Glucosamine for Dogs: The Key to a Long, Healthy, and Pain-Free Life
What is Glucosamine for Dogs?
As a pet parent, watching your dog age can be quite the experience. You know that your dog ages faster than you, and there will come a time when the young pup you used to play with is now less mobile. Over time, the activities that your dog loved and were a second habit can become a challenge. He/she might develop arthritis and other conditions that cause intense pain in the joints. Thus, your dog may resort to staying in one place rather than moving around. Naturally, you want to make the transition to old age comfortable and smooth for your pet pooch. So, what are the options available to you?
Your first instinct is to take your dog to the vet so that you can find a way to reduce the pain your dog is suffering. Some dog owners make the mistake of giving their pet painkillers without consulting the vet. More often than not, painkillers lead to side effects, and those are as unpleasant as the symptoms your dog is displaying. Luckily for you, there is a viable solution to this malady. Learn about what is glucosamine for dogs can go a long way towards ensuring that your dog not only lives a pain-free life but also stays healthy and happy. But, what exactly is glucosamine?
Glucosamine: How It Works
The word ‘glucosamine’ is a combination of two terms, i.e. glucose and glutamine. The former is a sugar while the latter is an amino acid. The two combine to form a compound, which occurs naturally. This compound is responsible for restoring the cartilage between joints and keeping your dog’s joints pain-free. Keep in mind that your dog’s body produces this compound naturally. However, sometimes, the levels are not sufficient to counter the effects of age on your dog’s joints. Therefore, increasing the level of glucosamine in your dog’s system can go a long way towards boosting his/her joint health.
In fact, experts suggest glucosamine as a means of preventing joint-related issues in dogs. Now, because the compound occurs naturally, it isn’t a pharmaceutical. This means that you don’t need a prescription to purchase glucosamine for your dog. Moreover, the risk of side effects is lower when you opt for nutraceuticals as compared to pharmaceuticals. That said, you should consult your vet about giving your dog glucosamine, just to be on the safe. You will also have to get a clear idea of the suitable dog glucosamine dosage.
The key benefits of giving your dog glucosamine supplements is that it enhances joint health, boosts joint function, and enables the body to speed up joint repair. Therefore, your dog is less likely to develop any medical issues or conditions that contribute to joint pain or deterioration of the joints. When selecting a supplement, make sure you select one that contains chondroitin. This compound can help protect your dog’s joints from damage.
Glucosamine: The Origins
You might wonder that since glucosamine occurs naturally in dogs, how manufacturers extract it to create supplements. Well, the compound comes from the discarded shells of shrimps, lobsters and crabs. Moreover, some raw meats also contain glucosamine. Hence, even if you opt for supplements, you can rest assured that they are sourced naturally. There is no synthetic or artificial production or addition of any harmful substances. In other words, giving your dog this supplement is safe, as you don’t have to worry about any major side effects.
Potential Side Effects of Glucosamine
Continuing from the point above, glucosamine is a natural compound, even when you give it to your dog in supplement form. Therefore, the risk of side effects is minimal.
However, there are some adverse reactions that are common in dogs who receive these supplements, including
- Excessive urination
In addition to these side effects, your dog might also feel fatigued at all times. You can notice this if your dog refuses to move around much or spends most of his/her time in one place. As you can see, the side effects that glucosamine can cause are not significant. Despite this, it is important that you keep an eye out for any reactions that your dog shows in response to receiving the supplements. Also, you should take your dog to the vet before you administer the supplements. This way, you can have complete peace of mind that your beloved canine is receiving supplements that are safe for him or her.
Glucosamine for Arthritis
The main role of glucosamine for dogs is in preventing and treating arthritis. Arthritis is a common ailment in aging dogs, causing significant pain and discomfort. Early diagnosis is the key to ensuring your dog can receive timely treatment for the condition. You should be aware of the fact that arthritis is a progressive disease. The symptoms and intensity will only worsen with time. Therefore, you have to be aware of the causes, signs, and symptoms of arthritis in dogs. The long-term consequences can be severe if you don’t spot the signs early on.
