A Guide to Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs

Is your dog struggling with joint pain? Joint pain and arthritis are more common in dogs than most owners think. 20% of all dogs suffer from canine osteoarthritis, regardless of breed and age. Your pet dog is also more susceptible to any joint illness as they grow older.

Because of these reasons, it’s vital to take some extra steps to keep your dog’s joint health in good condition. One of the best things to do is give them glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs. Find out how glucosamine and chondroitin in dog food will keep your pet healthy.

What Is Glucosamine For Dogs?

Glucosamine is a natural-occurring compound created from glucose and glutamine. It’s a sugar-amino acid combination that helps maintain healthy cartilage and joint function.

Not to mention, glucosamine is also the building block of the cartilage structure. This compound is also responsible for cartilage cell growth used to normalize the fluid in charge of lubricating the joints.

Keep in mind that glucosamine is a natural compound produced by your dog. This means that the production can be lesser and more unstable over time. When that happens, joint damage occurs more often.

The pain in your dog’s joint is a major sign of insufficient or unstable glucosamine production. In degenerative joint disease cases, having your dog consume glucosamine is one of the best treatments. They can either be in the form of supplements, chewable tablets, or mixed in dog food.

The Uses of Glucosamine In Dog Health

Keep in mind that in both humans and dogs, the bone ends are always covered by a thin layer of spongy cartilage. This often acts as a shock absorber between bones. It also houses the natural lubricant responsible for easy and painless joint movement.

Once canine arthritis starts, your dog’s cartilage and natural lubricant break down. This is often from the trauma and pressure that will result in your dog’s discomfort when moving.

The right dosage of glucosamine will help your dog produce more cartilage cells and synovial fluid. By doing that, you’ll be able to slow the progression of their osteoarthritis. Here are some other uses for glucosamine for dogs. 

  • Helps in the lubrication of your dog’s joint to lessen pain
  • Improves your dog’s general joint health
  • Keeps dog’s performance in peak condition
  • Helps in the treatment of spinal disc injury
  • Helps make joint surgery recovery less painful
  • Reduces joint inflammation

Glucosamine for dogs is also a safe and long-term care plan for your pet. This is the best option to take if your pet is suffering from degenerative joint disease.

While the uses and benefits of glucosamine are many, your dogs can still experience minor side effects. Here are some of the side effects of glucosamine.

  • Sensitivities like allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive thirst and urination

While the side effects can be scary, remember that not all dogs can experience these. If you’re worried about your dog, don’t hesitate to check in with your trusted vet.

What Is Chondroitin For Dogs?

Although glucosamine is quite useful for your dog’s joints, it’s not the only compound that can help. Aside from the natural sugar-amino acid compound, chondroitin sulfate is also helpful. Chondroitin sulfate helps in maintaining the thickness of your dog’s natural joint lubrication.

Chondroitin also offers joint support aside from being another important cartilage building block. It gives structure to the dog’s cartilage and gives compression resistance.

Your dog can get enough dose of chondroitin in food sources like fish, bird cartilage, and pig trachea. Not only that, but squid cartilage is also a great source of chondroitin sulfate. Often, chondroitin in dog food is present with these ingredients.

Remember that the cartilage acts as a cushion between bones. It also provides compression resistance. If you’re giving your dog glucosamine, they must also have enough levels of chondroitin sulfate.

That way, your pets have more cartilage elasticity. This will help lessen the risks of your pet having joint diseases. Your dog can also rest from the lack of discomfort and pain.

Pet parents should also be aware that chondroitin is not a uniform substance. This means that your pet can consume it in any form, be it wet or dry.

The Benefits Of Chondroitin For Dogs

Like glucosamine, there are a lot of joint-related benefits of chondroitin for dogs. While glucosamine focuses on pain relief, chondroitin has more anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in blocking and reducing enzyme levels.

Enzymes that are always present in the joint break down cartilage. These enzymes increase when your dog gets injured or wears out their cartilage. Once that happens, your dog’s joints will become painful.

