While aging is a completely natural process and something that we all – those lucky enough at any rate(!) - have to experience at some point in our lives, it can still be hard to come to terms with it.
For those that have qualms about aging and growing older, it can be even more daunting to watch loved ones going through that phase.
As pet parents, you will go through a phase where your pet's energy level gradually wanes as a result of the aging process.
However, how do you figure out if the decrease in energy level is an outcome of one of the vices of father time, or if it is a tell-tale sign of joint ache?
By and large, joint pain goes hand-in-hand with age.
The cartilage cells degrade, resulting in a degenerative joint disease called osteoarthritis.
Prevention of the same requires early diagnosis and once your pet has it, management becomes vital.
Now, there are plenty of strategies to combat the disease: therapy, exercise, supplements, etc. One such thing that could help is glucosamine.
At the outset, let me be clear on this.
Science has not reached a definitive consensus on the nature of glucosamine, although the evidence hitherto seems to strongly suggest that glucosamine is greatly beneficial to dogs suffering from joint aches and issues, whether as a result of aging or otherwise.
This article will take you through the best glucosamine for dogs.
One caveat to remember here is that you will need to see your veterinarian before starting anything new.
It can be tempting to try remedies by yourself, but you might end up doing more harm than good.
Here is the deal;
If you don’t want to spend time and effort going through the whole article, here is a sneak peek into the ins and outs of the 5 products to make the decision-making process easier for you.
Check it out:
The name glucosamine comes from glutamine, which is an amino acid, and glucose, which is a sugar.
In a nutshell, glucosamine is an amino sugar that has shown correlation with an improved creation of glycosaminoglycans.
Put in simpler terms, the best glucosamine for dogs when taken tends to strengthen the cartilage and stagger the progression of arthritis.
Your pet’s body naturally produces its own glucosamine.
As the aging process kicks in, its body is unable to produce the same amounts of glucosamine and this could potentially wreak havoc with the joints.
This is why glucosamine could be of great import.
More on why it is important for dogs here.
Have a look at the video below for more on using glucosamine.
You will find 3 common forms of glucosamine supplements, these are as follows:
This is the most famous among the three. This is the kind of glucosamine you are most likely to find in supplements and with good reason. Among the three, glucosamine sulfate has the highest number of researches backing it; therefore, it makes sense that it would be the most common type of glucosamine used in supplements. It is naturally found in the shells of shellfish. It is also produced synthetically in a lab. It is the sulfur which helps most with the building and repairing of cartilage.
Just like glucosamine sulfate, this is also found in shellfish shells. However, the lack of sulfur means that this is not quite as effective as glucosamine sulfate in helping with joint aches and issues.
This is a type of glucosamine that helps lubricate your pet’s joint. In addition to joint issues, N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG) can be used to treat gastrointestinal problems.
We have already touched upon, in brief, how the best glucosamine for dogs can help your pet. Let us have a look at the benefits of glucosamine in a little more detail now.
Glucosamine helps alleviate pain that results from arthritis, bone loss or muscle inflammation.
Glucosamine helps with the rebuilding of cartilage. It also lubricates the joints enabling smoother function.
The overall well-being of your pet’s joints is likely to improve appreciably once you start giving it glucosamine supplements.
Some of the pain medication are incredibly expensive. Glucosamine offers a much cheaper alternative.
Pain medications can have a number of unwanted risks and side effects. While glucosamine is not without side-effect, it is negligible in comparison to those of pain medications.
It is not common for glucosamine to have side-effects, but it can happen. They may be enumerated as follows:
Glucosamine supplements can shock the digestive system of your pet. It could lead to flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea.
Glucosamine levels may affect your dog’s blood sugar levels. That is why it is imperative that you take your vet’s professional advice before you start feeding glucosamine supplements to your dog.
If your dog suffers from shellfish allergies, then it is possible that he/she may be allergic to glucosamine supplements. If this ends up being the case, you may have to switch to a plant-based formulation.
There are certain criteria which will serve as a useful guideline to help you choose the best glucosamine for dogs. They're as follows:
Pay close attention to the concentrations of the glucosamine supplement that you are considering. In an ideal scenario, you would want to go with the concentration that provides the highest number of active ingredients that you seek.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients are very useful to have and are vital for your pet’s joint health. Ideally, the glucosamine supplement that you are considering should have such anti-inflammatory ingredients. Bromelain and MSM are two examples of anti-inflammatory ingredients that are present in glucosamine supplements.
