The 5 Forms of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs

Glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs are natural supplements that relieve pain from joint disease and arthritis. There are many forms from basic to complex and expensive. Which you choose will largely depend on your dog and the supplement that provides him with the most relief.

1. Basic Supplements

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are available for humans at most grocery and health stores. Many owners report just as much success from these relatively inexpensive brands as they do from the canine-specific pills. They can be purchased in gel capsules, which most dogs will eat readily when mixed with their food.

Most health experts recommend the glucosamine HCL or glucosamine sulfate as glucosamine KCL is thought to be lower quality.

2. Hyaluronic Acid Supplements

Though called by a different name, hyaluronic acid capsules are a form of glucosamine tablets. Glucosamine is not the active form of the amino acid used in the cartilage and joint fluid to soothe the joints. Hyaluronic acid is formed when glucosamine forms with glucoronic acid.

Since the glucosamine has already been converted to active form, makers of hyaluronic acid supplements claim that these supplements are more effective than simple glucosamine-chondroitin tablets. These tablets also contain the regular forms of glucosamine and chondroitin for added effectiveness.

3. Supplements with MSM

When you start searching veterinary and pet supply web sites for glucosamine and chondroitin tablets, you will also find them mixed with MSM, another naturally occurring amino acid.

However, MSM is not associated with joint pain. The reason it is often included in joint supplement concoctions is that it helps the body more readily absorb vitamins and supplements. In theory, this will help your pet more easily convert the glucosamine and chondroitin into usable forms.

MSM is also a strong antioxidant and can reduce inflammation in joints.

4. Cetyl Myrisoleate

Another highly regarded joint supplement is cetyl myristoleate, a fatty acid derived from myristoleic acid which was discovered to be the cause of good joint health in mice. These tablets, which can be purchased online and at pet stores, also contain glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint health.

Cetyl-M has been effective in helping many pets recover from severe hip dysplasia and arthritis, but it is more expensive than traditional glucosamine pills, which are often equally effective.

5. Vitamins for Senior Dogs

Since older dogs are more likely to suffer from joint problems, glucosamine and chondroitin are often added to senior dog vitamins, which add other supplements your older pet may need. Even owners who haven't heard of the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin may give their dogs these supplements, which will improve their dog's health in general and possibly improve his joints as well.

From inexpensive to highly pricey, there are a wide variety of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements available to you for your dog. Consult your veterinarian before introducing your dog to a new supplement, especially if your dog is already on prescribed medication.