Just like humans, dogs and other pets deserve to live longer, and be healthier and stronger than ever. However, for a variety of reasons, they also experience chronic degenerative conditions, which include aging and joint problems. Fortunately, several innovations have improved pet food quality and veterinary health care, and one of them is the introduction of glucosamine and other joint health supplements in the market.
To have an in-depth understanding of what glucosamine is and how it can work for your dog, here’s everything you need to know about it.
Glucosamine: What Is It?
In its simplest terms, glucosamine refers to a natural compound that can be used for treating arthritis. It contains properties that can be good for your dog, such as the structural support for the joints and improved bone and tendon health. Being a chondroprotective agent, glucosamine is a mixture of glucose and glutamine.
While your dog’s body can generate its own glucosamine, it, however, produces less of this compound as your dog grows older. As a result, their joints start to stiffen up and lower their mobility functions. That’s the reason why many pet food manufacturers decide to incorporate glucosamine in their range of products to boost joint health.
Moreover, glucosamine supplements come in different forms. These may include:
- Glucosamine HydroChloride – This supplement is also known as glucosamine HCL, which is more concentrated than glucosamine sulfate. Although it can be produced from shellfish shells, it doesn’t have sulfate.
- Glucosamine Sulfate – Unlike glucosamine HCL, glucosamine sulfate is much more effective in helping build cartilage for dogs. It can also be manufactured in the lab or naturally found in the shells of shellfish.
- N-Acetyl-Glucosamine – This supplement is derived from glucose, which serves as the body’s antecedent to hyaluronic acid. Also, the good thing about this form of glucosamine is that it can be used to treat gastrointestinal and joint problems.
Glucosamine: How Can You Give Your Dog This Joint Supplement?
Now that you know what glucosamine is and its common forms, it’s time to learn how you should give this supplement to your furry friend. Ideally, glucosamine is available in several forms. Your dog can have it as a pill or tablet, or liquids or powders. Because of this, they can be bought at different prices depending on what form you want.
Due to advancements in the pet care industry, glucosamine can be made synthetically. However, the synthetic form of this supplement for dogs might not be that effective as the naturally-made ones. On the other hand, naturally-produced glucosamine are usually made from shellfish shells and are more effective than the synthetic ones.
Whether it’s synthetic or naturally-made, it’s essential to talk to your vet to know the appropriate dosage that your furry friend requires. To determine the proper dose, you have to consider your pet’s weight and the information stated on the product label. Generally, it’ll take more or less 2-3 weeks before you’ll know whether the supplement takes effect on your dog’s health. The more you give them glucosamine on a daily basis, the more you can improve their joint health.
In addition to the supplements, glucosamine can also be given to your dog through the kind of food they eat. For instance, you can look for foods that contain high levels of glucosamine, such as chicken feet, trachea, pigtails, bones with many cartilages, and many more.
Glucosamine: How Can Your Dog Benefit From It?
As mentioned, glucosamine supplements contain properties that can make your aging dog live a healthier, longer life. So, below are a few benefits of using glucosamine for your pet:
- Repairs Joints
Using glucosamine as a medication can be beneficial to dogs with injured joints. Regardless of the amount of the supplement inside your pet’s body, it can help alleviate and repair joint injuries that might be caused by aging and other relevant factors.
- Relieves Pain
When your dog has knee osteoarthritis, the best treatment you can possibly give is the glucosamine supplement. It can provide mild to moderate relief to your pet, who might be in extreme pain because of their weak joints.
- Enhances Skin Health
Glucosamine isn’t just useful for treating joints, but it’s also an effective medication for skin health. Since the supplement can produce hyaluronic acid, it can help speed up the healing process of skin conditions such as psoriasis and other wounds in your dog’s body.
- Helps Maintain Strong Cartilages
As your dog ages, the wear and tear of the cartilage happens, which can cause arthritis and
osteoarthritis. That’s why giving your pet a proper dosage of glucosamine can help in the maintenance of their cartilage. It can diminish the symptoms brought about by the joint issues. Not only that, but it can also improve agility and mobility in their overall performance.
Glucosamine: What Are Its Potential Side Effects?
Just like other supplements for dogs, using glucosamine also comes with some side effects that you should be wary of right from the very beginning. Here are some of them:
- Insomnia – The intake of glucosamine can cause insomnia or other minor sleep issues, such as the inability to take naps.
- Fatigue – Using the supplement for your pet might cause a sudden change in energy levels, which is commonly known as fatigue. However, this side effect will not last for a long time.
- Allergies – When your dog takes a glucosamine supplement, it might experience an allergic reaction, which can also cause anaphylaxis. Once you notice some allergies, bring your pet to your vet immediately.
- Thirst And Urination – Drinking a large amount of water, which sometimes results in excessive urination, can be one of the side effects of using glucosamine for your furry friend. This usually happens when your dog has consumed a high dosage of the supplements.
There you have it—this is everything you need to know about glucosamine supplements and how it can actually affect your dog’s health in the long run. However, as with any medication for your pet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before using the supplement. And once your vet gives their approval, finding the right form of glucosamine can go a long way in maintaining your senior dog’s joint health.