Antioxidants are always a welcome addition, but when it comes to joint health for your pet, then their importance becomes manifold. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are two antioxidants which are very useful for joint issues. All other things being equal, opt for the glucosamine supplement with the highest amounts of antioxidants.
Beware of sellers who use low quality ingredients. As a rule of the thumb, glucosamine sulfate should be 97% pure and glucosamine hydrochloride should be at least 99% pure for optimal results.
Manganese will help bolster your dog’s bone health. If the glucosamine supplement that you are considering contains manganese, then it is an added bonus.
A guarantee by the company is usually a sign of great confidence. It indicates that they are confident you will not have to return the product. If you have the choice, go for the glucosamine supplement that comes with a guarantee.
Nutramax is one of the most trusted manufacturers on the market.
All things considered, this would have to be the best glucosamine for dogs that you can get your hands on.
This is the #1 best seller on amazon in dog hip and joint care and with good reason.
In terms of a well-rounded glucosamine supplement, NutramaxCosequin DS Chewables is hard to beat.
If the liquid form of glucosamine is your preferred form, then look no further than this masterclass from TerraMax Pro.
If you happen to have a pet who is slightly fussy about taste, then this product is most suitable for you.
While not as well-known as some of the other items on the list, its tablets are extremely effective.
Now let us go over some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the best glucosamine for dogs.
There is no hard and fast rule as such, it really varies from case to case.
The only caveat is that you should consult a vet prior to doing so.
If you notice sluggishness in your dog’s movements, or anything else which raises a red flag, then consult a vet right away.
Usually, you may see some of the following symptoms:
You should also pay attention to age when thinking about giving your puppy this supplement.
Being an amino sugar, glucosamine in itself does not pose a problem as an amino sugar is an amino sugar, whether its you or your dogs who takes it.
However, the other ingredients may be a cause for concern.
For example, some of the human glucosamine supplements contain chocolates which could prove fatal to dogs.
Also, there are some differences in how a human’s digestive tract and your pet’s digestive tract breaks down glucosamine.
While pure human glucosamine is theoretically safe for your pet, it would be more prudent to give it glucosamine supplements specifically designed for dogs.
Again, it varies from dog to dog.
What may be the ideal dose for another dog may not be the ideal dosage for your dog.
The best glucosamine for dogs will usually have the recommended dosage on them.
On getting the green signal from your vet, that is the dosage that you may have to use as the standard.
There are 3 forms of glucosamine that you can choose from.
Each has its own benefits and cons.
You can get glucosamine in tablet form. The biggest advantage is that it is relatively simple to administer the pill. The downside is that you may need to give multiple tablets in a day to get to the required dosage.
Glucosamine when administered via an injection goes directly into the pet’s bloodstream. This means that it gets to work very quickly. However, the downside is that it causes pain to your pet.
The water-soluble formula makes it very simple to administer. It is not quite as effective as an injection, but worthwhile all the same.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages of all the 3 forms of glucosamine.
In the end, it all boils down to your preferences.
Personally speaking, I find that the liquid form of glucosamine combines the best aspects of the other two.
Dogs are naturally carnivorous; therefore, it makes more sense to give them meat flavored glucosamine supplements. Most dogs are not that keen on fruit.
The following are natural sources of glucosamine:
It is certainly possible to improve your pet’s joint issues and alleviate joint aches even at an advanced age with the best glucosamine for dogs in conjunction with quality vet care.
What are you waiting for?! You have all the information on board.
Go ahead and give your best friend a new lease of life!
As for what product you should go with out of the five above, it is a little bit hard to choose as they are all among the top products in the market.
We advise you to ask your vet and test to see what works best for your dog.
We personally had much success with NutramaxDasuquin with MSM Chewable Tablets for Dogs.
Again, dogs vary.
You go for the one your little puppy feels more aligned with.
If you have any concerns, questions or something to add, give that comment box below a good punch and get in touch.
Hey world! Sam here! I am a writer and a blogger, with keen interest in pets, dogs especially. Writing about those creatures make time melt like an ice cube in a desert! Dogs are just unbelievably amazing!
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