Are green lipped mussels good for dogs?

Words By Gemma Sheehy

March 19, 2020

While their name might inspire thoughts of weird, neon creatures from the deep blue sea, green lipped mussels are relatively innocuous ocean creatures that are native to the coasts of New Zealand. They’re known (and named) for the distinctive patterning across their shell – a striking green stripe on the outside, and a bright green lip on the inside.

Green lipped mussels have been in the limelight as a ‘superfood’ for humans since the 1960s. BUT it was originally the Maori population who uncovered their spectacular benefits. In fact, the relatively low incidences of arthritis and inflammatory conditions throughout the New Zealand population has been attributed directly to their shellfish-heavy diet – including healthy portions of Green Lipped Mussels.
Now that researchers are using scientific studies to prove the medical and anti-inflammatory advantages to green lipped mussels, they’re beginning to boom in the market. And it’s not just horses who are beginning to benefit: the pet industry has followed suit, with many dog owners catching on to this incredible ingredient.

What makes green lipped mussels different?

So-called ‘superfoods’ aren’t new: the market is riddled with certain foods and ingredients that boast all kinds of health benefits…some more substantiated than others. And while some populations have always known the usefulness of green lipped mussels, many researchers have started performing medical trials and tests to substantiate these claims and share the scientific proof with the world. Notably, many of these studies have revealed the usefulness of green lipped mussels in treating inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and chronic pain in dogs.

Traditionally, dogs who suffered from chronic inflammatory conditions had little choice but to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to function comfortably. Sadly, while NSAIDs can help fight ongoing pain, they can also be responsible for a variety of not-so-great side effects. These include conditions like stomach ulcers, degradation to soft tissue, and long-term organ damage.

While necessary, the harmful side effects of NSAIDs drove scientists to search for a supplement that might pack the same punch to pain, but without the downsides. That search took them straight to green lipped mussels.

Do green lipped mussels have other health benefits?

It’s not just inflammation and pain control that makes green lipped mussels so great. There are so many reasons why these neon-green sea creatures are the perfect snack for dogs of all shapes, sizes and health conditions. Green lipped mussels are absolutely pumped full of nutrients, making them beneficial for a whole array of reasons. In particular, green lipped mussels boast a particularly healthy dose of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, C and more
  • Antioxidants.

We’ve gone into more detail about why these are so essential below.

How many green lipped mussels should I feed my dog?

While researchers have put increasing focus on the benefits of Green Lipped Mussels for dogs, the dosages and serving sizes required are still not an exact science. But as an estimation, PetMD recommends that “small dogs get 0.5g, medium dogs get 0.7mg, and large dogs get 1g total a day.”

Providing your doggo doesn’t have an underlying shellfish allergy, there are very few concerns for dogs when taking green lipped mussels daily. This means that you can, within reason, alter their dosage a few milligrams every now and then until you find the dosage that works for your doggo.


Gemma Sheehy

If there's one thing Gemma's passionate about in life, it's dogs. When she's not writing about them at WAG she's living, breathing, walking and snuggling with her own. Besides dog shows and sporting events on the weekends, Gemma is partial to cooking (sometimes) healthy meals, watching horror movies and making records for time spent in pyjamas.