Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Why Green Lipped Mussel is ideal for dogs with joint problems

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

By Dr. Jamie Smith

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs – The Benefits

Green Lipped Mussel is a completely natural food source that has been found to have an exceptional ability to aid dog’s bodies in fighting the progression of joint and connective tissue disease. It also supports the regeneration and healing of arthritic and injured joints and, unless your dog is allergic to shellfish, has no negative side effects.

It has also been found to significantly reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation associated with connective tissue and musculoskeletal problems and to vastly improve joint mobility.

Top 7 benefits of Green Lipped Mussel for dogs:

  • Provides the building blocks to help rebuild damaged cartilage
  • Fights pain and inflammation
  • Stops the breakdown of cartilage and connective tissue
  • Reverses the causes of inflammation
  • Reduces the damage caused by Arthritis
  • Blocks the hormones that cause inflammation
  • Provides extremely valuable Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The stunning power of Green Lipped Mussel extract results from the fact it is packed with a whole range of natural anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many of the essential building blocks needed to rebuild Collagen, proteoglycans and the synovial fluid found in the joints, ligaments and tendons

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Green Lipped Mussel – Fights pain and inflammation

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs
Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs
Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Green Lipped Mussel – Great source of Omega-3

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Why your dog needs Omega Fatty Acids

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are found in every cell in the body and are crucial in maintaining a healthy body. Mammals, such as dogs, are unable to produce these fatty acids naturally so they have to be obtained through diet alone – this is why they are known as ‘essential’ fatty acids.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids work together to control inflammation by regulating the immune system. In general, compounds in Omega-6 cause inflammation and those in Omega-3  fight inflammation.

Is your dog’s food disrupting its Omega balance?

Unfortunately, the majority of Dog Foods contain ingredients like beef, chicken, vegetable oils which have high levels of Omega-6 Oils, which can lead to an imbalance between the two, resulting in the immune system receiving more of the ‘bad’ signals.

By supplementing your dog’s diet with Green Lipped Mussel, which is naturally high in Omega-3 Oils, you can restore the natural balance, leading to a reduction in inflammation and the symptoms associated with it.

Green Lipped Mussel – Provides extremely valuable Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Diver under a mussel farm in the Marlborough Sounds

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs
Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Green Lipped Mussel supplements for your Dog

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

How to give your dog Green Lipped Mussel

After harvesting the Green Lipped Mussels are freeze-dried and processed into a fine powder to preserve the huge variety of nutrients they contain. The powder is then pressed into tablets (often with other active ingredients) which can be fed directly to your dog or crumbled onto their food.

‘Supercharging’ the effects of Green Lipped Mussel

When choosing a Green Lipped Mussel supplement look for some of these other active ingredients too.  They help the Mussel extract get absorbed more quickly and effectively and bring a whole heap of their own additional benefits in repairing your dog’s sore, worn or swollen joints.

Top 8 other ingredients to look for:

  1. Glucosamine – maintains joint mobility and relieves pain
  2. Chondroitinkeeps joints strong and supple for longer
  3. Hyaluronic AcidLubricates the joints
  4. ManganeseAssists in Collagen formation
  5. MSMBuilding blocks of healthy joints and bones
  6. Vitamins CAntioxidant that protects & rebuilds cartilage
  7. Vitamin EAnti-inflammatory & Antioxidant
  8. TurmericReduces pain, inflammation & stiffness

Maximise the benefits of Green Lipped Mussel with the right supplement

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs
Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs
Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Green Lipped Mussel Vs. Prescription Drugs

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Supplementing your dog’s diet with a Green Lipped Mussel formula is a low risk route to good joint health with few side effects. The alternatives, which your vet may prescribe in more extreme cases come with more downsides:

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Anti-inflammatory drugs may seem ideal for managing the inflammation associated with arthritis, but can have quite significant side effects for your dog – such as kidney, liver and digestive problems making them unsuitable for long-term use.


Steroid treatment or injections are also available which can significantly reduce any swelling or inflammation in the joints. However, these again can cause unwanted side effects and corticosteroids can interact badly with any other medication your dog may be receiving. Long-term steroid treatment can also worsen a joint condition by causing additional joint damage and breakdown.

Green Lipped Mussel – Supports dog joint structure and mobility

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

Green Lipped Mussel – Provides a rich source of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids

Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

More information about Green Lipped Mussel


The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Perna Canaliculus), also known as the New Zealand Mussel or the Green Shell mussel and to the local Maori population as kuku, or kutai, is a large species of mussel found in the pure, pristine waters off the coast of New Zealand.

Green lipped mussels are filter feeders, drawing in the nutrient-rich seawater and absorbing the ocean’s natural mineral balance – similar to that found in the human body – as they feed.


New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel has been a valuable food source for the native people of New Zealand for centuries. Cultivation began in the 1970s and now produces over 140,000 tonnes a year. Mussel farmers collect the mussel seed (called ‘spat’) by harvesting seaweed that has been washed ashore. This seaweed is covered in tiny seed mussels, as many as 200 million in every kilogram harvested.

