If you are looking to give your canine companion an edge on staying healthy and active, you may already be familiar with the benefits that dietary supplements can offer. You might have tried adding a supplement such as fish oil to your dog's routine - or maybe you have even benefited from fish oil yourself! Fish oil is among the most popular supplements out there, and boasts two main ingredients: eicosapentoaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. These Omega-3 fatty acids are admittedly a powerhouse on their own - supporting heart, joint, and skin health; improving cognitive function and neurologic development; and even potentially helping dogs manage a variety of diseases .
Could it get better than that? It very well could! Green lipped mussels are also a good source of EPA and DHA, but they do not stop with just two powerhouse components. You will also find the rare compound eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) on deck to bind inflammation-causing enzymes  and chondroitin sulfates which may discourage breakdown of cartilage while simultaneously boosting cartilage matrix production. Green lipped mussels also boast the amino acids methionine and glutamine, the minerals copper, manganese, and zinc, and vitamins C and E .
Green lipped mussels hail exclusively from the coast of New Zealand, and are a regular part of the diet of the Māori people living along the country's coast. The shellfish first caught the attention of scientists when it was noticed that the Māori who lived on the coast suffered less from arthritis than those Māori who lived inland and lacked easy access to the green lipped mussels favored in the coastal diets. This realization kicked off research to see if there was a correlation - to see if this uniquely tinted shellfish might have natural anti-inflammatory properties . Given their lineup of all-star components, it is no surprise that promising research continues to emerge to support the use of green lipped mussels as a joint supplement.
Osteoarthritis is a common problem for dogs, especially as they age. The American Kennel Club encourages dog owners to focus on preventative measures, and to watch carefully for early signs of osteoarthritis given that many dogs do not openly show their discomfort until the disease is far progressed. AKC identifies joint
supplements (including green lipped mussels!) as a valuable player in both prevention and treatment regimens for canine joint problems . Traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed to decrease joint inflammation and reduce pain for dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis. However, long term use of NSAIDs can result in gastrointestinal irritation and other significant downsides, especially for dogs already coping with liver and kidney issues. Green lipped mussels, on the other hand, are not gastroxic. According to the Journal of Nutrition, supplementing a dog's diet with green lipped mussels may reduce their reliance on traditional medications, and could even help protect against the gastroxic properties of such medications when they cannot be entirely avoided [3, 5].
Green lipped mussels bring powerful components to the table, leaving damaging side effects off the menu. Whether you are looking to keep your pup in the game or looking to get them back in it, they could be a winning addition to their joint health regimen!