When looking to support your pup’s optimal health, supplements will always come out as a hot topic. With many dog supplements on the market, all varying in price and health claims, it can be difficult for a new or even seasoned pet parent to choose the best ones. One thing is for sure: Recommendations for glucosamine for dogs have always remained a top choice among veterinarians, breeders and pet enthusiasts alike. Let’s jump right into discussing all things “glucosamine”!
What is glucosamine for dogs?
Glucosamine is a compound naturally found in the body that supports healthy formation and repair of cartilage and tissue and is often used to support both humans and canines. Many veterinarians recommend glucosamine for arthritic dogs, in addition or as an alternative to NSAIDs. While further studies are needed to continue confirming glucosamine’s positive results for dogs, many dog parents have reported healthy impacts.
Benefits of using glucosamine for dogs can include:
- Improved joint function.
- Help maintaining joint health.
- Slowed onset of arthritis.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
Best glucosamine supplements for dogs
Glucosamine supplements are commonly paired with chondroitin, a similar compound, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which is primarily used as an anti-inflammatory. Studies show positive results when using these compounds together to treat osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is often found in fish oils, as well. In fact, a new human study has reported better results when using high doses of omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine simultaneously, as opposed to just glucosamine.
Many of the recommended veterinary glucosamine products are blended supplements, containing other therapeutic supplements and herbs; one of the most commonly recommended being Dasuquin. In addition to glucosamine, Dasuquin includes other therapeutic ingredients such as MSM, chondroitin, green tea extract and boswellia. Thorne Arthoplex is another glucosamine blend made from Throne’s veterinary line that includes additional ingredients, such as MSM, curcumin and chondroitin.
If you shop around and find another glucosamine product on the market, run it by your holistic or traditional veterinarian. Many, if not most, glucosamine supplements are not FDA approved. Consider this when shopping for your dog’s glucosamine product!
Glucosamine dosage for dogs
The best approach to starting your dog on a glucosamine supplement is consulting with your veterinarian! As mentioned above, many reputable glucosamine supplements include additional ingredients, and this should be considered when calculating your dog’s glucosamine dose.
However, here are some broad glucosamine dosage guidelines for dogs:
- Glucosamine supplements tend to have a “loading dose” where the initial dose administration is larger than the maintenance dose.
- For joint health, glucosamine doses usually begin at 50-100mg/kg once daily. This is for an oral/by mouth supplement.
- Maintenance use may be a lower dose.
Managing your pup’s health with nutraceuticals is a great way to support him using natural approaches. This can be especially helpful for dogs where pharmaceuticals (such as NSAIDs like Rimadyl or Carprofen) are contraindicated or used with increased caution. There are many, many supplements on the market for your dog, so always check with your vet before starting your dog on a glucosamine, or any new, supplement.