Study Links Juvenile Arthritis to Dogs Bought from Pet Stores

 |  Oct 10th 2011  |   1 Contribution


With Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog-Month in full swing, here's another reason to acquire your four-footed family members from animal shelters: Shelter dogs tend to be mixed-breed mutts. Unlike purebred dogs, whoare often genetically predisposed to certain health problems, mixed breeds have hybrid vigor in spades. Just add food, water, and TLC, and your adopted shelter mutt will live a long, healthy life and save you money bystaying out of the veterinarians office!

Arthritis doesn't discriminate by dog breed it's a natural part of growing old, whether you're a senior mutt or a superannuated purebred. The average dog starts displaying arthritis at around age 7. Happily, there aresupplements(notablyNordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil)and high-tech surgical proceduresavailable to promote joint mobility and help ease the discomfort of K9 arthritis.

But here's a disturbing health trend: Vets are seeing more and more young purebredswalking around on old-dog legs. With so many young dogs presenting withdegenerative joints, Flexcin makers of the K9 joint supplement Flexpet, which my 15-year-old Sheba takes every day wanted to understand why so many of its new customersare aged 4 to 7 (definitelynot seniors!)when Flexpet was designedto supportsenior K9s.

Earlier this month,Flexcin released the results of a study in which it interviewed 565 dog owners over a period of five months. It found that nearly half of the dogs 43.3 percent were purchased from pet stores and 13.2 percent were acquired from litters. The majority of dogs (51.7 percent) began showing their first signs of joint pain as early as age 5. These results suggest that there's a connection among pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders and younger dogs with joint issues.

And it'sone morecompelling reason to bypass "that puppy in the window," support communityspay/neuter efforts,and adopt a shelter dog.

Its been widely documented that dogs from puppy mills and pet stores face numerous health challenges. Debi Day of No Kill Nation believes pet stores and puppy mills play a significant role in the lack of health later on in a dogs life: Puppies and dogs that come from pet stores are most often raised in cramped, small cages, and they mostly receive no exercise because of a severe lack of space and the breeders dont care about their welfare, she says. Muscle atrophy sets in, and their back and hips never get fully developed, not to mention mental problems that can occur due to cage rage.

Regularexercise even if it's a long walk at a slow, leisurely pace is alsokey to maintaining joint health in dogs (and people) of all ages.While most of the dogs in the study received a few hours of exercise each week, almost 10 percent got less than one hour, possibly contributing to their joint degeneration.

Consider ordering Flexpet for your arthritic dog.

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