Your dog is your best friend, and you want to make sure he’s happy and comfortable throughout his life. As your dog ages, you should start looking into dog supplements for joints because arthritis is common in senior dogs.
We will talk about glucosamine supplements in depth, including what they are, how they can help your dog, any side effects, and dosing instructions or tips. By the time we’re finished, you’ll have a good understanding about these dog joint supplements.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring element that is made up of a sugar (glucose), and an amino acid (glutamine). This substance is found in your dog’s cartilage inside their joints, and it helps to absorb the shock of moving around.
As your dog ages, their body naturally produces less and less of this substance, and this can lead to arthritis symptoms. Your dog may develop stiff and painful joints and trouble moving because the shock-absorbing cartridge in their joints will gradually disappear.
There are glucosamine supplements available, and it is one of the most recommended over-the-counter dog arthritis medications available. These can help your dog maintain their level of mobility, and there are three main types of glucosamine supplements.
- Glucosamine Hydrochloride. This supplement is also known as Glucosamine HCL, and it is commonly found in many shellfish shells. This is a more concentrated version of a Glucosamine supplement that you can give to your dog.
- Glucosamine Sulfate. This supplement is the most common one that you can purchase, and it is one of the more concentrated supplements. It is either produced in a lab or extracted from shellfish, and it contains sulfur which helps with cartilage repair.
- N-Acetyl-Glucosamine. This supplement is made from a form of glucose. It is used to lubricate your dog’s joints, and it can assist with several gastrointestinal issues as well.
How Does this Supplement Work?
Glucosamine is packed full of anti-inflammatory agents, and it can slow your dog’s aging process by keeping their joints lubricated. Healthy cartilage is spongy and shock absorbing, but as your dog ages, it loses these shock-absorbing properties.
There is also Synovial fluid in your dog’s joints, and this helps to lubricate the cartilage and keep it healthy. A decrease in the Synovial fluid will lead to your dog’s joints becoming stiff and painful, and this can happen as they age.
A glucosamine supplement will work to preserve the cartilage and the Synovial fluid, which will help your dog move easier. It will also rebuild and repair the cartilage as you continue to give it to your pet.
Can You Feed Your Dog Glucosamine Rich Foods Along With the Supplements?
Along with dog supplements for joints, you can find this in foods to give to your dog as well. It is a good idea to feed your dog both the supplement and the glucosamine-rich food at the same time.
The reasoning for this is your dog’s body may not recognize the supplement once they’ve been on it for a while and they might get bogged down. However, glucosamine from food is natural, and your dog’s body will know what to do with it.
- Beef Trachea. The beef trachea is rich in glucosamine because it is made up of cartilage. You can feed this to your dog as a raw snack, or you can dehydrate it and give it to them as something to chew.
- Beef Knuckle Bones. These bones are packed full of big pieces of cartilage. Your dog can have these as something to chew on, and they’ll get a dose of glucosamine as well.
- Chicken Feet. You’ll find a lot of naturally occurring glucosamine in chicken feet. You can feed these to your dog as a snack or as part of your dog’s meals a few times a week.
- Oxtails. Any animal’s tail is made up largely of cartilage. You can boil this and give it to your dog as a treat, and it’s another healthy way to give them this naturally occurring compound.
Are They Any Side Effects to be Concerned About?
There are very few side effects associated with feeding your dog glucosamine supplements. However, there are a few things to watch out for just in case.
If your dog has allergies to shellfish, you’ll want to watch for any symptoms of an allergic reaction. Since glucosamine is extracted from shellfish, it could trigger an allergic reaction in your dog.
You should also watch for restlessness, or if your dog begins sleeping more than normal. Fatigue has been reported, along with excessive drinking and urination when some dogs receive high doses of glucosamine.
If your dog is diabetic, they should be monitored closely as well. This compound is sugar based, and it could cause problems if your dog has diabetes.
What is the Correct Dosage to Give Your Dog?
When you’re looking for glucosamine supplements for your dog’s joints, make sure you’re buying them from a reputable source. You want to buy good products, and you can do this from a known company.
The dosage amount depends on how severe your dog’s arthritis is, and whether you’re giving them an injection or a capsule. An injection will require less glucosamine supplement than a capsule.
You should always consult your vet to clarify your dosing amounts and a schedule. However, the general dosing guidelines are listed below, and they are based on your dog’s weight.
- Dogs Weighing 5 – 20 Pounds: 250 to 500 mg
- Dogs Weighing 20 – 45 Pounds: 500 mg
- Dogs Weighing 45 – 90 Pounds: 1,000 mg
- Dogs Over 90 Pounds: 1,500 mg
It may take several weeks before you begin to see any improvement in your dog’s mobility. You should evaluate your dog after they’ve been taking the glucosamine supplement for around three months and note any improvement.
Glucosamine supplements can be a good thing to use to ease your dog’s arthritis symptoms. You want your dog to be happy and healthy throughout their lives, and this supplement can help them.