The Scoop on Collagen for Dogs
You may have heard of collagen in relation to human health, but did you know that this beneficial protein can also be good for your pup? Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the animal kingdom, and it’s found in all mammals. In this blog post, we’ll explore what collagen is, how it benefits dogs, and the best way to incorporate it into your dog’s diet.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein that helps give our bodies strength and stability.
It’s a type of protein known as a polypeptide. It’s comprised of amino acids that are arranged in a triple helix structure. This particular arrangement makes collagen very strong and resilient.
It’s found in connective tissue like tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, as well as in skin, bone, gut, and blood vessels. This protein makes up about 30% of the total protein in mammals and 70% of the protein in humans. There are 28 types of collagen that have been identified so far, but types I, II, and III are the most abundant in mammals.
Benefits of Collagen for Dogs and Cats
So now that we know a bit more about what collagen is let’s talk about how it can benefit our furry friends. Just like in humans, collagen plays an important role in dogs’ connective tissues, skin, hair, claws, joints, and gut health.
The challenge with Collagen and animals like dogs and cats is that there are few or no studies to reference. Those who know me know that is not stopping me from researching any product that potentially can help our animals. I am very much into observing and documenting what I see when it comes to the effect or, more often, no effect from supplementation.
When it comes to adding collagen to older dogs, I have seen trends that indicate that it may help, but it is too early to make
One of the main benefits of collagen for dogs is that it can help to reduce joint pain and inflammation. This is because collagen helps to repair and regenerate joint tissue. If your dog is starting to slow down or is having trouble getting around, adding collagen to the diet may help to alleviate some of the discomfort. (1), (2), (3)
Skin and Fur Health
Another benefit of collagen for dogs is that it can improve their skin health. This is because collagen helps to keep skin elasticity and firmness while also reducing inflammation. If your dog suffers from allergies or has dry, flaky skin, adding collagen to the diet may help to improve the symptoms. (4),(5), (6)
NOTE: Allergy symptoms, from my experience, are almost always related to the food. Most of my clients that deal with allergy symptoms feed a dry food diet. In my opinion, this diet to not allow the immune system to function properly and is one of the reasons why we see so many allergies in our pets. There are a few things you can do to help your pet if they are dealing with allergies:
First, switch to a raw meat-based diet. This will help to boost the immune system and will also allow your pet to get the nutrients they need to sustain a robust and functional immune system.
If a raw food diet is all new to you and your are not convinced this is something you want to do please visit my Instagram account @longlivingpets. I think you will be impressed.
Collagen is a protein that helps to heal, repair, and build the lining of our digestive tract. It contains all of the necessary amino acids—particularly glycine and glutamine—for healing.
Dogs who are suffering from digestive issues such as leaky gut may also have poor nutrient absorption due to the fact that nutrients that would otherwise be properly digested and absorbed in a healthy gut can escape through the intestinal lining. Collagen, on the other hand, supports gut wall integrity. However, we may assist in minimizing nutrient loss due to faulty gut function by increasing our collagen intake.
The Best Way to Incorporate Collagen into Your Dog’s Diet
There are a few different ways that you can incorporate collagen into your dog’s diet. One option is to give them grass-fed beef or chicken bones to chew on, I do not recommend the beef bones since they are too dense (hard) for your dog’s teeth; they will break or chip. Another option is to purchase high-quality pet food that contains hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin. I do not recommend this either since this is cooked food that the digestive of a carnivore is not designed for. if you are not convinced that your dog is a carnivore? Please read this article:
What I recommend is that you purchase supplements that contain pure collagen peptides type 1, 2, or 3 (in powder form). These can easily be added to your dog’s food or dissolved in water and even given orally with a syringe (this is a good option for over-picky eaters).
When purchasing supplements, make sure to choose a product that does not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients. I recommend this product; that is what I use. It has close to no taste, so your animals will not reject it based on smell. This product is made in the USA, and the source is from grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine.
Now you know a bit more about the benefits of collagen for dogs! This protein can help reduce joint pain and inflammation while also promoting healthy skin, hair growth, and digestive health. I will report back with the results I see with my dogs and my clients.
For joint help and support, I highly recommend you also read this article.
- Figueres Juher T, Basés Pérez E. REVISIÓN DE LOS EFECTOS BENEFICIOSOS DE LA INGESTA DE COLÁGENO HIDROLIZADO SOBRE LA SALUD OSTEOARTICULAR Y EL ENVEJECIMIENTO DÉRMICO [An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen intake on joint and bone health and on skin ageing]. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Jul 18;32 Suppl 1:62-6. Spanish. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.32.sup1.9482. PMID: 26267777. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26267777/
- Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct;30(2):87-99. doi: 10.1053/sarh.2000.9622. PMID: 11071580. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11071580/
- Bello AE, Oesser S. Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2221-32. doi: 10.1185/030079906X148373. PMID: 17076983. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17076983/
- de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021 Dec;60(12):1449-1461. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15518. Epub 2021 Mar 20. PMID: 33742704. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33742704/
- Schwartz SR, Hammon KA, Gafner A, Dahl A, Guttman N, Fong M, Schauss AG. Novel Hydrolyzed Chicken Sternal Cartilage Extract Improves Facial Epidermis and Connective Tissue in Healthy Adult Females: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Sep;25(5):12-29. PMID: 31221944. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31221944/
- Farris PK, Edison BL, Weinkauf RL, Green BA. A novel, volumizing cosmetic formulation significantly improves the appearance of target Glabellar lines, nasolabial folds, and crow’s feet in a double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical trial. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Jan;13(1):41-6. PMID: 24385118. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24385118/
Thomas Sandberg CSAN, CCNC, AADP
Thomas Sandberg is a board certified animal naturopath and the founder of Long Living Pets Research Projects, a 30-year observational study into raw-fed dogs and cats. Thomas also consults in animal naturopathy, including the prevention of chronic diseases and longevity using all-natural modalities. With more than 20 years of experience with hundreds of cancer cases, he has a deep understanding of why so many dogs and cats get cancer today and how we can lower the risk significantly.