Shark Cartilage For Dogs: Fact Checked by our Vet
Shark cartilage is one of the best natural dietary supplements for dogs available. Shark cartilage dog treats are great for any dog. For those suffering from arthritis or other joint issues, these treats can even help ease the condition.
Today, we'll guide you through the best options when it comes to treats made of shark cartilage.
The Science Behind Shark Cartilage Supplements for Dogs
Around 20 years ago, shark cartilage powder started becoming increasingly popular as a health supplement for human use. Various wondrous benefits were ascribed to it, such as the ability to fight cancer in humans, which is likely not true according to the most recent research. However, shark cartilage definitely does have benefits for dogs, and makes a great natural treat.
But first, let’s talk about what exactly is shark cartilage:
“But where does the cartilage come from in sharks? Their skeletons! Unlike the skeletons of bony fish and terrestrial vertebrates, elasmobranchs have skeletons made of cartilage and connective tissue which is less dense than bone. Shark cartilage products are made by separating the cartilage from the meat of the shark and drying it into a powder for use.” - Melissa Cristina Marquez, Forbes
However, when it comes to dogs, there is no need to make shark cartilage into a powder. In fact, keeping the cartilage in its original shape makes it a great chewing treat for dogs. It’s not just the texture of shark cartilage that makes it great for dogs, though, but also the contents.
Related: Best Dog Treats Australia.
First of all, shark cartilage contains lots of protein which makes it a perfect low-fat treat even for dogs who are on a strict diet. Moreover, shark cartilage is very rich in calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin (2). All of those substances have their benefits for dog health and are especially great for supporting healthy joints
The Benefits of Shark Cartilage for Dogs
Now that we know what shark cartilage is and what it contains, let’s talk about how it supports canine health.
Supports Joint Health
Shark cartilage is one of the top supplements for treating dogs suffering from arthritis and other joint issues like hip dysplasia (especially common in larger breeds). This is because shark cartilage contains both glucosamine and chondroitin which have been proven to help build healthy cartilage in dogs and keep the joints mobile (3). Moreover, chondroitin and glucosamine, as supplements, only work together:
Shark cartilage contains both which is yet another reason to consider it the perfect natural dog supplement.
Supports Dental Health
Shark cartilage has a rough structure, but when it breaks apart it doesn’t create dangerous sharp pieces like some bones. This makes shark cartilage pieces the perfect chews for both puppies and adult dogs. Chewing on cartilage pieces will not only keep your dog busy for a while, but it will also help clean their teeth.
A Perfectly Healthy Treat
As you have seen, shark cartilage has lots of benefits for dogs. As a plus, it’s a treat that’s minimally processed and does not contain any additives that could harm your dog. As a plus, allergic reactions to shark cartilage in dogs are almost unheard of. In Australia, shark cartilage is also usually locally sourced and packaged. All of this makes it the perfect healthy and safe treat for canines.
Australia's Best Shark Cartilage Dog Treats Reviewed
Below you can find some of the best shark cartilage treat options available in Australia.
The SavourLife Shark Cartilage treats are the best kind of treat for your dog. What you’ll find inside the bag is pure shark cartilage. That’s it. No added preservatives or anything else.
This way, your canine companion will get to enjoy a treat that not only has numerous health benefits, but also fits the ideal diet for any dog. Shark cartilage is full of protein and very low in fat and salt, which means your dog can enjoy chewing on these treats and there are no downsides to that. Shark cartilage is also quite chewy which means it will keep your dog busy playing with the treat for some time, while helping promote their dental health naturally.
The SavourLife Shark Cartilage being tested by our independent expert team.
An additional reason to go for SavourLife shark cartilage is that they use only sustainably sourced shark. SavourLife is a small, family-owned company based in Australia. All of their treats are sourced and made right here, in Australia, and buying local is always a plus. They also claim to donate 50% of the profits to dog rescue organizations. What’s not to like about that?
All of this goodness does come at quite a steep price, but that’s simply a necessity when you want top-quality ethically sourced food.
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Blackdog is another Australian company focused on creating treats for our pets that are healthy, safe, and tasty at the same time!
Their shark cartilage treats are simply the perfect choice for most dogs. Conveniently packed in a resealable bag, these shark cartilage pieces are perfectly sized to act as a chew treat. You’ll be happy about the resealable bag too, as these treats are quite smelly - but that is what you should always expect from natural shark cartilage.
