It can be difficult to watch your dog age. Everyday wear and tear in their joints can take a toll as dogs get older. This can make it difficult for them to move around and causes occasional joint discomfort and stiffness. Naturally, when you see your dog struggling to climb the stairs or even jump in the car, you'll want to find something to support his joints. Glucosamine is an ingredient that can help.
What is glucosamine, and how might it help dogs?
Glucosamine is a naturally-derived ingredient that typically comes from shellfish, like lobster and shrimp. It serves as a building block to support the cartilage and connective tissue components that make up healthy joints and hips. Additionally, glucosamine helps keep the dog's joints lubricated, helping to maintain flexibility and relieve occasional stiffness.
Most joint health supplements for dogs contain other ingredients in addition to glucosamine that support joint function and flexibility. Some of these include chondroitin, green-lipped mussel (a natural source of chondroitin), boswellia, and turmeric.
Can I give my dog glucosamine for humans?
While it might be tempting to give your own glucosamine supplement to your dog or one from the human section of the local grocery store, it's not recommended. This is because they may not absorb as well for pets nor contain right levels of glucosamine. Additionally, they may contain other ingredients at levels that are not safe for dogs.
Instead, look for a joint supplement containing glucosamine that is specifically designed for dogs and from a company that specializes in animal health.
What are the side effects of giving my dog glucosamine?
As with anything new you give your pet, be aware of side effects. Possible side effects of giving supplements contaminating glucosamine include:
You can reduce the chance of these side effects by giving your dog the supplement while they are eating, or right after.
How much glucosamine should I give my dog?
As for dosage, it will vary depending on the size of your dog. Follow the dosing instructions on the product label or ask your vet for advice.
It can be hard to watch as your dog ages and adjusts to a life that's not quite as nimble and mobile as it once was. The good news is that you can help relieve your pet's occasional joint stiffness and maintain healthy hips and joints with glucosamine.