Ingredient Spotlight - Green-Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Ingredient Spotlight - Green-Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Just as with humans, dogs can endure problems with their joints with some even exhibiting signs like not even wanting to get up, limping, and mobility issues, just to name a few. While this can impact dogs of any age, it usually occurs in older, middle-aged, and elderly dogs, with it affecting 25% of all large breed dogs.

Anti-inflammatory medicines are frequently recommended to ease pain, but the side effects for your pup can be quite unpleasant. That’s why many have been looking elsewhere for possible alternatives. The most popular option that people come across is the New Zealand green-lipped mussel (AKA Perna canaliculus), as it has a lot of benefits.

In this article, we’ll cover everything from the benefits of green-lipped mussels, to the science behind them, as well as if they're a good fit for your pooch.

What are Green-Lipped Mussels

Perna canaliculus, sometimes known as the green-lipped mussel, is a native New Zealand mollusk known for its green edges or "lips." It’s been used by the Maori, New Zealand Polynesian natives, for generations. Scientists noticed that the Maori who lived near the water had a much lower chance of getting arthritis than those who lived further inland. Now, we still don't fully understand how GLMs function in terms of pain alleviation. We do know, however, that the extracts contain omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and amino acids. Also, laboratory and animal studies have revealed that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and are critical for maintaining joint cell structure and function.

Green-Lipped Mussel Benefits for Dogs

Hand giving a thumbs up with a happy dog in the background.

One of the most amazing qualities of green-lipped mussels is their capacity to function as a natural filter in saltwater. As a result, they can retain a wide variety of potent nutrients. These mussels have a long history in the equestrian community for battling arthritic symptoms in horses, but current research has discovered that other animals such as dogs can benefit from them for the same reason, and more. Giving your pooch GLM’s can have multiple benefits, such as:

  • Reduction in joint inflammation
  • Relief from aches and pains
  • Protection of joints from injuries
  • Helping to support the circulatory system
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Strengthening teeth and bones
  • Helping in nerve cell activity
  • Enhancing muscle, organ, and tissue stimulation

As previously stated, green-lipped mussels are quite abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA. In dogs with osteoarthritis, omega-3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation. Although these omega-3 fatty acids may be found in other fish, it is the combination of these fatty acids with other substances found in the mussel that helps to battle joint inflammation and discomfort. Some of the other beneficial elements of green-lipped mussels are:

  • Enzymes that promote gastrointestinal health
  • Antioxidants to keep the heart healthy
  • Anti-inflammatory properties of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Hyaluronic acid to keep the joints healthy
  • Vitamins C and E, in addition to copper, manganese, iodine, zinc, selenium, along with other beneficial minerals

What’s the Science Behind it?

Green-lipped mussels' specific chemical composition accounts for a good part of their strength. Eicosatetraenoic acid (A.K.A. ETA) is so unique that it can only be found in GLM’s. Green-lipped mussels have also been proven to be far more effective than the EPA and DHA present in fish oil at combating inflammation. In addition, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAGs), the building blocks of cartilage and joint fluid are found in green-lipped mussels. But we’re not done yet. Green-lipped mussels also have the ability to bind with cyclooxygenase, which is the main reason for inflammation.

The science behind green-lipped mussels.

There’s also a study that was published evaluating the reaction of dogs suffering from prolonged discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. Dogs that were fed GLM's for eight weeks had substantially less pain and trouble walking than those given a placebo. This is all according to the Journal of Nutrition. It’s also worth noting that the dogs that took the GLM supplement didn’t need as much carprofen, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) used to treat chronic pain.

How Much do I Give my Dog?

In terms of the right amount of GLM that will be beneficial to your pup, there is no hard and fast rule. The severity of your dog's illness, as well as its size, will help you to determine the correct portion. In a study evaluating complementary therapies for canine osteoarthritis, scientists provided an initial dose of 20–49 mg/kg/day depending on the BW of the dog with the following doses at half of the loading dose. Generally speaking, you should give your dog 15mg of green-lipped mussels for every pound of your dog’s weight. 

Dog licking its chops looking at green-lipped mussels.

Depending on the results of your dog’s GLM treatment, you may need to raise or lower the dosage and return to the prior dosage once you observe sufficient improvement. While there are no real major concerns when it comes to the negative effects of GLM's, dog owners will still want to use caution when they decide to add any type of new meals or supplements to their canines regimen. If you go searching for GLM supplements, you’ll probably happen upon some water-based products. You will want to steer clear of these since they don’t contain the fatty acids that your dog will benefit from.

How to Give GLM to Dogs

When it comes to feeding green-lipped mussels to your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, any premium GLM supplement worth its salt will not only list the ingredients on their site but also include a description of exactly what the benefits of each ingredient are.

It's also essential to know exactly how the GLMs were produced and harvested. This is so you're fully aware of any potential dilution, which would diminish the benefits your dog would receive. Our joint and hip supplement, EASE, harnesses the power of GLM'S while also providing significant pain relief.

You’ll notice that we don’t just list all of the ingredients used, but we also include an explanation why the active ingredients are utilized in the product. Such as glucosamine that helps to alleviate pain along with organic ginger root that has been shown to not just reduce inflammation, but reduce muscle pain as well.

It’s also worth noting that the supplement comes in an easy to administer chew and boasts a tasty coconut pumpkin flavor (please don’t ask how we know it tastes amazing). Either way, you’ll still want to make sure you consult your vet before you make any changes to your dog's diet or add any type of supplement regime.

Buy Green Gruff EASE hip and joint supplements for dogs.