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What is the Best Glucosamine for Dogs? (December 2020)

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Last modified on September 3rd, 2021

Glucosamine for dogs is a common pet supplement. Glucosamine is also something humans use as a supplement for joint pain and arthritis. Benefits of glucosamine for dogs include helping relieve pain from structural changes and arthritis, and helping dogs heal from joint surgery. We rank our picks for the best glucosamine for dogs below and provide you with more information about this pet supplement.

glucosamine for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • Combination of glucosamine HCL, green-lipped muscle, and organic hemp oil
  • Helps promote a normal inflammatory response
  • Among the highest active ingredient counts available
  • Soft chews that are like dog treats
  • No wheat, soy, corn, sugar, GMOs, or preservatives
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Thousands of top reviews
  • Helps improve movement and build strong bones and new cartilage
  • Also includes turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
glucosamine chondroitin for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • More than 12,000 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Also includes MSM, CoQ10, and hyaluronic acid
  • 225 soft chews
  • Peanut butter flavored
  • Helps with joint health and mobility
  • Also has salmon oil and cod liver oil
  • Can be used by dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds
  • Made in a U.S. manufacturing facility
best glucosamine for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • Amazon’s choice for glucosamine for dogs
  • More than 23,000 positive customer reviews
  • Save up to 40% if you subscribe and receive this supplement monthly on Amazon
  • Chicken-flavored chewable tablet
  • Manufactured in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Formulated for dogs of all sizes
how much glucosamine for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • Inexpensive dog glucosamine supplement
  • Lab-tested
  • Vet formulated
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Savory chewable
  • Contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, MSM, and essential minerals for cartilage and joint health
  • High potency with 600 mg of glucosamine and 400 mg of chondroitin
glucosamine for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • This joint and hip supplement for dogs has been on the market for more than 30 years
  • Clinical results show it may help improve hind leg strength in 4 weeks
  • Naturally flavored with chicken
  • Formula includes MSM, glucosamine, and DMG
  • Easy to absorb and digest
  • Helps cushion joints, alleviate discomfort and build cartilage
glucosamine chondroitin for dogs
Image Source: Amazon
  • Top-rated
  • Inexpensive on Amazon
  • Includes 600 mg of glucosamine, 210 mg of MSM, and 210 mg of krill oil per serving
  • Triple-action formula
  • 180 chews per bag
  • Chicken-flavored

Understanding Joint and Hip Pain in Dogs

If you’re searching for the best glucosamine for dogs, you may already know your dog is experiencing joint, hip, or arthritis problems. These are common in dogs, but there are things you can do to help, including giving your dog a glucosamine supplement.

Many dogs develop these issues as they age.

Much like humans, as dogs get older, the cushioning present between their bones starts to wear away. Then, bones rub against each other.

There isn’t a cure for canine arthritis, but using supplements and taking other steps can reduce pain and increase mobility.

Many dog owners think that if their dog isn’t overtly displaying signs of pain, they aren’t experiencing it.

Joint problems in dogs may be harder to see initially.

For example, dogs don’t just naturally slow down as they age. Instead, your dog could be slowing down because they’re experiencing pain and joint issues.

Signs of Canine Joint Problems

Some of the signs and red flags of joint problems in dogs include:

  • Irritability
  • Lagging on walks
  • Slow when getting up in the morning
  • Stiffness
  • Sleeping more
  • Not enjoying walks or playing as much
  • Hesitating to jump in cars or use the stairs
  • Excessive licking of a particular joint
  • Swollen joints
  • Loss of muscle
  • Bunny-hopping
  • Yelping when touched

What Causes Canine Joint Problems?

There are two primary categories of canine joint problems.

The first is developmental. The second is degenerative.

Development issues occur when a ligament or joint doesn’t develop properly. Degenerative leads the ligaments around your dog’s joint to degenerate over time.

Diseases that can affect a dog’s joints include:

  • Muscle, tendon, or ligament disorders
  • Joint fractures
  • Congenital disorders like Wobbler’s syndrome
  • Hormonal or dietary diseases
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic disorder
  • Inflammatory joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis

Some breeds are more prone to joint injuries and disorders. Also, the larger a dog is, the more likely they are to have these problems.

How Can You Help a Dog with Joint Pain?

If a dog is dealing with chronic pain, there are some different things you can do. First, talk to your veterinarian and get their suggestions.

