Dog Glucosamine Supplement Facts

There are some things to know when deciding whether or not to add a dog glucosamine supplement to your pet's diet, or if you already have.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring compound found in the body. It is a mixture of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is necessary in producing a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. The production of glucosamine naturally slows with age.

It is important to keep in mind the fact that glucosamine, or any other nutritional supplement doesn't repair prior structural damages, it just helps the body maintain health. It does not cure arthritis, it minimizes the pain and the degeneration of the joints.

Why Would a Dog Need Glucosamine?

Glucosamine would be beneficial for dogs who are suffering from arthritis, or other joint pains. It has been show to reduce inflammation. Glucosamine can also just be used as a precautionary measure, in simply maintaining the health of your dog and reducing the changes of arthritis developing at an early age. Arthritis happens to be one of the most common health problems in dogs.

What Are Glucosamine Supplements Made From?

Glucosamine supplements are extracted from the shells of crab, lobster and shrimp. There are three forms of glucosamine made into supplements.

Glucosamine is often found in arthritis supplements with multiple ingredients. If your dog is on an arthritis supplement, it is possible that he is already receiving doses of glucosamine.

Which Supplement Is Best?

The sulfate form of glucosamine has been shown to be the most effective. The quality and contents of each brand and type of glucosamine varies widely. The best thing to do is to choose a well-established company, and to check the list of ingredients.

Taking Multiple Medications or Supplements

It is always best to talk to your veterinarian before giving additional medications to a dog that is already on medications. This is because certain medications will react with another to create an undesirable, and sometimes dangerous effect. Considering the fact that dogs who need glucosamine are suffering from joint pain, pain-killers might be necessary to ease that pain. Since glucosamine is a supplement, and is naturally found in the body, and is not a drug, there should be no problems. Adding other supplements and vitamins shouldn't cause any problems either.

Even though it is safe to add pain-killers, it may not be necessary, because it has been shown that after adding glucosamine, pain-killers are no longer necessary.

Side Effects of Glucosamine Supplements

No severe side effects have been reported, and any side effects are rare. However, some dogs have shown to vomit or get diarrhea. This is mostly when the dog has been started on high doses. If the doses are reduced, or the doses are given alongside food, the symptoms should alleviate. In fact, after about 6-8 weeks after adding the supplement, the doses can e reduced. The supplements are safe, and makes them ideal for lifelong treatment.