The Blackdog Shark Cartilage being tested by our independent expert team.
The shark cartilage in these treats comes from the sharks spine. Ecologically responsible pet parents will also be happy to know that the ingredient is ethically sourced. The cartilage comes from sharks that have been caught for human use anyway - no sharks suffer for this product specifically. Rather, it’s a step toward using the shark completely.
The Blackdog Shark Cartilage pack contains nothing but pure shark cartilage, so you can rest assured your dog is getting a healthy treat. Supervision recommended, just like with any chewy treat, due to the small danger of the dog swallowing a sharp piece of the cartilage.
Wag came up with an ingenious way to add nutrients to your dog’s diet: feed them an actual shark tail. The Wag Shark Tail treats are simply air-dried pieces of shark tail. There are no additives, preservatives, or flavours. It’s the most natural way for a dog to enjoy a treat.
The pieces of shark tail they sell are between 15 and 25 centimetres long (sizing can vary due to the size of the shark). This means a Wag Shark Tail is quite a large treat that will offer your dog extended chewing fun.
Now, shark tails do contain shark cartilage - but they are not made entirely from it. There is also skin and traces of dry meat involved. However, we don’t see a problem there. Dogs will love it, and all pieces of shark are great for dogs anyway. Your pooch will still get a great boost of glucosamine, omega fatty acids and vitamin B6. Definitely a win in our books.
Of course, these tails will smell really fishy - just like all natural fish treats. The upside to that is that dogs usually love the smell.
Pooch Treats is another Australian company that offers dog treats made of 100% shark cartilage. Truth be told, these treats are not ‘made of’ shark cartilage, they are simply that: bite-sized pieces of cartilage from sharks. The cartilage is simply dried, cut up into pieces, and packaged into a resealable bag for you to use.
There is not much difference between this product from Pooch Treats and similar products from other manufacturers. In our list, we included only shark cartilage from companies that sell top-quality and ethically sourced cartilage treats with no artificial additions.
The only thing that makes the Pooch Treats cartilage stand out is the fact that it comes in a larger pack than others (200 and 500g) and it’s much cheaper than some other options.
If it’s your first-time offering shark cartilage to your canine companion, this 500g-pack could be too big. Not all dogs are fond of fishy-smelling treats, although most are. Still, we recommend getting a smaller pack to see if your dog will enjoy the new treat. However, if you already know your pooch loves shark cart, this bulk pack from Pooch Treats is a great choice.
My Final Say
Which is the best shark cartilage treat for your dog? Well, there is not much difference between those on our list because they all contain pure shark cartilage and nothing else (with the exception of the Wag Shark Tail which is just what the name suggests - a dried piece of shark tail).
We gave the SavourLife Shark Cartilage the first place because SavourLife seems to be a company that focuses on quality and giving back by helping rescue dogs - but any other option where the only ingredient is shark cartilage will work just as well.
Check out our other related articles:
As opposed to shark cartilage powder, show cartilage treats don’t allow for precise dosage. However, giving the cartilage as a treat to your dog two times weekly seems to be a safe amount. For a more precise dosage adapted to your dog’s needs, consult with your vet.
Shark cartilage almost never causes side effects. Digestive problems could ensue in very high doses. However, you should avoid giving shark cartilage to dogs that are allergic to seafood and be very cautious about feeding it to pregnant dogs.
The best shark cartilage treats are those that are made of shark cartilage only. You don’t want any additives or flavourings in there because they are simply not necessary. Air-dried cartilage is best because this way all of the nutrients are preserved.
- Marquez, M.C, February 27, 2020. “The Truths And Myths Of Shark Cartilage Pills”. Forbes. Retrieved June 14, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/melissacristinamarquez/2020/02/27/the-truths-and-myths-of-shark-cartilage-pills/
- Agustin, T.I., Sulistyowati, W., Arbai, A. and Yatmasari, E., 2015. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate content of shark cartilage (Prionace glauca) and its potential as anti-aging supplements. International Journal of ChemTech Research.
- McCarthy, G., O’Donovan, J., Jones, B., McAllister, H., Seed, M. and Mooney, C., 2007. Randomised double-blind, positive-controlled trial to assess the efficacy of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis. The Veterinary Journal, 174(1), pp.54-61. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023306000554
- Wooten, S. February 10, 2021. “A Vet Talks About the Best Ingredients for Joint Supplements for Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved June 15, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/vet-talks-about-best-ingredients-joint-supplements-dogs