Welcome To Your Complete Guide To The Best Glucosamine For Dogs.
Have You Heard That Glucosamine Can Be A Useful Supplement For Dogs?
We Take A Look At What It Does, How And If It Works, And Share The Very Best Glucosamine For Dogs Options Currently On The Market.
As we get older, chances are we’ll start taking supplements.
Our dogs are no different!
As our pets age we’ll usually change their diet a bit.
They’ll need more of some nutrients and less of others.
And they might need extra vitamins or minerals.
They’ll certainly not be moving about as much as when they were young.
In dogs as in humans, joints are often one of the first body parts to show age.
So when a supplement claims to help the health of your dogs’ joints we rightly get a little excited.
Glucosamine is a supplement used by many people to help combat aging joints, but does it work for dogs?
Humans and dogs are different, but sometimes our own remedies work for them — not always, but sometimes.
So what is glucosamine and how does it work? Is it right for my dog?
We’ll look into these questions and some others in todays article, helping to find out the best Glucosamine for dogs.
What is glucosamine for dogs?
The glucosamine that is sold in supplements is collected from an unusual source: the shells of crustaceans.
The hard chitin that makes up these shells is rich in this amino-sugar, and manufacturing plants extract it for our use.
This useful molecule is actually present in all of our bodies, where it fulfills a key role.
Glucosamine helps your joints to build and maintain cartilage.
This is the tough spongy layer that shields the bones in your dogs joints from each other.
Young healthy dogs produce enough glucosamine to keep their cartilage in top condition, by continually producing this amino-sugar.
Unfortunately, older dogs can start to produce less and less glucosamine, causing supplies to run dry.
When this happens, older dogs’ cartilage will gradually fall into disrepair.
This causes a rather unpleasant condition called osteoarthritis.
As the cartilage degrades and isn’t replaced fast enough, dogs’ bones start to rub painfully at the joint.
Generating pain in and of itself, along with inflammation.
If you’ve ever broken a bone and moved it, as most of us have, you’ve experienced a noticeably more extreme version of what this is like.
When bones rub against each other it really hurts, so understandably researchers have been busy finding ways to alleviate this pain.
Glucosamine is available in a number of supplements, but how does it work, and what are the effects? And which one is the best glucosamine for dogs?
What does glucosamine for dogs do?
As we mentioned before, glucosamine is helpful for the construction and maintenance of cartilage.
If a dog with osteoarthritis doesn’t have enough glucosamine in his system, then adding it to his diet can help bolster his supply.
The end result of this is a lessening of the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
A dog that responds well to this supplement should have healthier cartilage, meaning less pain and more joint mobility.
If your dog doesn’t have osteo-arthritis and you give her glucosamine, it’ll just come out the other end and do nothing.
There is a constant level of glucosamine in a healthy dogs blood, and if their kidneys detect that there’s too much, it just gets flushed out in their urine.
There has been some indication that glucosamine might help with dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, but no serious study into this has been conducted.
In the absence of hard evidence we can’t really suggest it for this.
It’s important to point out that glucosamine is almost always paired with another nutrient in supplements: chondroitin sulfate.
Chondroitin sulfate is another helpful substance for osteoarthritic dogs.
It works by combating enzymes that might otherwise damage the cartilage and fluid in the joints.
It does have to be said that glucosamine is under-regulated.
As a nutritional supplement it does not have to abide by the same rules of consistency as medicine.
This means the labeling might be imprecise, and the supplements inconsistent.
The best glucosamine for dogs takes into account their size
When supplementing glucosamine, dogs dosage will differ based on the size of the dog.
Use the manufacturers guidelines for dogs of different weights.
Dog glucosamine side effects seem to be fairly mild, with a slightly upset stomach being the usual worst case scenario.
With this being said, every dog is different.
If your dog starts acting differently or unwell, withdraw the glucosamine and speak to your vet.
Can even the best glucosamine for dogs be overdosed on?
Fortunately an overdose would be very difficult to suffer.
Toxicity on dogs isn’t very well documented, but in rats a lethal dose is considered 5g for every kg of weight.
This is hundreds of times the normal dose, so not a huge cause for concern.
Even so, treat it like anything else that’s even potentially dangerous. Keep the bottle or packet out of reach of your dog.
If your dog is suffering from joint issues, it’s really important you take them to a vet.
Get a diagnosis before you start treating.
The stiffness you interpret as osteoarthritis could be the start of a much more serious disease like tetanus.
A vet will take the appropriate measures, and help guide you through treatment.
So what makes the best glucosamine supplement for dog?
What is the best glucosamine for dogs?
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are what they are. These nutrients are the same regardless of brand.
Due to the low regulation we spoke about earlier, some brands may be more consistent in the amount they deliver.
There’s not a great way of figuring this out, though, as there’s no FDA requirement for manufacturers to be that accurate.
There are lots of different ways of administering glucosamine through various products.
We’ll run through a few of these.
First up, liquid glucosamine.
Liquid glucosamine for dogs
Up to this point, our experience with glucosamine may have been exclusively human.
We may be familiar with glucosamine in the form of liquid supplement.
Dogs have the same option, too! Liquid glucosamine.
Like almost all glucosamine supplements, this is a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
We’ve already been over the benefits of these two ingredients, and how they could help with your dog’s osteo-arthritis.
This liquid can be dosed out, using the labels instructions, and applied to your dogs dried food.
Is there any way of providing this nutrient in a more traditionally dog friendly form?
Glucosamine dog treats
Is the best glucosamine for dogs the type that they eat as a treat?
Dogs love getting treats, so much so that we can use them to train them.
It’s always convenient when something they need can double as a treat, and fortunately there are products aimed to do just that.
