular collagen supplementation. Your pet can benefit from both Type I and Type II collagen, which can improve the health of skin, tendons and bones along with cartilage in the joints.
If your dog has digestive issues, such as leaky gut, regular tummy pain or problems with vomiting or diarrhea, collagen could help heal these issues. Leaky gut is a growing problem for dogs, and it can lead to numerous other issues, such as allergies and even poor behavior. Collagen goes to work quickly to coat and soothe the lining of the entire digestive tract. Over time, your dog will even be able to gain more nutrients from his food as his digestive tract works more efficiently.
Better Skin and Coat
Your dog may gain a healthier coat and skin from collagen simply because the majority of its coat is made up of collagen. The dermis is the thickest layer of skin in both humans and dogs, and it is responsible for the skin’s overall elasticity and strength. In fact, while approximately a third of your dog is pure collagen, approximately 70% of your dog’s dermis is made up of this protein. What you may notice with daily collagen supplementation is that your dog stops shedding quite as much and does not spend as much time scratching because his skin is finally healthy. Plus, your dog’s fur may look shinier, and his nails may be stronger overall.
Most importantly, collagen is a well-known promoter of joint health for humans, and it can provide many of these same benefits for your canine friend. This is perhaps the most-studied benefit of collagen in dogs. Collagen can prevent new joint pain by decreasing the breakdown of cartilage in the joints while also treating current joint pain.
Joint pain is a common problem for dogs who spend much of their lives running and jumping. Joint stiffness can keep them from doing what they love as they grow older. However, studies have shown that regular collagen supplementation can reduce these issues and improve quality of life for these pets. A 2007 study showed that Type II collagen supplementation significantly decreased joint pain in 30 days with maximum benefits noted at 120 days of regular supplementation. Another study from 2010 showed similar positive results over eight weeks for dogs afflicted with arthritis. Of course, supplementing with collagen before your dog experiences these painful symptoms of old age can help your pet stay active for far longer than you may have imagined.
Dietary Sources of Collagen for Dogs
Although there are increasing numbers of collagen supplements created especially for dogs these days, you may prefer to go right to the source by increasing collagen naturally in your pet’s daily diet. One of the easiest ways to do this is with bone broth, which can easily be made in your own home or which can be purchased in many stores these days. Keep in mind that bone broth should not take the place of any other foods that are currently in your dog’s diet.
Collagen can also be found in many other foods that your dog may already consume, especially if he is eating a fresh, whole or raw diet. This protein can be found in fish, cattle, pork, chicken, turkey, other poultry and eggs. Plus, your dog will get collagen from leafy greens, certain berries, beans and red and yellow vegetables.
If you are feeling stressed about changing your pet’s diet to allow him to gain all of the collagen that he needs, you may want to consider a safe collagen peptide powder supplement instead. Your own collagen supplement should work just fine for your pet as long as there are no added ingredients. However, it may be even easier to choose a product made especially for dogs that will have the correct dosing information on the label.
Collagen dosages will depend on your dog’s weight as well as on the amount of collagen he is already getting in his daily diet. Usually, dosage recommendations range from 1 to 20 grams of collagen per serving, an amount shown to benefit a dog’s joints. A general rule of thumb is to determine dosing by multiplying your dog’s weight in pounds by 0.33 and using this number of grams daily.
Collagen for Cats and Other Pets
If you are the proud owner of other critters, you may be wondering if they could also benefit from collagen supplementation. In particular, cats may benefit from additional collagen supplementation and can enjoy improved joint health and a shinier coat in no time. However, you should always check with your veterinarian before beginning collagen supplementation with any pet. Your veterinarian can give you advice about how much collagen to use, how to best give it to your pet daily and how to avoid any ingredients that could be toxic.
Collagen or Jello for Pets?
Some pet owners wonder if Jello or jelly could be a great addition to their pet’s diet because of the gelatin content in these foods. However, these sugary and often dye-filled treats are not safe for your pet. Although you may be able to create homemade recipes for your pets, you will need to be careful about the amounts of certain ingredients, such as garlic and tomatoes, that could be toxic in large quantities. Always work with your pet’s veterinarian before making dietary changes for your pet.
As you can see, collagen peptides are not only a smart choice for you but also an incredible option for keeping your four-legged friend healthy and happy long into his golden years. Pure collagen supplements are typically easy to mix into your pet’s food and may be able to produce amazing results in only one or two months.