Once the seaweed has been transported to the mussel farms, it is placed into net stockings that hold the spat-covered seaweed in place around weighted ropes. The weighted ropes are then suspended in the water from a pair of ‘backbone’ ropes which are held in place by concrete anchor blocks and supported by series of large plastic buoys.


The New Zealand mussel farming industry operates within some of the strictest quality standards in the world – both the mussels and seawater around the farms are constantly monitored with tests carried out for any bio-toxins, bacteria, and heavy metals that may be present – and New Zealand’s high aquaculture standards have been recognized by the International Conservation Organisation Blue Ocean Institute.

Green lipped mussels are harvested at the peak of their growth. To concentrate the mussels for use as an extract, the soft tissue is separated from the shell, then flash frozen, lyophilized (freeze-dried to remove the water) and processed into a fine powder – a process which does not in any way destroy or inactivate the biologically active constituents.

The resulting extract contains a vast variety of nutrients – valuable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, enzymes, and many others – the most important of which are glycosaminoglycans, the body’s natural lubricant and shock absorber, which provide support to the body, and especially to the joints.


These joint-healing properties of green lipped mussel were first noticed in the early 1960s by NASA researchers seeking a treatment for cancer, which included a comprehensive search of marine organisms in an attempt to find a natural cure.

Green lipped mussel was among the organisms tested, but trials on human cancer patients produced no detectable results. However, it was noticed that the patients who were coincidentally suffering from arthritis and other joint conditions reported a significant reduction in the pain and stiffness they were suffering, along with increased mobility.

These test results lead to further research into whether green lipped mussel might help with degenerative joint disorders and related connective tissue problems.


A series of further studies throughout the 1980s and 1990s found that green lipped mussel contains a number of biologically active constituents which could not only prevent, but reverse the effects of inflammatory joint disorders. Clinical studies carried out on humans with green lipped mussel showed positive results against both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Over the last 2 decades, green lipped mussel has been used successfully to treat degenerative joint disorders and arthritis in both human and veterinary health fields. It has been found to be beneficial in reducing pain, stiffness and inflammation in afflicted areas, as well as increasing joint mobility, and there have been many positive reports from practicing veterinarians who have confirmed its clinical efficacy in treating degenerative joint disease in both horses and dogs.


• Labrador Retrievers
• Golden Retrievers
• German Shepherds
• Dachshunds
• Newfoundlands
• Mastiffs
• Rottweilers
• Great Danes
• Old English Sheepdogs
• Saint Bernards

While these larger breeds are well known to be likely to experience joint problems, certain smaller breeds, such as Dachshunds, Bulldogs and Basset Hounds, are also genetically predisposed to developing joint and cartilage disorders such as hip dysplasia (dislocation) or patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap).


Research has shown that more than half of all dogs over the age of eight can start to develop arthritis in various joints – usually in the hips, knees and elbows – leading to them experiencing stiffness, soreness, lameness and pain. In severe cases, this condition can become quite debilitating or even crippling.

The signs of joint pain in dogs can be hard to spot as joint problems tend to develop slowly over time, and the first symptoms are sometimes so mild that they can be easily missed. Over time however, dog owners will start to notice that something isn’t quite right.

• Sleepiness – Does your dog sleep more often than they used to?

• Swelling – Do your dog’s joints appear to be swollen or inflamed?

• Slowing Down – Does your dog have trouble keeping up on walks?

• Labouring – Does your dog have difficulty getting up after a rest?

• Limping – Does your dog avoid putting weight on a particular leg?

• Lethargy – Does your dog seem reluctant to play or go for a walk?

You may notice lameness or stiffness, particularly on cold or damp days, or after your dog has had vigorous exercise or is getting up after a long rest. You might also notice that they sleep or rest more, or seem reluctant to exercise as often as they used to. This can lead to the dog gaining weight which can often make any underlying joint problems even worse.

Dogs experiencing joint pain will, understandably, tend to become irritable, depressed and lethargic so they may start to show aggression if the affected joints are touched or aggravated. Some dogs may lick continually at a painful joint, but you might not be able to see any obvious swelling or inflammation of the joint unless the condition is particularly advanced.


A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2002 revealed that the size of your dog is the key factor in determining the right dose of green lipped mussel for dogs – as a general rule of thumb you should aim to give your dog 10mg of powdered extract per 1 kilo of body weight per day.

As the studies have shown, the best way to add green lipped mussel to your pet’s diet is to sprinkle the extract over their food. Choose a supplement that is high in green lipped mussel extract and – as the mussel extract is particularly effective when taken in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin – one that incorporates a high level of these actives too.

Size is not the only factor to consider when calculating the correct dosage for your dog – you should also take into consideration the severity of your dog’s joint problems. When you begin to supplement your dog’s diet with green lipped mussel, particularly if their condition is particularly severe or if you have not seen any improvement in their condition after the first 2-4 weeks of giving the supplement, then you should double the manufacturer’s recommended dose for a period of about 6-8 weeks.

After this time, or once your dog’s condition and symptoms have improved, you can reduce the dosage back to normal.

Remember, it is always a good idea to consult your vet before adding any type of new supplement to your dog’s diet. Even though there have been no reports of any dogs ever having an adverse reaction to green lipped mussel, it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog when introducing them to any new foods or supplements.