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can my pet have this
Green lipped mussels

Green-lipped mussel details

  • Medication type: Supplement
  • Form: Powder, capsule, dog treats
  • Availability: OTC
  • FDA status: Not listed
  • Life stages: Safe for all life stages, but typically given to senior dogs
  • Popular brands: Native Pet, Natural Dog Company, Zesty Paws
  • Common names: GLM, Perna canaliculus, New Zealand mussel
  • Available dosages: 15 mg of green-lipped mussel powder per pound per day
  • Expiration range: The shelf life of capsules is approximately 3 years, but dates can vary among products. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What are green-lipped mussels? 

Green-lipped mussels (GLM), named for the green edge or lip around the shells, are native to New Zealand’s pristine coastline. For centuries, the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand knew of the benefits offered by green-lipped mussels. However, their secret leaked out when scientists saw that they displayed a much lower incidence of joint pain and osteoarthritis than their inland counterparts. This led to intensive research into the health benefits of green-lipped mussels for dogs. Now, senior canines are enjoying the anti-inflammatory effects, too!

Once the secret was out about the wonders of the green-lipped mussel, these mollusks began making their way into many joint supplements. Since 1970, many studies have been published on the efficacy of GLM. This ingredient is becoming more popular in pet supplements as well.

Benefits of green-lipped mussel for dogs with joint pain

Decades of research have proven the green-lipped mussel to be a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory components and joint health nutrients. Several studies have found that GLM is effective in reducing arthritis signs in dogs. One study found that GLM helps gait function , which is the gold standard of assessing osteoarthritis in dogs.

Packed with tons of arthritis-fighting ingredients, GLM can help reduce inflammation and pain in arthritic joints. It can also limit further cartilage damage while supporting cartilage regeneration. Even better, GLM can possibly lower your arthritic dog’s need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to manage their pain. Plus, this mollusk can help reduce gastrointestinal irritation associated with long-term NSAID use.

👉 Check out our complete guide on anti-inflammatories for dogs.

The green-lipped mussel is a potent supplement ingredient that has been clinically shown to reduce arthritis scores, joint pain, and joint swelling in dogs.

Nutrients found in GLM

This magical mollusk is packed full of anti-inflammatory components and other nutrients that may benefit joint health. GLM is naturally rich in:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are common fatty acids found in fish oil, but GLM has a third one, called ETA. This rare form, unique to GLM, lowers the production of an inflammation-causing enzyme.
  • Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, and iodine are vital nutrients for your four-legged friend’s joint health.
  • Amino acids. Amino acids are essential for muscle growth and repair, and energy and collagen production. They also have anti-inflammatory effects and are natural pain relievers.
  • Enzymes. Enzymes speed up chemical processes within the body. They’re also involved with the production of connective tissue essential for healthy joints.
  • Antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which can cause joint cartilage damage.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine helps develop and renew joint cartilage. Chondroitin helps the body maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints.

Any known side effects or risks?

Green-lipped mussel supplements are generally considered safe for dogs. But, dogs with shellfish or fish allergies may be allergic to green-lipped mussels.

👉 Studies haven’t been performed on pregnant or nursing dogs, so refrain from giving GLM to your dog if they’re pregnant or have pups.

Green-lipped mussels haven’t been shown to interact with any other medications or supplements. But, it’s smart to check with your dog’s vet before adding a new ingredient to their diet.

How to feed your dog green-lipped mussels

Pet parents can generally find green-lipped mussels in a variety of treats and supplements for hip and joint health.

  • In chews. Tasty chews provide an easy way to give your pooch a boost of GLM’s inflammation-fighting nutrients.
  • In powders. GLM in powder form is simple to sprinkle on your pup’s food — and it provides joint health support without extra calories.
  • In capsules. The least common way of giving your dog GLM, mussel oil-filled capsules can still provide some joint health benefits.

An interesting result was discovered when studying the efficacy of oil and freeze-dried powder forms of GLM. Although the oil had a higher level of the fatty acid ETA, it was found to be less effective than the powder form in alleviating arthritis signs in dogs. The freeze-dried version contained more joint health nutrients, like complex proteins, glycosaminoglycans, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

One study researched the efficacy of different routes of administration of the powder. The powder was given to dogs in three different ways: sprinkled on top of dry food, manufactured into a treat, or incorporated into a main meal.

Although dogs in each group showed improvement, the most improvements came from the group with powder sprinkled onto their food. So, when choosing a GLM supplement to add to your dog’s diet, opt for the powder form.

What’s the GLM dosage for dogs?

Although there’s no exact GLM dosage for dogs, we followed guidelines from clinical trials. In one prominent study, dogs with osteoarthritis signs were given the following amounts of GLM powder:

Dog weight Amount of GLM powder
Less than 55 lbs 450 mg
55 to 75 lbs 750 mg
Over 75 lbs 1,000 mg

Our favorite supplement for dogs with green-lipped mussel

If your vet gives you the thumbs-up to introduce green-lipped mussels to your pooch’s diet, it can be tough to find the best product. We’ve done the legwork and waded through a sea of supplements to find the most reputable, effective product for your pup’s joint health. Here’s our favorite supplement with GLM:

Why we love it: Native Pet’s Relief supplement contains green-lipped mussel, polyphenol blend, turmeric extract, and collagen. These powerful ingredients work together to reduce joint pain and improve mobility. Plus, they’re air-dried treats, meaning the joint health properties of green-lipped mussels haven’t been cooked right out. Even better: Native Pet is a part of the NASC, and their chews are formulated by a vet nutritionist. This means you can rest assured your pup is getting top-quality ingredients.

What customers say: Pet parents rave about how these chews please even the most finicky of dogs. They’re also impressed with the return to normal mobility this supplement provides for their arthritic pups.

Ingredients: Green-lipped mussel, natural polyphenol blend, turmeric extract, black pepper fruit extract, real chicken, chicken bone broth, organic coconut glycerin, dried whole krill, and natural tocopherols.

Frequently asked questions

What does green-lipped mussel do for dogs?

What doesn’t green-lipped mussel do for dogs? But really, this mollusk is incredible. Packed with anti-inflammatory and joint health ingredients, GLM is great for dogs suffering from arthritis pain.

Can a dog have too much green-lipped mussel?

Although green-lipped mussels are very safe for dogs, giving a bunch won’t increase their anti-inflammatory effects. Too much green-lipped mussel may cause an upset stomach, nausea, and flatulence. Stick to the recommended dose of 15 mg per pound per day, and you’ll see the benefit in your pooch’s pep.

How many green-lipped mussels can I give my dog?

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on your chosen supplement for your dog’s specific weight. However, a good rule of thumb is to give 15 mg per pound per day.

How long does it take for green-lipped mussels to work for dogs?

You’ll likely notice an improvement in your dog’s comfort level and mobility within a couple of weeks. The full effect can take up to 8 weeks to be seen.

Are green-lipped mussels better than omega-3?

Green-lipped mussels contain three types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and a unique form, ETA. ETA has been proven to be a phenomenal nutrient when it comes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation.

Do green-lipped mussels have side effects?

No. The only side effects seen are allergic reactions in dogs with shellfish allergies.

Can dogs eat raw green-lipped mussels?

We don’t recommend raw diets, so pet parents should opt for a chew or supplement for family safety.