Glucosamine for Dogs - Helping your Dog cope with Arthritis Pain

Have you ever seen your dog struggling to get up or looking really fatigued? Is your four-legged friend experiencing loss of appetite and seems moody all the time? If your fur baby is experiencing any one of these symptoms, your dog might be suffering from arthritis. 

Do not worry too much! You can prevent all these and help your dog cope with this disease. Today, we will be discussing all you need to know about glucosamine for dogs and how it will benefit your dog, especially if it has arthritis. 

What is arthritis in dogs? 

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a disease whereby cartilage that cushions the joints is severely destroyed. 

Since cartilage has no nerve supply, the inflammation can progress with no obvious symptoms until the joints are severely damaged and the lubricating fluid loses its ability to protect the bones. 

Your dog will then experience pain, thus avoiding any movement to further exacerbate said pain.

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs

You may also want to watch out for symptoms of joint pain before supplementing glucosamine to your dog. Some of these symptoms are, but not limited to: 

  • Displaying behavior changes such as irritation or depression
  • Displaying difficulty when climbing up to higher places
  • Excessive panting
  • Favoring one leg over another
  • Trouble getting up on their feet
  • Trouble laying down
  • An audible popping or cracking sound in the joint

These are the most common symptoms. However, you should always observe your dog as every dog is different and may show pain differently.

Common signs/symptoms that can be noticed in dogs with arthritis starts as early as 5 or 6 years of age for giant breeds and occurs later on in life for toy breeds.

Sometimes, our pets can be unusually good at hiding their pain or discomfort. Although dogs have been domesticated for a very long time, hiding pain is a preserved trait. 

Your dog may be constantly licking themselves or engaging in excessive cleaning. Most dog owners misinterpret these signs.

It is the responsibility of dog owners to familiarize themselves in identifying signs of pain and noticing any changes in dear doggy’s behaviour. 

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that can be found in cartilage that cushions the joints.

It is a natural sugar which is present in human and animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish and fungi. 

In dogs, glucosamine is usually used to reduce pain and joint wear and tear that is caused by hip dysplasia (abnormal formation of the hip socket) or other structural changes, assisting in treatment of spinal injury, speeding up the recovery from joint surgery and improving your doggos health.

Can you give a dog human glucosamine?

Glucosamine and chondroitin in human joint supplements are very common. However, when it comes to a canine’s joint supplements, you should always remember that these two ingredients tend to differ in terms of quantity and quality. 

This means that it is generally not recommended to give human glucosamine for your dogs as the dosage may differ. 

Why is this so? 

1. The human and animal digestive systems are different

While humans have longer digestive tracts to easier digest specific compounds like fiber. Dogs, on the other hand, have shorter digestive tracts to easier digest highly nutritious food such as raw meat or internal organs of animals as dogs are primarily carnivores, rather quickly.

A fast digestive system is essential for dogs as raw meat and internal organs, if stay undigested for too long, could turn into toxins. This can be very harmful to dogs. 

Since we now understand that the human and animals differ in terms of digestive tract systems, it is easier to acknowledge why giving human glucosamine and chondroitin is not a wise idea. 

Remember that a human’s digestive tracts better dissolves supplements catered to our body’s system and a dog’s digestive system does the same only if the supplement is formulated to suit their digestive systems. 

2. Dosage difference

It can be quite difficult to know exactly how many pills or chews to give your dogs when it comes to human supplements. 

When you look at canine supplements’ product labels, they should, by right, have clear-cut instructions on the dosage for your dog based on their weight. 

These instructions will definitely be unavailable in human supplements. Remember that the word itself said it is for humans and therefore not your dogs. 

3. Added ingredients

Some ingredients in human supplements can be potentially dangerous for your dogs as their system and it can be toxic. 

For example, one such ingredient is xylitol. 

Xylitol, a naturally occurring alcohol that can be found in fruits and vegetables is widely used as a substitute for sugar. This ingredient, incorporated in human supplements such as glucosamine, causes no harm for humans but can be very toxic for dogs. 

Small amounts of xylitol can cause seizures, liver failure and hypoglycemia in dogs. It is far more dangerous than chocolates as Xylitol leads to life-threatening situations for dogs.

How much glucosamine can a dog take? 

We cannot deny that glucosamine supplements for dogs is the best treatment, especially for dogs with arthritis. It not only protects the cartilage and joints from further degeneration, these supplements help to improve mobility and joint lubrication.

The dosage you should feed your dog largely depends on the dog's weight. Another factor to take into consideration is the severity of their joint condition. 

As always, if you are unsure about anything and to ensure you give your dog the proper dosage, it is important to consult with your veterinarian first.

