Although you can not change the genes your dog inherits, you can influence how those genes express themselves. Nutrition, supplements and nutraceuticals can affect the course of this inherited disease. Nutrition has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease. It appears that the number of calories a dog consumes and when in his life he consumes them is important. Obesity worsens this disease in all cases. Puppies who grow too quickly and become over fat develop hip dysplasia at a much higher rate than litter mates who are fed a restricted diet. Dogs who are overweight have more difficulty with mobility at an earlier age. Overexercising a young dog particularly with exercises that involve a lot of compressive forces like frisbee throwing or running can exacerbate a pre existing condition. However dogs with more muscle mass have fewer problems so exercise is good but in moderation.
Starting supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids early in life has been proven beneficial. Puppies can safely be started on this supplement. Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM supplements can be started in young dogs as anecdotal evidence is sufficient to prove that these may be helpful. Vitamin C supplementation is also important.SAM-e a supplement long used for liver disease in dogs has some use for arthritis as well. Green lipped perna mussel is another supplement that is really a combination of glucosamine precursors and cartilage building substances. There are many glucosamine supplement on the market. It is important to use one that is reputable and has proven results. Joint Gold from Natural Well Being and Joint relief 2 HD are two products that should work well. Consult your holistic veterinarians for other supplements that he or she recommends.