There is a common misconception that the only result of arthritis is joint pain. Yes, it’s true that your dog will suffer intense pain in the joints, depending on the progression of the condition. However, that’s not the only symptom. As the disease progresses, it can lead to lameness, reduction in mobility, and even stiffness. Needless to say, your dog will suffer great discomfort if the disease keeps progressing and he or she doesn’t receive the necessary treatment.
The Main Causes of Arthritis
There are several factors that can cause your dog to develop arthritis over time. These include:
- An injury of the joints
- Infection that affects the joints
- Obesity that places great pressure on the joints
- Deformity, which means the joints don’t develop fully
However, the foremost risk factor is aging. As your dog ages, the joints in his/her body undergo considerable wear and tear. The constant running and moving around causes your dog’s joints to deteriorate, leading to pain and eventually arthritis. Hence, as a pet parent, you have to be watchful for signs of joint pain that your pet pooch displays so that you can get adequate treatment in time.
The Impact of Arthritis
Your dog’s joints are quite similar to yours. When you move your limbs, the bones rub against each other. However, cartilage covers the part of the bone that rubs against bone, preventing friction and reducing the risk of wear and tear. Moreover, a liquid, i.e. synovial fluid, covers the cartilage and bone, offering ample lubrication for the joint to function without any discomfort. Arthritis causes both the cartilage and fluid to deplete. Even small movements can lead to considerable stiffness and soreness. The main concern is when the bones run against each other, which causes bony outgrowths.
Glucosamine for Hip Dysplasia
In addition to arthritis, glucosamine is a suitable treatment for hip dysplasia. This condition is in fact arthritis in the hip joints. This ailment affects the hip joint specifically, but the outcome remains the same. Your dog can lose mobility in the hip and suffer intense pain even when performing mundane activities. The dog’s breed can play a role in determining the risk of this condition in your dog. Larger dogs are more susceptible to hip dysplasia but that doesn’t mean that dogs of a smaller breed cannot develop it.
Why Glucosamine is a Suitable Treatment
Your vet will diagnose arthritis in your dog, which can affect only the hip or be generalized. Usually, vets prescribed NSAIDs that you can administer to your dog to reduce inflammation and pain. The main aim of most dog parents is helping reduce the pain and discomfort their dog is suffering from. However, it is important that you don’t succumb to the temptation. You need to focus on the long run, selecting a treatment that treats the root cause of the condition. Also, NSAIDs can lead to a number of major side effects, which can make life even more difficult for you.
On the flip side, your dog doesn’t suffer any significant side effects after taking glucosamine supplements. Even if the adverse reactions mentioned above do materialize, they don’t last for a long time. Once your dog develops the habit of taking the supplement, the side effects will subside, leading to a point where your dog can enjoy the benefits of glucosamine without any harm. The reason you should consult your vet is that in certain cases, your dog needs stronger medication, for which you might have to resort to conventional painkillers.
Signs You Should Look Out For
Arthritis is a fairly common disease in dogs. That said, detecting the disease from the outset can be a challenge. You have to be aware of the signs that your dog might display if he or she develops the condition.
The most common symptoms include
- Sleeping more than usual
- No interest in walking or physical activity
- Swelling of the joints
- Sudden weight gain
- Limited mobility
- Developing new movements
- Irritability and mood issues
These signs show that your dog’s arthritis is at an early stage. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should schedule a visit to the vet without delay.
Your dog might find it difficult to get up if he or she is lying down. Even if your dog gets up, it can take a few moments for him/her to stand upright. The reason for this is that the pain exacerbates when your dog has been idle for some time. Moreover, cold weather can also intensify the pain your dog is suffering from due to his/her condition. The main concern for dog owners is that the symptoms of arthritis are the same as that of many other conditions. Thus, you have to consult a specialist before you can be sure that your dog is arthritic.
