Many of the people who bring their dogs to us for hydrotherapy and fitness do so because their dogs have some sort of joint issue. As part of a holistic approach to their dog’s health care we’ll typically ask the owner if they are giving their dog any supplements which may help with mobility.
One of the supplements we ask about is glucosamine.
Glucosamine products are rapidly becoming one of the most popular supplements to give dogs. Why?
Because it seems to work!
For years, glucosamine/chondroitin supplements have been widely recommended by veterinarians to help rebuild joint cartilage. With glucosamine, owners and their vets saw improvement in dogs with arthritis and joint issues, plus it’s very safe with virtually no side effects.
A high quality supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) helps to reduce inflammation and improve the body’s ability to repair and rebuild smooth cartilage in joints.
That being said, not all glucosamine supplements are created equal.
What you don’t want to do:
- Pay extra for a “joint formula” kibble. By the time the kibble is processed, any benefit of the added supplement is gone.
- Give your dog a human glucosamine/chondroitin supplement.
What to look for in a supplement:
- Look for a product that contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM and possible hyaluronic acid.
- Look at the number of milligrams of each per serving, and notice how many pills or ounces are required for that serving. Some products may seem to be cheaper but require you give a larger amount per serving to get the required dosage.
How much should you give your dog?
That often depends on how much he weighs. While it’s always best to check with your vet, daily recommendations I’ve seen are:
- Dogs 5-20 pounds: 250-500 mg
- Dogs 20-45 pounds: 500 mg
- Dogs 45-90 pounds: 1,000 mg
- Dogs more than 90 pounds: 1,500 mg
- Dogs less than 80 pounds: 900 mg
- Dogs more than 80 pounds: 1,800 mg
- 50 to 100 mg per 10 pounds of body weight.
What products do we like?
There are so many glucosamine products on the market today, some good, some not. While there may be some very good products out there that we are not familiar with, we generally recommend one of the following:
- Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM. This is a chewable tablet and has been formulated from more than 10 years of clinical research.
- Nutramax Coequin DS plus MSM. Another chewable tablet, this is the number 1 glucosamine supplement recommended by veterinarians.
- Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine. A flavored liquid you pour over their food. Per fluid ounce this has one of the high levels of glucosamine/chondroitin compared to other products on the market. In fact, it’s what we give our dogs.
If you have an older dog or a dog with a joint injury or condition, we believe supplementing with a high quality glucosamine product is a safe and natural way to help improve your dog’s quality of life. We recommend you give it a try, after all your dog is worth it!