Obesity is one of the big issues in dogs, and it puts too much load on your dog’s joints. One first step to take could be focusing on helping your dog lose weight. Having your dog lose weight can significantly relieve joint pain.

Your vet can help you determine first if your dog needs to lose weight and then help you create a plan.

Vets might also prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines if dogs are having joint pain, but you could try supplements first, such as glucosamine.

Joint supplements are becoming increasingly common for pets, and the main ones that help with joint pain are glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you’re going the supplement route, realize not all options are going to be high-quality. You want supplements made with the best ingredients, that have favorable reviews from other users, and that your vet tells you are safe and effective.

What Are the Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs?

Glucosamine for dogs can help with much of the pain of arthritis and similar conditions.

Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring compound. It’s also used by humans dealing with joint pain and arthritis.

It can help with hip dysplasia and structural changes. It can also help treat spinal disc injury in dogs, speed up recovery following joint surgery, and generally help your dog stay in good condition.

Giving your dog a glucosamine supplement can help repair damaged cartilage, especially the cartilage that serves as a cushion between joints. You can start your dog on a good supplement early on and help reduce the progression of arthritis or degeneration.

Researchers aren’t entirely sure why glucosamine is so helpful, but it seems to help improve glycosaminoglycan synthesis, which is a cartilage building block.

It’s common to see a glucosamine chondroitin combination for dogs, and many of the supplements we ranked above do include chondroitin. Chondroitin, also known as chondroitin sulfate, stimulates cartilage repair.

Chondroitin comes from either bovine or pig cartilage or the shells of oysters and crabs. It can also be made in a lab from plant sources.

The use of glucosamine has been common in vet practices in the U.S. and Europe for around 20 years.

From what we currently know, there are limited adverse or side effects of glucosamine for dogs or humans.

Glucosamine may be used on its own as an alternative therapy or as an add-on to another treatment plan.

The very rare side effects of glucosamine for dogs might include allergies, insomnia, or fatigue.

What Are the Benefits of Chondroitin for Dogs?

As was mentioned, glucosamine is frequently combined with chondroitin in supplements for dogs and people. Chondroitin is the primary glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage.

Chondroitin helps promote elasticity and water retention in the cartilage. It may also help prevent the production of inflammatory mediators that cause joint damage.

Animal cartilage is the only diet-based source of chondroitin, and supplements often include cow cartilage.

For any pet with arthritis or degenerative joint disease, chondroitin may help them.

There is quite a bit of clinical experience with its use as well. Along with dogs, cats and horses are often treated with chondroitin.

A number of double-blind studies have shown benefits of chondroitin in animals and humans.

Like glucosamine, chondroitin is thought to be very safe. The potential for any adverse effects to occur is quite minimal.

What Are the Benefits of MSM for Dogs?

MSM is another substance, along with chondroitin, often found in dog joint supplements.

MSM is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Dr. Stanley W. Jacob studied the therapeutic benefits of MSM and wrote “The Miracle of MSM” and “MSM: The Definitive Guide.”

Dr. Jacob talked in his book about how the use of an MSM supplement can decrease arthritis discomfort in humans and can help with athletic injuries, carpal tunnel, and autoimmune diseases.

MSM is an organic form of sulfur. When a dog has low levels of biological sulfur, it can impact the functionality of all of its cells, organs, and tissues. MSM provides a natural source of biological sulfur.

MSM is also a natural pain reliever that blocks inflammation. It enhances cortisol activity, which is a natural hormone with anti-inflammatory properties.

There are a lot of other possible health benefits of MSM. For example, it has antiparasitic effects. It can help with diabetes by balancing blood sugar and promoting better pancreas functioning. It may also alleviate certain allergy symptoms.

How to Choose the Best Joint Supplement for Your Dog

If you’re considering a joint supplement for your dog, how do you decide on the right option?

Your vet should be your first source of information, but beyond that, consider the following factors:

Will It Meet Your Dog’s Particular Needs?

Almost all dogs can benefit from a joint supplement, but some types of dogs need these supplements more than others.

If you have a large breed dog, they are especially prone to developing joint and skeletal conditions. These can include hip and elbow dysplasia. Since large dogs have more weight to carry, it adds pressure to their joints.

You may be able to preventatively help with some of the pressure by giving your dog a joint supplement.

Older dogs have declines in glucosamine production, so they are more likely to develop pain and inflammation. Older dogs are also more prone to osteoarthritis.