It’s important to remember the even though these look like treats, we should take care to get the dosage correct.
More than anything they’re more expensive than regular treats.
Giving too much glucosamine is just wasteful and does nothing.
These glucosamine-containing treats are usually in the form of bite sized soft chews that your dog will love munching on.
Glucosamine chews for dogs
Dogs love to work their jaws out a bit on something chewy.
The most popular soft glucosamine chews are by the brand Doggie Dailies.
The two main active ingredients in these treats are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and we’ve already been through how helpful these two can be.
These chews also contain a bunch of other nutrients like omega fatty acids, proven to be helpful to the maintenance of dogs skin and the treatment of dermatitis.
All in all, these chews seem like a great addition to an arthritic pooches diet.
This looks like a great option.
So in what other ways could we introduce glucosamine to our dogs?
Glucosamine supplement for dogs
There are a ton of different forms you can buy glucosamine supplements for dogs in.
These bacon flavored chewable supplements from K9 care labs look like a great option.
Flavored supplements are great to make your dog eagerly chomp down on the nutrients he needs.
This product from K9 care labs also contains vitamin C.
It’s important to point out that dogs make their own vitamin C, so while this would help a vitamin deficient dog, there’s very little evidence it will be beneficial to an otherwise healthy pooch.
Next, lets look at some more traditional tablet based options for glucosamine.
Glucosamine tablets for dogs
Sometime simple tablet based nutrients work best, and we can just wrap them in food our dogs like.
Nutramax Consequin DS chewables are one such tablet.
At first you might be a little confused that glucosamine isn’t on the front of this products packaging, but Consequin is just a brand name for a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, just like the other options we’ve looked at!
This is a robust option for anyone looking to add glucosamine to their dogs diet, and the reviews speak for themselves.
Now let’s look at glucosamine powders for dogs.
Glucosamine powder for dogs
Or is the best glucosamine for dogs one that comes in powder form?
It depends a bit upon their diet.
If your dog eats wet food, you might prefer supplements in the form of a powder you can sprinkle over or mix in.
By adding these products you can make your own dog food with glucosamine.
Particular paws’ glucosamine powder looks like a great option.
This powder-form glucosamine formula could be the answer to your dog’s arthritis woes.
It has the same blend of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as the rest of our examples, which have both shown real promise in treating osteoarthritis.
This formula also comes packed with other vitamins and minerals, which can be helpful for an older dogs general health.
So, we’ve looked at some dog-specific glucosamine supplements, but what about human ones?
Are these the best glucosamine for dogs?
Human glucosamine for dogs
Or is the best glucosamine for dogs the same variety as for humans.
Even when the active ingredients are the same, giving human medicine or nutritional supplements to dogs is never a good idea.
This is because plenty of the additives we put in human supplements are harmless to us, but dangerous to dogs. One example is xylitol.
Xylitol is a popular sweetener, present in a huge variety of human medicine, supplements and food.
This additive is harmless to humans; in fact, there’s evidence it helps our dental health. Despite being so commonplace and edible for people, it is deadly poisonous to dogs.
When even a small amount of xylitol gets into a dogs body it interferes with the way they regulate sugar in their blood.
This causes the dogs blood sugar to drop off very quickly, a condition known as hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemic dogs can suffer organ failure and die, as they don’t have enough sugar in their blood to keep even basic bodily functions active.
Other places your dog might come into contact with xylitol are chewing gum and some brands of peanut butter.
Unsafe for dog additives like this are a good enough reason to steer clear of giving our pooches human supplements.
They’re meant for us — not them.
Fortunately, as we’ve covered in this article, there are tons of ways to give your dog glucosamine in a form designed for dogs.
All in all, it seems as though in the battle against dog arthritis, glucosamine could be a useful tool.
Best glucosamine for dogs
So, what is the best glucosamine for dogs?
Any of the glucosamine supplements we’ve listed have the potential to lessen the symptoms of your dogs arthritis.
It’s important to point out that, while glucosamine has shown huge promise in treating osteoarthritis, the claims that are made about it’s effects are sometimes exaggerated.
Sometimes, irresponsibly, companies will attempt to sell this product as a preventative measure against joint injuries.
Although this would be a great thing, there’s not a lot of evidence to support these claims.
It doesn’t seem like a regular supplement of glucosamine will do any harm to an otherwise healthy dog, but it’s not certain that it will do any good either.
The most important thing to take away is to see a vet about any issues your dog is having with it’s joints.
They will be able to put together a treatment plan for you, and offer different useful medications.
Glucosamine has shown a lot of promise in remedying the cause of joint pain in arthritic dogs, but to alleviate pain short term you may need your vet to provide anti inflammatory drugs.
Always tell your vet if you plan to use glucosamine or any other complementary therapy. Interactions are not common, but always possible with anything we give our dogs.
Glucosamine can form a part of this treatment, but if your dog is suffering from something other than osteoarthritis it may not help him at all.
- Scintigraphic evaluation of dogs with acute synovitis after treatment with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate, S. O. Canapp et al
- Randomised double-blind, positive-controlled trial to assess the efficacy of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis, G. Mcmarthy et al
- The bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of glucosamine hydrochloride and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate after single and multiple doses to beagle dogs A. Adebowale et al
- Textbook of natural medicine J. E. Pizzomo
- Treatment of canine hip dysplasia: A review A. M. Remedios
- Canine Osteoarthritis: Understanding the etiology, clinical presentation, and diagnosis S. C. Budsberg DVM, MS, DACVS
- The effect of vitamin C supplementation in healthy dogs on antioxidative capacity and immune parameters M. Hesta et al
- Cosequin DS chewable tablets – compendium of veterinary products