Animal Health

Joint Health for Pets!

Posted on 14 July 2020

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Pets are family, and it can be very distressing when your beloved cat or dog starts suffering the problems that come with age. Just like in humans, one of the most common issues afflicting aging animals is joint dysfunction. Dogs in particular are prone to osteoarthritis.  Affecting 20% of dogs over 1 year of age and more than 90% of dogs over 5 years, this inflammation of the joints causes pain and progressive breakdown of the articular cartilage1.

The first thing is to be aware of the signs that your pet is feeling sore. Look out for:

  • Limping
  • Reluctance to move, especially in the mornings
  • Lack of enthusiasm for walks or playtime
  • Difficulty jumping onto furniture or navigating stairs
  • Excessive grooming in one area

A visit to the vet is in order with any change of behaviour, and if your furry family member does indeed have arthritis, they may be prescribed medication and lifestyle changes to help alleviate the discomfort. You may also consider a nutritional supplement, and being petlovers ourselves, we have designed one! Our pet product, Petifort, is both backed by science, and appealing to pets. All the ingredients are human consumption grade… though the taste is probably more attractive to someone that doesn’t mind fish breath.

But what are the main ingredients?

Collagen Hydrolysate & Hyaluronic Acid

Collagen is the main component of cartilage. Collagen hydrolysate is an enzymatically treated, highly digestible, purified product that contains substrates for cartilage and is high in anti-inflammatory amino acids. Animal studies using radioactively labelled collagen hydrolysate have shown that oral intake leads to accumulation in cartilage tissue7 where it functions to synthesise the cartilage matrix8. There are numerous studies showing a positive effect on arthritis symptoms, collagen maintenance and bone health in humans8 and animals. A 2010 double-blind, placebo controlled study showed that 10g of collagen hydrolysate for 8 weeks significantly improved stiffness, lameness and activity levels in 15 arthritic dogs6.  Boosting the effects of collagen is a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid which is a component of synovial fluid. Supplemental hyaluronic acid is well known for alleviating joint symptoms in humans11, and is well absorbed by animals. 

Green Lipped Mussel

A multitude of studies show that New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (perna canaliculus) offers benefits in the management of joint pain syndromes in humans  and animals4,5,6. Our New Zealand sourced mussel powder is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, chondroiton and other glycosaminoglycans. The latter act as lubricant and shock absorber within the joint and make up 95% of the proteoglycans required to construct connective tissue such as tendons and cartilage. Randomised, placebo controlled trials and field trials in dogs have shown improvements in total arthritic score of up to 30%, with improved joint pain and joint swelling as well as improved veterinary-assessed mobility5,6,10,11.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for cartilage formation and maintenance and also acts as an antioxidant. Although dogs do produce their own vitamin C, this ability diminishes as they age.

Boron & Manganese

Boron is a trace element, the global concentration of which varies widely and correlates with incidence of arthritis. Arthritic bone contains less boron than normal bone3. Manganese is a trace mineral that has an important role in bone and cartilage development. It has the ability to activate the enzymes which are necessary for the formation of polysaccarides and glycoproteins, including glycosaminoglycans which are a component of cartilage. A deficiency of manganese limits the rate of glycosaminoglycan synthesis13.

Petifort is in powder form, and can be sprinkled on your pet’s food. In addition to the joint health benefits, our customers have told us that their pets like the taste and show an increased interest in food. >>Click here<< to get your paws on some today.


  1. Servet et al. (2006). Dietary intervention can improve clinical signs in osteoarthritic dogs.  The Journal of Nutrition 136, p. 1995A-1997S.
  2. Messonnier, S (2001). Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats. Three Rivers: New York.
  3. Ameye, L. G., & Chee, W. S. S. (2006). Osteoarthritis and nutrition. From nutraceuticals to functional foods: a systematic review of the scientific evidence. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 8(4),
  4. Cobb, C. S., & Ernst, E. (2006). Systematic review of a marine nutriceutical supplement in clinical trials for arthritis: The effectiveness of the New Zealand green-lipped mussel Perna canaliculus. Clinical Rheumatology, 25, 275–284.
  5. Bierer, T. L., & Bui, L. M. (2002). Improvement of arthritic signs in dogs fed green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). The Journal of Nutrition, 132, 1634S–6S.
  6. Bui, L. M., & Bierer, R. L. (2001). Influence of green lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus) in alleviating signs of arthritis in dogs. Veterinary Therapeutics : Research in Applied Veterinary Medicine, 2, 101–111.
  7. Beynen, a C. (2010). Oral administration of gelatin hydrosylate reduces clinical signs of canine osteoarthritis in a double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial. American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 5(2), 102–106.
  8. Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W., & Seifert, J. (1999). Oral administration of (14)C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). The Journal of Nutrition, 129(July), 1891–1895.
  9. Moskowitz, R. (2000). Role of Collagen Hydrolysate in Bone and Joint Disease. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 30(2), 87-99.
  10. Hielm-Björkman, A., Tulamo, R. M., Salonen, H., & Raekallio, M. (2009). Evaluating complementary therapies for canine osteoarthritis part I: Green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6(October 2007), 365–373.
  11. Servet, E., Biourge, V., & Marniquet, P. (2006). The WALTHAM International Nutritional Sciences Symposia Dietary Intervention Can Improve Clinical Signs in Osteoarthritic Dogs 1 – 3, 1995–1997.
  12. The Scientific World Journal Volume 2012, Article ID 167928
  13. OsteoArthritis and Cartilage (2001) 9, 14–21

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