There is a supplement that keeps popping up in my feed, chats, and conversations. Read on to learn about the superfood taking the pet world by storm- green shell mussels. One of the best joint supplements for your pet.
This all-natural supplement has become increasingly popular for animals with arthritis and joint pain. As an equine massage therapist and canine massage therapist I am always interested in natural ways to reduce inflammation in my clients.
What Are Green-Lipped Mussels?
The green-lipped or green shell mussel is one of the largest species of mussels. They are found off the shores of New Zealand. The native Maoris have been used these mussels since the 1970’s. Worried about the impact on our environment? Don’t. This product is eco-friendly, sustainable, and contain zero additives. The mussels grow in their natural environment.
“Perhaps the biggest environmental plus for New Zealand green lipped mussel farming is that it uses no harmful additives. Mussels are cultured on suspended long lines, instead of being dredged from the ocean floor. … Environmentally, New Zealand green lipped mussel farming is cleaner and greener than organic gardening.”- Biolane.
This shellfish is a natural anti-inflammatory because they are an excellent, natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. According to the Arthritis Foundation:
“Mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and by reducing production of leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules) and prostaglandins, may have the same anti-inflammatory effects as fish oil.”
Fish oil has long been touted by veterinarians as a natural way to reduce inflammation in animals with arthritis. But there are a few minor side effects to fish oil. Green shell muscles have no side effects (to date) as long as your pet does not have an allergy to shellfish.
Harvesting Green Shell Mussels
Mussels must be harvested and processed quickly to reap the most benefits from this superfood. Freeze drying and high heat affect the quality of the final product. During my research, I found that not all manufacturer’s are alike. One brand kept popping up- Xtend-Life Green Muscle Powder is either a genius at marketing or truly has the best quality supplement. I have not tried it, so this is purely from a research perspective.
What I liked about Xtend-Life is that they process their freshly farmed mussels into a powder supplement in only 30 minutes using low heat. It’s hard to get fresher than that.
Mussel Supplement Benefits
- Chronic lameness
- Cruciate ligament tear
- Muscular-Skeletal Conditions
My oldest dog, Gonzo, is only 5 years old, but he is extremely active. I am really considering giving both my dogs this as a supplement to help ward off joint problems as they age. Both rescue dogs are large breeds and at risk for arthritis and hip dysplasia.
How Do Green-Lipped Mussels Help Joint Pain?
As a rich source of Omega-3’s, green shell mussels reduce inflammation and as a result, relieve the associated pain.
“As the body metabolizes the natural omega-3s found in green lipped mussel oil, they go to work on restoring and soothing inflamed joints, muscles and tissues. This can cause a great deal of pain relief….”
Green-lipped mussels are an all-natural pain reliever. While they are not a miracle cure, most animal owners have been very happy with the results and describe their horse or dog acting years younger.
Feeding Your Animal Green-Lipped Mussels
Powder is the strongest mussel extract and most effective at reducing inflammation. Sprinkling it on top of your dog’s food or horse’s grain is all that is needed. Of course the powder smells like you would think- shellfish. Be prepared.
Dosage is recommended at 15mg of powdered extract per 1 pound of pet’s body weight. As with most things start small and you can gradually increase after 4-6 weeks if needed.
I just ordered the Super Snout Joint Power blend for use in Gonzo and Beau’s meal once daily, so I will have an update on this soon.
There are few dog foods on the market that contain green-lipped mussels. Some brands containing this superfood may include:
- Pedigree Joint Care
- Genesis Sensitive Hip & Joint Adult Dog Food
- Royal Canin Mobility Support
At this time treats containing green-lipped mussel powder is not available for horses. But freeze-dried options are available for cats and dogs. (Keep in mind that freeze drying may affect the potency.)
- Freeze-dried whole mussels by The Honest Kitchen.
- K9 Natural Green Lipped Mussel Freeze-Dried Snacks Dog Treats
Oil and Capsules
While the powder form is the most potent, oils and capsules are also available. Many animals will not swallow a capsule, but oil directly on to food is a good option. Make sure to follow the dosage guidelines.
Conflict with Other Joint Supplements
There are limited complications and side effects using green-lipped mussels. This is something I love best about natural food sources. There are no documented side effects at this time. However, if you or your pet have a shellfish allergy, then mussels are not the right supplement for you.
Finally, green-lipped mussels are considered a super food. But they can work best when coupled with glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil for a supercharged effect. Make sure to check with your veterinarian before combining so you get the proper dosage.
Where Can I Buy the Supplement?
Due the recent popularity pet supply stores are increasingly carrying these in stores. However, your best chance would be to visit a holistic pet supply store or buy online directly or through a reputable site like Chewys.
- Xtend-Life Green-Lipped Mussel Powder
- Nutri Zing Green Shell Mussel Capsules for Pets
- Advanced Probiotics for Dogs Supplement Powder with Organic Turmeric and Green Lipped Mussel to Support Hip, Skin and Digestive Health
- Super Snouts Joint Power
Have you tried green shell mussels on your dog or horse? Comment your thoughts.
*Check with your veterinarian before adding a new supplement to your animals’ diet.