Joint Supplements vs. NSAIDs

A veterinary hospital can be a scary place for both your dog and you. Your dog is anxious because it is unaware of its surroundings and the new smells and sounds are overwhelming. While you're waiting for the vet to come in and examine your dog, your mind is racing thinking about everything that could go wrong with your dog's injury and your anxiety goes sky high as well. You are already worried about what is wrong with your beloved fur-baby and now you're in the unknown about what your vet will prescribe for pain relief. The most customary prescription that a veterinarian is going to provide is a NSAIDs, which is just a big acronym that stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory.


Typically, the most commonly prescribed NSAIDs are:

  • Rimadyl
  • Deramaxx
  • Previcox
  • Metacam


As a recommendation or prescription from your veterinarian, your veterinarian probably did not mention the risks that are associated with NSAIDs. Risks almost make anxiety run high because of course, you do not want your dog to be in more pain and discomfort.

The most concerning negative side effects from NSAIDs are:

  • Lethargy – your dog may be uninterested in going for a walk, playing, or even participating in normal activities.
  • Loss of Appetite – if your dog has a loss of appetite, chances are that your dog is lethargic and they are not getting any energy to burn.
  • Black Stool or Blood in the Stool – This risk has to be the most alarming and it is the risk that needs to be addressed as soon as possible as black stool or blood in the stool could mean a bigger underlying condition like gastrointestinal ulcer or a blood clotting disorder.
  • Vomiting with or without blood – This risk, just like the last risk, is the most alarming and if your dog is vomiting while on NSAIDs you will need to discontinue them right away and contact your vet.


Studies have shown that NSAIDs are not very effective in improving the health of a joint and there have even been findings that more damage can be caused to the joint. It is also good to remember, that like human bodies, the body of a dog can naturally heal itself. Alternative therapies, that include natural joint supplements, have been proven to support the joint better. By introducing an all-natural joint supplement into your dog's diet at an early age, you can decrease the odds of your dog's joints becoming worn down.