Just like humans, dogs can suffer from a variety of ailments in their joints. Dogs can contract arthritis, for instance, and this disease is particularly common in older dogs.
Dogs can also develop problems with the bones and ligaments in their joints, whether due to exercise or to age.
When it comes to maintaining joint health in dogs, diet is an essential factor to consider.
Dog joint supplements are a great way of ensuring that your dog gets all of the targeted nutrients that they need to keep their joints healthy, to mitigate the symptoms of joint illnesses, to heal and repair damaged joints, and to ward off joint disease in the future.
There are several dog joint supplements on the market. However, Glucosamine is by far the most popular. Glucosamine is used to treat arthritis in dogs, and arthritis is one of the most common ailments afflicting domestic canines.
Here, we explain all about arthritis in dogs and give you the lowdown on what a glucosamine supplement can do to ease it.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
Arthritis causes dogs’ joints to become stiff and painful. You may notice dogs limping or running more slowly than usual. Their legs may seem stiff as they rise from the floor or run.
Several different things can cause arthritis in dogs. The most common cause is a deterioration in either the bone of the joint or the ligament attached to that joint.
This can cause the two bones that meet at that joint to rub painfully against each other. Diseases that inflame the joints, and some cancers, can also cause arthritic symptoms in dogs.
Arthritis is a disease that can develop slowly in both dogs and humans. So, you may find that the symptoms of arthritis ‘creep up on’ your dog gradually so that you do not notice them until arthritis has progressed considerably.
The important thing, therefore, is to check your dog’s joints regularly. Press them gently to check for any soreness and watch your dog carefully when they run or stand up to see if they seem to be experiencing any stiffness.
Arthritis occurs most commonly in the joints of dogs’ legs as these are the joints that are most jolted about as your dog runs, jumps about and does all of those things that dogs love doing. However, more rarely, canine arthritis can occur in other areas of the body, such as the spine.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two substances that are naturally present in cartilage.
A glucosamine chondroitin supplement is an effective way to treat arthritis in dogs as it helps to rebuild and maintain damaged cartilage and bone.
This supplement improves the quality of dogs’ cartilage and also increases the suppleness and mobility of their joints. As a result of this, a glucosamine chondroitin supplement will relieve the pain associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.
If you need extra reassurance about giving these supplements to your dogs, then it is worth knowing that humans take glucosamine chondroitin supplements too!
They are commonly prescribed to humans who are suffering from osteoarthritis as they help to relieve joint pain, ease mobility and rebuild and protect their joints (all of the things they do for dogs, too, in fact!).
Thus, if your dog is found to be suffering from osteoarthritis, do not be surprised if your vet recommends that they take a course of glucosamine chondroitin supplements.
These supplements can be obtained from your vet, or over the counter or online. If purchasing supplements online or over the counter at pet stores, however, always make sure to buy from a reputable retailer and manufacturer.
The dosage that your dog will need will depend on several factors, with their weight being a critical consideration.
In general, dogs that weigh less than 15 kg should take a single 750 mg dose of glucosamine chondroitin every other day. This usually means taking a single capsule every other day.
Dogs that weigh between 15 and 30 kg should take one of these 750 mg capsules every single day. Dogs that weigh between 30 and 40 kg can choose either one or two of these capsules per day.
Whether they take one or two capsules will usually depend on a combination of their exact weight and the severity of their symptoms. Finally, dogs that weigh 40 kg and more will need to take a couple of these capsules each day.
Administering the capsules to your dog is relatively easy, and nothing to worry about. It is best that your dog swallows them whole – they can taste a little unpleasant if they are bitten in too!
Hold your dog’s mouth open by inserting a finger either side of their mouth, right in the farthest corner behind their molars, and pop the capsule into their throat. They will usually swallow automatically. Then, give them plenty of affection and praise – and perhaps a tasty treat or two. That way they may even look forward to taking the next capsule!
Glucosamine Side Effects
Glucosamine chondroitin is a very safe supplement for dogs to take, and, as mentioned above it is widely prescribed by veterinary surgeons across the globe. Moreover, as we have already seen, it is also widely prescribed to humans who are suffering from osteoarthritis.
Nonetheless, there are a few side effects that are known to be associated with glucosamine intake. These side effects are rare, however, if your dog exhibits any of them make sure to take them straight to the vet and inform the veterinary surgery that your dog has been taking a glucosamine supplement.
If your dog does come down with any of the side effects, often all that will be needed for them to stop is for your dog to stop taking the supplement. Then, you can discuss alternative ways of treating their arthritis with you (such as alternative supplements, topical injections, or an operation to restore the cartilage, ligament or bone of a joint in more severe cases).
These are potential side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Even rarer side effects include drowsiness and skin reactions such as rashes or skin sensitivity.