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Glucosamine for Dogs: The Benefits of Joint Supplements

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Dogs may need joint supplements as they age.
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It can be difficult to watch your dog age. Everyday wear and tear on their joints can take a toll as dogs get older. This causes occasional joint discomfort and stiffness and can make it difficult for them to move around.

Naturally, when you see your dog struggling to climb the stairs or jump in the car, you’ll want to find something to support their joint health. Glucosamine is one ingredient that might be able to help.

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A close up of a happy senior golden retriever.

What Is Glucosamine, and How Can It Help Dogs?

Glucosamine is a naturally derived ingredient typically found in shellfish, such as lobster and shrimp. It serves as a building block to support the cartilage and connective tissue that make up healthy joints and hips. Glucosamine can also lubricate your dog’s joints, 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 You Give Your Dog a Glucosamine Supplement for Humans?

While it might be tempting to pick up a supplement from the vitamin section at your local grocery store or simply give your own glucosamine supplement to your dog, it’s not recommended. Human glucosamine supplements may not absorb as well in pets nor contain the correct levels of glucosamine for dogs. They may also contain other ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs.

Instead, look for a joint supplement containing glucosamine that is specifically designed for dogs from a company that specializes in animal health.

What Are the Side Effects of Giving Your Dog Glucosamine?

As with anything new you give your pet, be aware of potential side effects. Possible side effects of giving supplements contaminating glucosamine include vomiting and diarrhea.

You can reduce the chance of these side effects by giving your dog the supplement while they’re eating, or right after a meal.

How Much Glucosamine Should You Give Your Dog?

Dosage will vary depending on the size of your dog. Follow the dosing instructions on the product label, or consult with your vet to determine the correct dosage and schedule for your dog.

As your dog ages and adjusts to a life that’s not quite as mobile as it once was, you can help relieve their occasional stiffness and maintain healthy hips and joints with glucosamine.

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