Question: I was wondering if you would recommend giving any supplements to a large breed puppy? My 5 month old Akita mix just switched from eating Solid Gold Wolf Cub to Candidae and a friend suggested I look into supplements to help prevent hip dysplasia or other joint problems. Also, I currently still mix hot water with my puppy’s food to make it easier for her to chew- when should I stop doing this? Thanks!

Our Answer: Great questions! I’m thrilled to hear you’re feeding your little girl such great quality diets (a topic that I could go on and on about but we’ll save that for another time). The most important thing you can do for her first year of life is to make sure she is on a high quality LARGE BREED dog food. Especially with the size of your little one this will be important. Large breed foods have a different ratio of Calcium and Phosphorous than other puppy foods which are important in the development of the bones in larger breeds.

Basically the bottom line on joint supplements is that there is no proof that they are effective, they can make great differences in some dogs already experiencing arthritis, and they won’t hurt if given. So, many owners opt to give them in the event they will help. We don’t routinely advise them until the dogs are showing signs of arthritis or are getting to the age when they will begin to develop arthritis.

One other note, is to make sure you’re getting your supplement from a trusted source. There is no FDA governing body on these, so you must depend on knowledge and research to know you’re actually getting what you pay for. Dasuquin is an excellent supplement from a highly trusted company.

It’s great that you’re already looking ahead at preventing any disease you can for your little one. You’re doing great work!