The following are the other benefits of chondroitin for dogs.

Pain Relief

Glucosamine combined with chondroitin is a great pain reliever for dogs with joint pain. The glucosamine works on numbing and relieving the pain. Meanwhile, the chondroitin heals any inflammation happening and prevents further damage.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements provide a fast relief not only for osteoarthritis, but they’re also great alternatives for relieving other types of pain. Depending on the dosage that your vet prescribed, your pet can use them as maintenance.

Person gives dog a treat while leaning against a rock

Can Reverse Canine Osteoarthritis or Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and arthritis are the two common joint diseases in dogs. While all dogs can have these diseases, the risk is often higher with senior canines.

Most of the time, canine arthritis hits on the dogs’ hips. This results in frequent discomfort and pain. Because of this, most pet owners strive to get medications with chondroitin and glucosamine.

Detecting these joint illnesses early and getting your pet into the right drugs is critical. They can slow down the degeneration of your dog’s joint disease or treat mild cases of canine arthritis.

Repairs The Joint

Chondroitin helps in maintaining and repairing your dog’s joints. While increasing the cartilage cell and lubricant production, it relieves any joint pain that your dog can feel. Because of that, many vets prescribe glucosamine and chondroitin as maintenance drugs.

Signs That Your Dog Needs Glucosamine And Chondroitin

It’s a fact that glucosamine and chondroitin act fast in relieving pain. However, nothing stops diseases faster than curing them in their earlier stages.

Like human arthritis, canine arthritis is a degenerative joint disease. It’s described as having joint inflammation.

This then leads to the loss of joint movement, stiffness, and even lameness. Older dogs can get osteoarthritis due to old age. But sometimes, arthritis can happen earlier.

Arthritis in younger dogs is often caused by an acute event, like infection or injury. It can also be from a joint deformity or excessive joint stress from being overweight.

Here are some of the telltale signs of canine arthritis. When you observe these symptoms, it is also a sign your dog should have more glucosamine and chondroitin.

  • Stiffness or limping (this may increase in the morning or during cold weather)
  • Difficulty in getting up or down
  • Reluctance to stand
  • Difficulty in climbing staircases
  • Difficulty getting into or out of a car
  • Loss of interest in walks, exercise, or any kind of play
  • Pain from jumping or walking

Keep in mind that while these two compounds are necessary for dogs with arthritis, they’re also effective preventive measures. Using glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs with severe degenerative joint disease is only good for pain relief.

This is a big difference when used as a preventive measure. It can help strengthen younger dogs’ bones and stabilize their glucosamine count.

When Is It Not Right for Your Dog?

As mentioned earlier, glucosamine and chondroitin are important building blocks for cartilage. Although these compounds can be two separate medications, they have a synergistic effect. This means that they’re more effective when taken together.

However, there are instances where it’s not recommended for your dog. Taking these supplements can put your dog into serious life-death cases. Here are some situations that you need to take into consideration.

The first is to remember that glucosamine is an amino sugar. Before getting it, check with your vet especially if your dog has diabetes.

Dogs also can’t take chondroitin sulfate if they have blood-thinning medications. The compound has the same structure as the blood-thinning medicine, heparin. The combination of these can result in bleeding.

Dogs with allergies to shellfish also can’t take glucosamine or chondroitin. While shellfish allergies are uncommon to dogs, they’re not unknown. Many of these supplements come from crustacean shells, which can be detrimental for your allergic dog.

Remember that it’s always best to ask your vet their opinions. You may opt for alternative options like Glucosamine Hydrochloride.

The Ultimate Dog Food Guide On Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Dogs

Degenerative joint diseases in dogs can happen at any age. To help stop or slow down arthritis, taking glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs is crucial. Aside from that, these supplements are also great pain relievers and anti-inflammatory meds.

Find ways to incorporate glucosamine and chondroitin in your pet’s diet now. Contact us today to find healthy and quality dog food for your pet.