If your beloved pup is suffering from arthritis or other forms of joint pain, you want to give him the relief he deserves.
When it comes to treating these health issues, glucosamine for dogs can be an effective solution.
Before you purchase any supplement for your pooch, read this detailed guide that will explain the uses, dosages, and side effects of glucosamine when it comes to the canine species.
Uses of Glucosamine for Dogs
Just like humans, your dog’s joints can become stiff and painful as they age. Large breed dogs are especially susceptible to joint pain, even at a young age depending on the specific breed.
When your pup is dealing with hip and joint pain, it can be debilitating. There are several causes of this pain including various types of injury or trauma, bone infections, or autoimmune disorders.
Most large breed dogs are prone to old-age arthritis. Even so, it can affect dogs of any age, breed, or size. With glucosamine supplements, your dog should feel some relief so he can enjoy life again.
So, what exactly is glucosamine? This substance is a sugar produced by the body that helps to form a substance called glycosaminoglycan. This is a building block for cartilage, which means is promotes healthy, stronger bones and joints.
The purpose of giving glucosamine to your dog is to either prevent or minimize excess damage of the cartilage, so your faithful friend can stay active and pain-free. As your pooch gets older, the production of glucosamine in his body will start to diminish.
Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness can be common. Sometimes, you may even notice lameness in your dog which can prevent proper movement.
There’s nothing worse than seeing your beloved pup in pain, and this treatment can help to relieve his symptoms for a better quality of life. Since glucosamine is a supplement, you’ll need to understand more about proper dosage.
Dosage for Your Dog
Some dog owners choose to start giving their pooch glucosamine supplements early in life at around the age of one to two years. This can help to stave off joint issues later in life, and it keeps them active and healthy.
If you’re giving glucosamine to your dog as a result of arthritis or limited mobility, read the package instructions carefully for proper dosage. You may need to give them a high dose to start with, until you see some visible improvement.
As a general rule, the ideal dose for your dog should be about 20 milligrams per day for every pound of body weight. For small dogs that weigh between five and 25 pounds, you should give them no more than 250-500 milligrams of glucosamine per day.
When in doubt, or if you’re unsure about giving your pooch pal the proper dosage, consult with your veterinarian. They may suggest a different dose depending on your dog’s age, breed, or a specific medical history or condition that they already have.
You can find glucosamine for dogs in several formats including pills or capsules, liquid, or an injection that is given directly into the muscle. The injection method is the most potent since pills or liquid can degrade in the stomach.
If you decide to give your dog an oral supplement, it’s a good idea to give him more than is initially recommended for a short time until his pain subsides. Then you can taper down the glucosamine to the recommendation based on weight.
Remember to give your dog the glucosamine daily for best results. If you miss a dose, continue giving it to him the following day in the recommended amount. But before putting your dog on any new supplements or medications, make sure you talk to your vet about it first.
Be Aware of Possible Side Effects
The good news about glucosamine for dogs is that in most cases side effects are mild or even non-existent. Monitor your dog carefully for any noticeable changes in case the supplement does have an adverse effect.
Some of the most common issues with this supplement are allergic reactions. If you notice something that could be serious, stop giving the supplement to your best friend and call your vet ASAP.
Other side effects from glucosamine could include occasional vomiting or diarrhea. Your dog may seem to be more fatigued than normal, but this should subside after several doses.
Your pooch could also experience trouble sleeping, increased urination, and increased thirst. A severe reaction would include difficulty breathing; in that case, you’d need to visit your local animal hospital as soon as possible.
Make a note of how your dog is reacting to the glucosamine and include the dates and dosage. This will help you gauge how well he is responding to the supplement and if there’s anything you need to make your vet aware of.
You might be able to adjust the dosage down a bit to quell the mild side effects. Taper the dosage down to see if that helps relieve your dog of any issues.
Finding the Best Option for Fido
Choosing the right glucosamine supplement might be a matter of trial and error. Not all formulas are the same and some may come in flavors that he simply doesn’t like.
Consider factors like the price, the dosage, and customer reviews. You may want to try to “sneak” the dose into his food so he doesn’t know he is taking a pill or capsule.
Some glucosamine for dogs contains other nutrients to give them a boost of health benefits. Try something that includes manganese or ascorbic acid that can help the glucosamine be digested correctly.
A few brands make the supplement with added flavor to make them more enjoyable for your pooch. Meat flavors are definitely popular with dogs!
You might be able to give your dog human-grade glucosamine since it’s essentially the same thing. Check with your veterinarian before you choose this option, just to be safe.
Compare a few brands, levels of dosage, and prices side-by-side to make sure you’re getting the best option for your money. Cost doesn’t always equal high quality, so use reviews to help you make a decision.
Signs Your Dog Needs Glucosamine
Every dog is different, but it’s important to be able to recognize when your furry friend might be coping with joint pain. Since our pooches can’t express how they’re feeling, it’s up to us to be good stewards of their health.
Ideally, dogs should start taking a glucosamine supplement after they turn one year old. This will start them off on the right foot and provide their joints with the additional benefits of glucosamine for strong cartilage.
If you’re uncertain as to whether or not your dog should start taking glucosamine, there are a variety of symptoms you can look for that indicate his joints are in distress. Any large breed dog or dogs with hip dysplasia are good candidates for this supplement.
Arthritis can affect the entire body and not just the legs. It can also cause pain in the shoulders, hips, and elbows, and it typically begins later in life.
If your dog is middle-aged or getting older, now is the time to give him glucosamine to help with any mobility issues he might have. A few examples of symptoms include:
- Your dog appears to have stiff legs, or he limps mostly in the morning hours
- During winter and cold weather, your dog is limping or his legs seem stiff
- Your pooch is having difficulty climbing stairs
- Your dog doesn’t seem to be as active as he once was, or he avoids too much activity
- You notice that your pooch is having trouble getting into and out of the car
These are just a few of the most common signs that your best buddy is having joint paint. Make sure you start giving him glucosamine as soon as any symptoms present, to start the process of building healthy cartilage.
Promote Healthy Joints for Your Pooch
Whether it’s old age, arthritis, or his breed, joint pain is unpleasant in any circumstance. Thankfully, glucosamine for dogs can help give your pup the relief he needs to live a healthier, more active life.
Do some comparison shopping to find the right supplement, and make sure it contains the right dosage for your dog’s weight and condition. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about giving him any supplements and carefully monitor any changes.
With the right regimen, your dog should see relief so he can continue to be the active, happy dog he’s always been.
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