Below are the suggested glucosamine recommendations for dogs-

  • 250-500 mg for 5-20 pound dogs
  • 500 mg for 20-45 pounds dogs
  • 1000 mg for 45-90 pounds dogs
  • 1500 mg for dogs weighing more than 90 pounds.

When should I give my dog glucosamine? 

This totally depends on the age and breed of your dog. 

Some breeds are known to experience more joint issues and symptoms of developing arthritis and also joint inflammation. Dog breeds such as bloodhounds, chows chows, french bulldogs, German Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers are most likely to develop arthritis at an early stage. 

You can consider giving them glucosamine supplements when they turn 1 year old. 

Still, it would be better to consult a veterinarian before administering any forms of supplements for your dogs! There are also other natural pain relief for dogs that you may try before considering glucosamine as well.

Types of glucosamine supplements for dogs

Here are some of the best hip and joint supplements that may work for your dogs. If your dog refuses to swallow one type, you may try another one.

1. Liquid hip and joint supplements

Supplements in liquid form is a great option as they are absorbed quickly and easily. If your dog refuses this supplement, you can also easily mix it into food! 

2. Soft chews

This form of supplements are a great option and a great way to convince your dog to take it. The taste is the same or similar to standard dog treats and as a dog owner, it is less of a hassle for you since your dog is likely to consume it more willingly.

However, there is a drawback to this form of supplement. If the supplement is not from a reputable manufacturer, it may contain subpar ingredients. Some soft chews also do not always contain high concentrations of the active ingredients, which leads to a slower process of healing for your dogs.

3. Tablets and capsules

In this form, supplements have high levels of active ingredients. If it is a glucosamine supplement in this form, it will help relieve your dog’s joint pain but it will only work if your canines are very cooperative and voluntarily want to consume the supplements. 

You can also try to mix the pills into your dogs’ meal, hide the capsule in a treat, spoon out a lump of yogurt and hide it inside or even coat it with peanut butter.

No matter what form the glucosamine for dogs comes in, the important thing is that as long as your dog takes it, it will help alleviate pain in joints or prevent dog arthritis. So it does not matter what form it comes in.

Be sure to read the label before purchasing to check the dosage as well as the active ingredients. 

Best hip and joint supplements for dog

We stated that it is important that the glucosamine for dogs is manufactured by a reputable company. 

One of the best hip and joint supplements for dogs is the market is Joint Mobility by Petcubes. 

This supplement has nutraceuticals and all the required supplements to help with your dog’s joint mobility. It is made with high quality and certified organic ingredients and is based on a unique blend of pure, premium ingredients. 

You can also try the Joint Mobility GLM. There is only a slight difference between the two. This product has green lipped mussels in place of nutraceuticals.

Conclusion

Dog glucosamine has essential benefits for your canine, especially in preventing arthritis. If you decide to give glucosamine for your dogs, it is highly recommended for you to speak to your veterinarian so that he/she could guide you to give the right amount of dosage for your dog!

REFERENCES

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Glucosamine: Should I try it? [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265748 [Accessed 23 September 2020]

Can I Use Human Glucosamine for Dogs? [online] Available at: https://integricare.ca/can-i-use-human-glucosamine-and-chondroitin-for-dogs/ [Accessed 23 September 2020]

Xylitol: The “sugar-free” sweetener your dog NEEDS you to know about [online] Available at: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/xylitol-sugar-free-sweetener-dangerous-for-dogs [Accessed 23 September 2020]

Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs [online] Available at: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/xylitol-toxicity-in-dogs#:~:text=%22Xylitol%20is%20extremely%20toxic%20to,or%20even%20death%20in%20dogs [Accessed 23 September 2020].

Glucosamine works very well on dogs with osteoarthritis [online] Available at: https://www.glucosamine.com/en/dog [Accessed 23 September 2020]

How Much Glucosamine & Chondroitin for Dogs [online] Available at: https://www.topdoghealth.com/can-my-dog-take-too-much-glucosamine-and-chondroitin/ [Accessed 23 September 2020]

At What Age Should I Start Giving My Dog A Joint Health Supplement? [online] Available at: https://www.topdoghealth.com/what-age-should-i-start-giving-my-dog-joint-supplements/ [Accessed 23 September 2020]

To chew or not to chew: The pros and cons of some common chewable dog treats commonly found around bend [online] Available at: https://blueskyvet.com/veterinarian-blog-bend/chew-chew-pros-cons-common-chewable-dog-treats-commonly-found-around-bend [Accessed 23 September 2020]

Joint supplements for dogs: The helpful vs. the hype [online] Available at: https://www.dvm360.com/view/joint-supplements-dogs-helpful-vs-hype [Accessed 23 September 2020]

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