02 Feb Can Glucosamine and Chondroitin Help with Joint Health?
It is not unusual for dogs to experience arthritis as they get older. This often-painful condition occurs when the cartilage between the bones begins to wear out.
When this happens, the bones rub against each other instead of having the regular cushioning that supports the everyday movement. Disease, trauma, and some genetic conditions can also contribute to arthritis development.
Although there isn’t a cure for canine arthritis, treatments that involve glucosamine and chondroitin are often helpful to reduce painful symptoms.
What Is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is one of the most popular treatments for conditions related to arthritis in dogs. It is one of several natural substances that provide chondroprotective outcomes when taken regularly.
It is also helpful in the treatment of similar conditions in horses, humans, and others.
If your veterinarian recommends glucosamine for your dog, it is likely due to one (or more) of these health conditions.
- Your dog has pain and joint wear caused by structural changes, such as hip dysplasia.
- A spinal disc injury occurred that requires ongoing treatment.
- Recent joint surgery needs additional assistance to ease in the overall recovery.
- You want to keep your performance dog at their peak activity condition.
Most joint supplements that contain glucosamine come in a soft-chew form to encourage your pet to take them readily. You can also find it available as a tablet, pill, or powder.
What Is Chondroitin?
Chondroitin is a natural material found in your dog’s connective tissues. When it gets taken as a pet supplement, the dosage is higher than what is found naturally.
The amount of help it provides is currently up for debate, although you can often find it combined with glucosamine as a single supplement.
Some dogs can get enough chondroitin every day from the foods they eat. If you provide your pet with some gristle, this material is often in high quantities. Those levels are still lower than what you would find in the typical commercial product.
When your dog takes glucosamine and chondroitin products, the side effects are typically minor. You might see them feel lethargic, experience mood changes, or alterations in their bowel habits.
Any dogs with a hypersensitivity to shellfish should not take glucosamine and chondroitin for their joint health. You would want to speak with your veterinarian for an alternative solution.
How Often Should I Give Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
Most pet supplements come with specific instructions to follow for dosing. You will want to follow whatever the producer recommends so that your dog can see the joint health benefits start developing.
If your veterinarian recommends a specific dosage for glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, please follow those instructions rather than what you find on the bottle.
Another supplement that you might consider if your pet is dealing with arthritis-related issues is called GLM. It stands for “green-lipped mussel.”
GLM is a potent anti-inflammatory that combines well with glucosamine and chondroitin to reduce pain and preserve joint function. Your veterinarian can also recommend specific dosing if your pet is experiencing joint discomfort.