Natural Glucosamine for Dogs: Your Options
You can easily find glucosamine at the local pet store. The main consideration you have to make is the way you want to administer the compound to your dog. Here’s a look at the different options available to you:
You can find glucosamine in kibble, which is a convenient way of feeding your dog the supplement. Generally, brands add the compound to the kibble they produce for older dogs. That said, kibble might not contain sufficient amounts of the compound. You might have to feed your dog at least twice the quantity of kibble as you do on a regular basis. Of course, this method is not ideal or suitable. Unless your vet recommends you give your dog the supplement in kibble form, you should try other options.
2. Injectable Glucosamine for Dogs
Injectable glucosamine is a viable option as well. You can simply inject your dog with the supplement. The injectable form is fast-acting and delivers quick relief. The reason for this is that the compound reaches your dog’s joints instantly. You have to administer the injection at least twice a week for up to a month.
3. Oral Supplements
Perhaps the most commonly form of vet recommended glucosamine for dogs is in chewable form. Your options include powders and tablets. Moreover, you can find it in liquid form. You can simply add the supplements to the food you serve your dog. Some dogs are open to the idea of chewing the supplement on its own.
4. Raw Food
A number of raw meats contain glucosamine. Depending on the severity of your dog’s pain and the condition he/she is suffering from, your vet might recommend that you feed your dog raw meat containing glucosamine. In some cases, a raw food diet is the most suitable treatment for your dog’s condition.
You can select from a range of meat options that are high in glucosamine, including
- Bone broth
- Chicken feet
- Pig tails and oxtails
How About CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has emerged as a viable treatment for a number of medical problems. Administering CBD oil for dogs or a chewable form can help reduce the pain he or she is suffering from as a result of arthritis. The great thing about CBD is that it is completely natural, causes no side effects, and delivers quick results. CBD can prove the most suitable means of enhancing your dog’s joint health, while at the same time, reducing pain. In fact, the Hemp Soft Chews for dogs merge numerous ingredients to provide relief from or prevent arthritis.
CBD, as a supplement, is completely safe for your dog. You can rest assured that your dog will not develop any side effects when you administer the soft chews. The fact that CBD is natural and safe means that you can combine the supplement with glucosamine. You can not only reduce the symptoms caused by arthritis or hip dysplasia but boost your dog’s health significantly. This means you can actually prevent the condition, or at least limit its progress. The bottom-line is that your dog can enjoy a decent quality of life despite his/her condition.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
As mentioned above, the main risk factor when it comes to arthritis and hip dysplasia is age. Hence, preventing these conditions is difficult, as you cannot control the progression of time. Your dog will continue aging and be at a higher risk of developing the conditions. However, there are certain risk factors that you can manage to reduce the risk of your dog suffering from arthritis. For instance, larger breeds are more vulnerable to hip dysplasia. So, providing your dog with adequate joint support can prove the key to preventing arthritis.
You can give your dog CBD soft chews along with glucosamine supplements. The two supplements combined will keep your dog’s joints strong and prevent degeneration. Moreover, any damage that your dog’s joints suffered already can also be restored or repaired by giving him/her these supplements.
All in all, there is no doubt that you only want the best for your pet pooch. As a pet parent, you wish to provide your dog with an environment and lifestyle where he/she can enjoy a decent quality of life. However, aging is an irreversible process, and your dog can develop a number of health problems associated with it. Watching out for the symptoms and signs that indicate your dog is suffering from arthritis can help you get an early diagnosis. Initiating the treatment at an initial stage can reduce the pain and discomfort your dog is suffering.
Glucosamine offers you a viable means of ensuring your dog’s comfort and limiting his/her suffering. Merge the supplement with CBD and you have the perfect combo to improve your dog’s overall health. The risk of arthritis decreases significantly and your dog is in the ideal position to enjoy a long, healthy, and pain-free life. Isn’t that the dream you had for your little furball since the day you brought him/her home the first time? Make it into a reality with glucosamine and CBD for your dog!