If your dog has an injury or a birth defect, joint supplements can be helpful too.

Ingredients to Look For

The main ingredient to look for in a joint supplement for a dog is glucosamine. Two other important ingredients were also mentioned above—chondroitin and MSM.

Ingredients that have other joint health benefits for dogs include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These are healthy fats such as fish and salmon oil. They can help reduce inflammation, and when they’re added to a joint health supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin, they can help improve your dog’s digestion.
  • Hyaluronic acid: This is something that naturally occurs in a dog’s connective tissues. It helps with joint mobility and function, so a supplement with hyaluronic acid could be helpful for your dog.
  • Turmeric: This anti-inflammatory spice can be beneficial when included properly in a dog supplement, but don’t give it to your dog in the standard spice form. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Check Reviews

One of the best ways to research and find a top joint supplement for your dog is to look at what other pet owners have to say after using a product. That’s why we always recommend Amazon as at least a source for research when looking for pet supplements or human supplements. You have the opportunity to see sometimes thousands of unbiased reviews before you spend money on anything.

Flavor

Buying a supplement for your dog isn’t the same as buying one for yourself. You might swallow a pill without caring about flavor, knowing that it has the potential to help you feel better.

Your dog doesn’t realize this. Luckily, most supplement makers for dogs consider taste and texture when creating their products.

All of the best glucosamine for dogs that we recommend above is created to taste like a treat, so it’s easier for you and your dog.

An easy-to-administer supplement is a top priority.

You’re probably going to get the best benefits from a dog joint supplement if they take it consistently every day. This is one more reason flavor is a deciding factor.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding glucosamine for dogs.

What is glucosamine for dogs?

Glucosamine is a natural compound found in your body that can also be used as a supplement. Glucosamine helps maintain cartilage healthy in dogs and humans.

Cartilage is the tissue cushioning bones located at your joints.

As you get older, and also as your dog gets older, glucosamine levels naturally decline. That can lead to joint breakdown.

Glucosamine supplements may help reverse this.

There are minimal side effects of glucosamine for dogs and joint supplements also tend to be fairly inexpensive.

What is the best glucosamine for dogs?

We ranked our selections for the best glucosamine for dogs above. We based our recommendations on customer reviews, ingredients and the research backing them, and reputation. Our picks for the best glucosamine for dogs are:

  • PetHonesty Hemp Hip + Joint Supplement for Dogs
  • Doggie Dailies Glucosamine
  • Cosequine Maximum Strength Joint Supplement
  • PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews
  • PawfectChow Hemp + Glucosamine Treats
  • Glycoflex Hip and Joint Support
  • Vetiq Maximum Strength Hip and Joint Supplement

Click on any of the above links to see their Amazon listing.

What does glucosamine do for dogs?

Glucosamine for dogs has an anti-inflammatory effect. It can help repair body tissues including cartilage, and this is important especially for dogs as they get older. A dog’s natural glucosamine product goes down as they age. This can lead to joint pain and stiffness.

Glucosamine for dogs can restore joint health and mobility. It may reduce the need for NSAIDs, and it can improve joint lubrication.

How much glucosamine for dogs?

Before giving your dog a joint supplement, make sure you first speak to your vet.

Typically, with a joint supplement, there’s something called a loading dose you’ll give initially. A loading dose is usually double the maintenance dose.

A maintenance dose of glucosamine would be anywhere from 500 to 1000 mg for a 75-pound dog. That means you’d want to give a 75-pound dog anywhere from 1000 to 2000 mg of glucosamine initially for at least six weeks. That helps the glucosamine reach a therapeutic level as the loading dose.

Then, you could begin giving them the maintenance dose at that point.

Again, this is just a rough estimate, not intended to replace the care and guidance of your vet.

Where to buy glucosamine for dogs?

If you want to buy glucosamine for dogs locally, speak to your vet. Otherwise, Amazon and other retailers are a convenient option.

Final Thoughts

If your dog is experiencing joint pain and inflammation, glucosamine may be a viable natural supplement that will help him feel better and improve functionality. An even better combination is glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs.

Dogs are prone to joint problems, and many pet owners are increasingly relying on natural supplements as opposed to medicines.

If you aren’t sure if your dog would benefit from glucosamine, speak to your vet. They can help you figure out the best plan to ease your dog’s pain and inflammation and help him once again thrive.

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