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Green Lipped Mussels For Dogs: What Does The Science Say?

Looking for a healthy, delicious, and all-natural way to improve your dog’s health? Look no further than green lipped mussels! These small shellfish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and minerals, all of which can help to improve your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

Bowl of green lipped mussels on grass.

Ever heard of green lipped mussels? I hadn’t either until Rhubarb came into my life. I discovered these wonderful, fatty, mollusks during my research for what are the best things to feed dogs. But…what the heck are they?

What Are Green Lipped Mussels?

Green lipped mussels are a species of mussel found on the coast of New Zealand. They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants!

Green lipped mussels have been eaten by indigenous Polynesian people for centuries. And interestingly, those who live on the coast and regularly eat green lipped mussels have very low cases of arthritis, while those who live inland and do not eat green lipped mussels have normal cases of arthritis.

But do those health benefits translate to dogs?

Up close image of a green lipped mussel in a bowl of green lipped mussels.

Are Green Lipped Mussels Good for Dogs?

So green lipped mussels are good for people, but are they good for dogs? Yes! These mussels are incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s have been shown to reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

You may be thinking, isn’t that what is in fish oil supplements? Well, yes. But green lipped mussels also contain glucosamine, chondroitin, zinc, magnesium (all great for joint health!). They also contain something called polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAGs) which is the building block for cartilage and joint fluid.

According to the American Kennel Club, osteoarthritis is the number one cause of pain in dogs. The most common treatment for this in dogs are pain relievers known as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). NSAID’s have many side effects and can be very hard on a dogs stomach.

Green lipped mussels have many of the benefits of NSAID’s without the side effects! In many studies, this mussel was shown to not only be more effective than NSAID’s, but also to potentially reduce common stomach issues in dogs that were caused by NSAID’s.

Bowl of green lipped mussels on grass.

Buy Green Lipped Mussels

These are our favorite green lipped mussels. Rhubarb goes crazy for them!

Where can I buy green lipped mussels for dogs?

Green lipped mussels are most commonly found in supplement form in pet care stores across the country and online. They usually come either freeze dried or in powder form. When looking for green lipped mussel supplements, look for one that is 100% green lipped mussel.

How many green lipped mussels should I give my dog

There are no defined dosages of green lipped mussels for dogs currently. However, the common amount advised is 1 mussel per 20 pounds of body weight per day. So for example, a 60 pound dog could have 3 mussels per day!

Safety of Green Lipped Mussels

We are always concerned with the safety of supplements for dogs, but thankfully green lipped mussels are about as safe as they can get! Here are a few hghlights.

  • Waters tested – The waters where green lipped mussels are grown, are regularly tested for biotoxins, and if levels exceed the national standard, the mussels are not harvested.
  • No interactions with other medication – There has been no reports of these mussels interacting with medications, making them safe to take in addition to any other prescriptions your dog may be on.
  • No age restriction – This safety profile makes them safe for all ages both as treatment and a preventative measure.

It is always best to check with your vet before starting any type of supplements, regardless of safety levels.

Green lipped mussels in a white bowl on grass.

How Long Does It Take For Green Lipped Mussels to Start Working For Dogs?

Owners report that green lipped mussels start working in as little as four days. At day ten, you should see noticeable improvement. But, even if you do not see improvement, it is recommended to continue using for at least six weeks.

Most studies of green lipped mussels run eight to twelve weeks, with dogs being tested for improvement at week four, eight, and twelve. A majority of dogs will show measured improvement after four weeks. But interestingly, a study measured dogs at eight weeks, then stopped treatment. Researchers continued to measure maintained improved mobility until week twelve!

Close up image of green lipped mussels.

Green Lipped Mussels are a great source of omega-3’s for your pup and can help fight and reduce inflammation. If you have question or want more information, feel free to check out American Kennel Club’s website and PetMD.

Looking For More Good Food For Your Dog?

Check out one of these posts for more nutrient rich foods ideas!

  • Tuna – Tuna is high in omega-3’s but also has mercury, so it should be given in small amounts. Check out our guide to serving it up to your pup!
  • Blueberries – High in antioxidants and delicious! What could be better?
  • Watermelon – Great for hydration! Just be sure to only give them seedless watermelon in small amounts!
  • Tripe – Similar to green lipped mussels in being high in healthy fats, but with the addition of probiotics!
  • Golden Paste – A quick mix of turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil that’s anti-inflammatory as heck!
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