Joint Vitamins for Dogs

Joint vitamins can help your dog cope with the symptoms of arthritis, and can even help to slow, stop or reverse damage to the joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used to treat arthritis symptoms in dogs. Here's what you should know about managing your dog's arthritis symptoms naturally with joint vitamins.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Occur Naturally

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two naturally occurring substances that are used to treat the symptoms of arthritis. The bodies of healthy, normal dogs produce glucosamine and chondroitin naturally. These substances form the building blocks from which your dog's body regenerates its own cartilage. 

As your dog gets older, his body's ability to produce its own glucosamine and chondroitin diminishes. As a result, your dog's body can no longer regenerate cartilage fast enough to replace it as it breaks down. When your dog's cartilage begins to deteriorate, the bones of his joints can begin to rub against one another. This causes the pain, stiffness, and inflammation known as osteoarthritis.

Using Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Even dogs without conditions such as hip dysplasia can experience cartilage deterioration and arthritis. Middle-aged and geriatric animals are at the highest risk for arthritis. Your dog might have arthritis if he displays any of the following symptoms:

  • Limping and joint stiffness, which may be worse in cold weather or when your dog first wakes up in the morning
  • Difficulty standing, sitting or lying down
  • Difficulty climbing stairs, walking or jumping
  • Inflammation, pain and soreness in the joints

You might think that your dog is slowing down because of age, but in fact, there is no reason why age alone should cause your dog to experience decreased energy levels or limited mobility. If your older dog seems less active than he once was, the culprit could well be arthritis.

If your dog has arthritis, glusocamine and chondroitin joint vitamins can help manage and even reverse his symptoms. That's because joint vitamins help to maintain normal levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in your dog, so that his body can successfully regenerate cartilage. 

Dosing and Side Effects for Canine Glucosamine

Joint vitamins for dogs are available in tablet and liquid forms. Liquid forms may be easier to administer and tend to work more quickly than tablet forms. However, it's going to take several weeks before your dog will feel the benefits of the vitamins, so you can simply administer the form of your preference. Remember that not all products are created alike; ask your vet for advice about the highest quality products, since low quality ones are not only less effective, but must generally be administered in higher doses.

The average recommended dosage is 20mg per one pound of body weight, or 500mg per 25 pounds of body weight. After the first eight weeks of treatment, dosages can be reduced for maintenance. Glucosamine and chondroitin side effects are few and rare. They are usually limited to diarrhea or vomiting, which you can relieve by administering the joint vitamins with food.