The bony framework of the skeleton gives the dog’s body shape and supports its soft tissues. Joints are formed where two or more bones meet and are held together by ligaments.
Joints are covered with lubricated cartilage that allows smooth movement. The range of movement in a joint is determined by its shape and structure. For example, the stifle joint is a hinge joint that simply bends and straightens the hind leg, while the ball-and-socket joint in the hip allows movement in more directions.
Unfortunately joint issues are quite common in dogs. Especially common are the joint issues that occur due to natural aging. The damage that occurs with age cannot be reversed. Instead the treatment consists of alleviating pain, preventing or slowing down further damage and minimizing the condition’s impact on the dog’s life, rather than veterinary intervention alone.
Proper managing of damaged joints includes:
- Proper and healthy nutrition
- Maintaining ideal body weight
- Regular exercise with modified intensity
- Using joint supplements.
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Age-related joint changes
With age the natural production of glucosamine decreases. As a result the natural repair process of the cartilage slows down, eventually leading to stiffness and joint pain. The decreased repair time combined with the natural and ongoing wear and tear of joints leads to the development of painful and irreversible arthritis.
What is glucosamine
Glucosamine was first isolated in 1876 by the German surgeon Georg Ledderhorse. After the revelation the supplement was experimentally used in veterinary patients. For the last 20 years, glucosamine has been successfully used in countless veterinary practices in Europe and USA.
What does the glucosamine do
The glucosamine is an amino-sugar complex that increases and improves the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans which are the building blocks of cartilage. Simply stated, glucosamine helps rebuild and repair damaged cartilage.
For better effects, glucosamine is often combined with other substances, such as:
- Chondroitin – natural substance found in the dog’s cartilage that acts improves the glucosamine’s activity
- MSM (methylsulphynomethane) – natural sulphur compound that improves joint flexibility and reduces pain and inflammation.
Benefits of Using Glucosamine Supplements
Glucosamine is beneficial because it:
- Has anti-inflammatory effect that reduces pain
- Helps naturally restore joint’s health
- Increases mobility and flexibility
- Improves joints lubrication.
Supplementing with glucosamine is better than treating with NSAID (non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs – the treatment of choice for arthritis) because the glucosamine has no side effects and helps eliminate the cause, while NSAID’s can have side effects and they only reduce the pain, without targeting the cause.
The benefits of glucosamine go beyond addressing joint problems. The glucosamine also:
- Promotes gut health
- Supports the immune system.
Dosage and Types of Glucosamine Supplements
Usually, dogs start on a higher, so-called ‘’loading dose’’ and are held on that dose for several weeks. After that, the chondroitin is reduced to a lower ‘’maintenance dose’’. Most dogs remain on joint supplements for their entire lives, because the signs of joint pain and inflammation recur within few weeks of discontinuing the supplement.
Even though many glucosamine supplements can be bought without prescription, the correct dosage and treating schedule should always be modified and approved by your trusted vet.Glucosamine supplements can be formulated in different oral forms, such as – soft chews, stripes, flavored pills, tablets, powders and liquids. Each form has its advantages and which one you will choose depends on what you find easiest for administration.
The Glucosamine DS Plus Level 2 Moderate Joint Care by NaturVet is formulated in a form of tasty, soft and easily chewable tablets. The supplement is both formulated and manufactured in the USA and approved by the FDA. Additionally veterinary professionals recommend it.
- Soft and tasty chews
- Wheat free formula
- Noticeable improvement after usage
- Affordable price
- Made in the USA
- The chews are too big for toy dog breeds
In addition to joint support, the ingredients in The Hip & Joint Mobility Bites for Dogs with Arthritis Pain by Zesty Paws, promote heart health and support the immune system. They are manufactured in FDA certified facilities.
- Made with natural ingredients
- Do not contain wheat, corn or soy
- Delicious duck taste
- Promote heart health and healthy immune system
- Easy to use
- Manufactured in FDA certified facilities
- Ingredients of the highest quality
- Delicious chicken stripes
- Free of grains, artificial flavors, preservatives and colors
- Easy to break and use
- Made in the USA
- Can cause diarrhea in some dogs
The GlycoFlex 3 Hip and Joint Support for Dogs by VetriScience Laboratories is a veterinarian approved product. It has been demonstrated that this supplement can increase the hind’s leg strength by up to 41% in only 4 weeks.
- Contain high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
- Tasty and easily to chew treats
- Suitable for life-long use
- Efficient only after a month of use
- Approved by veterinarians
- Made in the USA
- Some dogs do not like the chew’s texture
The Premium Liquid Glucosamine for Joint Arthritis & Hip Dysplasia by Pure Paw Nutrition comes in the form of delicious liquid with an irresistible bacon flavor. It can be used by pouring the product over foods and treats. The bottle does not need to be refrigerated.
- Human-grade product
- Promotes joint health and overall health
- Blend of different types of ingredients
- Easy to use and tasty bacon-flavored liquid form
The Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs by TerraMax Pro contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid in a liquid form. The liquid form has superior absorption rate compared to chews, pills and powders. Last but not least, the liquid has an irresistible taste. It can be added to the dog’s food or water.
- 100% safe and natural supplement
- Fast acting and easily absorbable components
- Promotes overall health
- Irresistible taste
- Recommended and approved by veterinarians
There comes a point in every dog’s life when it starts showing age-related problems. That is an expected and normal part of getting old. At which point those issue begin to show depends on several factors – the dog’s breed, activity level, nutrition, lifestyle and overall health status. Joint issues are among the most commonly seen age-related changes in dogs of all breeds. Unfortunately, turning the clock back for our dogs is not possible. What it is possible, is to find a safe and natural way of improving your dog’s joint function and quality of life. Regular use of glucosamine supplements is one of those safe and natural ways. In addition the glucosamine supplements come in the form of tasty and irresistible treats that your dog will adore.However, it should be noted that seeing the beneficial effects of joint supplements can take up to several weeks. What is more, almost all dogs once prescribed with a glucosamine supplements are likely to be lifelong users. Therefore using glucosamine supplements is not only expensive but it also requires time and devotion from the owner. Luckily, with patience, over some time, the effects will be visible and motivating enough to keep using glucosamine no matter the inconveniences.