Glucosamine for dogs is a common treatment for arthritis and joint pain in canines. Glucosamine is an amino sugar — it’s naturally produced by the body and found in many foods we eat, like shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster). It’s also often taken in supplements such as hip and joint supplements for dogs by KinpurPetCare. If you suspect your dog may suffer from arthritis or joint pain, talk to your veterinarian about glucosamine for dogs. He or she will tell you whether this safe and effective supplement is right for your pet.
The experts at KinpurPetCare have written the most detailed information about glucosamine for dogs for you. We hope this article will be useful to you!
Glucosamine for Dogs Arthritis Relief
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Most people think of glucosamine as a supplement that helps ease human aches and pains. But vets have been prescribing it to pups who suffer from canine arthritis and joint pain for years. That’s because glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic, which means it can relieve inflammation and reduce pain. It also helps build cartilage, the tough tissue that cushions bones in joints like knees and elbows.
When your dog suffers from arthritis or joint pain due to injury or another medical condition (like hip dysplasia), the protective cartilage wears away, leaving his bones vulnerable to damage and making movement difficult and painful. Glucosamine for dogs acts as a replacement since scientists believe dogs cannot make enough of their own — especially when they get older — to keep up with the body’s natural process of breaking down old cartilage cells. The amino sugars that make up glucosamine carry vital nutrients and proteins to cartilage cells, which can help promote healing, reduce inflammation and ease discomforts caused by arthritis.
Dogs Arthritis Symptoms
So how do you know if your dog suffers from arthritis or another form of canine joint pain? The following are some common symptoms:
- Stiffness in joints and/or reduced range of motion (how easily he can move his limbs)
- Difficulty rising from a lying position or climbing stairs; stiffness after exercise; reluctance to play
- Whining while resting or sleeping; reluctance to get into car carriers, beds, etc.
Other types of canine arthritis may cause additional signs like:
- Swelling in the limbs
- Abnormal gait, including walking on his hocks or picking up a limb when walking
- A noticeable lameness that lasts for at least three minutes after exercise or movement
Your dog’s behavior may also reflect pain related to arthritis. For example, he may sleep more often and/or rest longer than usual. He may not show interest in food, playing with toys or even petting by family members. If your canine pal has any of these symptoms, take him to your veterinarian for an evaluation. You can then talk about trying glucosamine for dogs as part of a larger treatment plan that may include pain relievers, prescription diets or supplements, exercise and weight management.
Glucosamine Dosage for Dogs
Your veterinarian will determine the glucosamine dosage for dogs based on your pet’s size (make sure you tell him or her about Fido’s breed, age and weight), medical conditions (if any) and other medications he takes. According to most experts, the standard dose of glucosamine is 1 mg per pound of body weight daily. Some dogs may need more or less than that amount; it all depends on his individual needs. If necessary, some vets may increase the dosage slightly after a few weeks if they don’t notice an improvement in symptoms. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 3 mg per pound of body weight.
Glucosamine for dogs appears to be safe in all breeds, sizes and ages. The supplement is available in powder, liquid gelcap, capsule or chewable tablet form. You can ask your vet about the different forms of glucosamine for dogs before you purchase it over-the-counter at a pet supply store. If he prescribes it, make sure you get a glucosamine supplement made especially for pets (it should indicate that right on the label). Glucosamine products marketed as human dietary supplements or taken for arthritis and joint pain in humans may contain ingredients that are unsafe for dogs (like xylitol). Xylitol can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — and liver damage in dogs because their bodies can’t process it.
Dogs Arthritis Treatment Methods
If you feed your dog a commercial pet food, read the label carefully to find which products contain glucosamine. Once you’ve selected one that has the supplement, follow the package directions for determining how much food contains 1 mg of glucosamine. If you use a home-cooked diet or mix foods together yourself, then determine how much of each ingredient will provide 1 mg of glucosamine per pound of body weight before you prepare his meals or snacks.
You don’t need to give Fido medication and food supplements containing the same active ingredients at the same time; just make sure he gets enough glucos every day. For example, you can give him cooked chicken for dinner and then follow it with a glucosamine chewable tablet. If you use more than one type of glucosamine supplement on different days, that’s OK too.
