With a lifestyle of romping around and exploring, your dog’s joints are bound to experience some natural wear and tear as he progresses from a rambunctious puppy to a slower-moving senior.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take as a pet owner—such as giving your dog dietary supplements to slow the progression of Fido’s dog’s joint problems and keep him happy, healthy, and mobile for as long as possible.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound, meaning your pup’s body naturally produces glucosamine to stimulate the growth of cartilage and other organic materials like tendons and synovial fluid.
In other words, glucosamine is crucial for maintaining mobility and joint health. It’s what allows your pup’s joints to bounce back from injuries, and even protects the joints during normal activities like walks and playtime.
As your dog ages, he naturally loses his ability to produce as much glucosamine as before. As a result, he may experience joint discomfort as his body becomes less resilient. The good news is that when this happens (and even before), you can start giving glucosamine to your dog as a dietary supplement.
Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs
If your dog’s joints aren’t healing like they used to, he’s going to feel the effects of that regular wear-and-tear. Because glucosamine naturally exists in your dog’s body (and yours!), there’s no questioning whether glucosamine is necessary and beneficial to dogs.
You may want to look into giving your senior dog glucosamine supplements if he has stiff joints, difficulty jumping or climbing stairs, or seems slow (or even reluctant) to rise or walk. Of course, it’s always good to consult your vet before adding anything to your dog’s diet.
Benefits of glucosamine for dogs include:
- Reduced joint discomfort
- Faster joint recovery and repair
- Improved mobility and range of motion
- Joint protection
- Slowed progression of joint damage
Even if you have a young, healthy dog who doesn’t seem to have any joint issues, glucosamine supplements can be helpful for maintaining that mobility. Keep joint problems at bay by maintaining and preserving existing joint health—talk to your vet about giving glucosamine supplements to your young, healthy, active dog.
How to Give Glucosamine to Dogs
While glucosamine supplements are often associated with senior dogs who have joint issues, some pet parents start giving their dogs glucosamine as early as two years old to ward off any potential joint issues before they occur.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and the amount of glucosamine that one dog needs could vary significantly from that of another dog. Depending on your dog’s age, weight, and joint health, he could need anywhere from 250 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of glucosamine. The general rule of thumb is 20 milligrams per pound of body weight, but we always recommend talking to your vet to determine the appropriate amount for your individual dog.
While glucosamine side effects are rare, it’s still a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog to monitor for any adverse effects. Overdosing on glucosamine isn’t technically a concern, but too much could result in digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting… and that’s simply not fun for anyone involved.
Additionally, never give human glucosamine supplements to dogs—always make sure it’s formulated specifically for dogs. Human supplements can contain harmful additives such as xylitol, not to mention serving sizes not suitable for dogs.
Glucosamine for dogs is available over-the-counter in a variety of forms: as tablets, chews, liquids, powders, or as an ingredient in other products. Depending on your dog’s preferences and pickiness, you can give him glucosamine in tasty treat form, as a pill or tablet (if he cooperates, that is!), or as a meal topper.
You can also find glucosamine as an ingredient in other pet health products. For example, Pet Honesty’s new JointSupport+ chews contain glucosamine along with other powerful ingredients such as fish oil and chondroitin. These tasty chews are a vet-recommended way to support your dog’s joints and mobility and ease related discomfort.