Why Glucosamine Works on Dogs
If you’re wondering why glucosamine works on dogs, consider the following:
- This ingredient occurs naturally in your dog’s body as part of glycosaminoglycans – components of connective tissues like cartilage. These compounds contain protein chains made up of units called amino sugars (also known as monosaccharides).
- When consumed by pets, glucosamine is transformed into molecules that can attach to those protein chains and help rebuild damaged cartilage and connective tissues. The result: Your dog can experience reduced pain and improved range of motion in his muscles and joints.
- Most (but not all) studies indicate that glucosamine works best on dogs with osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease. This type of arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that covers bones begins to wear down or becomes damaged. Dogs who suffer from this condition typically have trouble getting up, moving around, running or playing. Even standing up may be difficult for them because it causes extreme pain in their hips, legs and spine due to inflammation of the affected tissues. Diet material containing glucosamine may help these dogs maintain mobility by slowing down or even stopping the process of cartilage breakdown.
Understanding Other Ingredients in Glucosamine Products
Glucosamine for dogs is available as a stand-alone supplement or combined with other ingredients like chondroitin, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and CMO (cetylmyristoleate). When shopping for these supplements, keep an eye out for labels that indicate they contain glucosamine HCl or sulfate. The “HCl” designation indicates that the product contains the right form of glucosamine to benefit your dog’s arthritis treatment plan; it’s what most studies have examined over the years. However, some vets feel that NAG (N-acetylglucosamine), which lacks that “HCl” designation, is a better choice.
When you purchase glucosamine for dogs, look out for terms like “low molecular weight.” High-molecular weight means the glucosamine molecules are larger and thus less likely to be absorbed by your dog’s body. Low-molecular weight products contain smaller, more absorbable molecules that can move into the cartilage and help it renew itself. You may also see mention of a grade or type of glucosamine on labels; C Grade is the best quality, followed by NSC Grade and then AR Grade (which isn’t as strong). Glucosamine from shellfish sources typically comes in AR Grade or lower grades because it contains impurities that may be harmful to your dog.
If you want to save money on glucosamine for dogs, ask your vet whether she sells it in her office. Even if she doesn’t have the product, she may be able to point you toward a local retailer or supplier. You can also buy it online, for example here you can find the best supplements for dogs with arthritis.
Is Glucosamine Safe?
Glucosamine for dogs is generally considered safe, which means that the risks of giving it to your dog usually outweigh possible side effects. That said, there are a few things you should know about this supplement:
- The most common side effects seem to be upset stomach and diarrhea caused by higher doses or ongoing use over a long period of time. These symptoms typically go away when a dog stop taking glucosamine or if his dosage is lowered.
- Dogs with shellfish allergies shouldn’t take glucosamine since it’s derived from shellfish. In fact, any animal with allergies – including humans – should talk to their vet before ingesting glucosamine products.
- There have been isolated reports of dogs who developed kidney problems after taking glucosamine. If your dog is on medication for his kidneys, it’s important to talk with your vet about whether he should be taking this supplement.
- In very rare cases, glucosamine can cause a toxic reaction that leads to liver damage and even death, as noted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This type of reaction seems to occur more often in larger breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs.
In general, glucosamine tablets should not be given to puppies unless your vet provides them for a specific health problem. The first few weeks of a puppy’s life are critical for proper bone development, so it’s best not to introduce a new supplement during that time.
Make Sure Your Dog is Getting Enough Water
Water is a critical component of arthritis management, particularly for dogs with advanced joint disease who have difficulty getting around. If your dog’s joints are so stiff and painful that he can’t get up to go outside, you may need to schedule trips outdoors as frequently as every hour. In some cases, you may even need to take him out on a leash or in a sling if he’s having trouble standing for more than a minute at a time.
When your dog needs that much assistance to perform his “business,” it’s easy to see how water can become an issue – not only does he have difficulty drinking but also, he has trouble eating since his mobility is limited. In fact, having an adequate supply of clean water may be one of the most important factors in keeping your dog comfortable.
If you need to carry water with you everywhere you go, you can invest in a heavy-duty pack that’s specially designed for dogs or make do with something like a child carrier. However, if you have neighbors who are willing to help out by bringing your dog fresh water when they bring their own pets’ bowls back inside, then this is obviously not an issue. Just remember that it’s up to you to instruct them on how often they should do this – some people assume that just because there are bowls full of water, they’re being adequately cared for.