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The Best Glucosamine for Dogs and Why Your Dog Needs It

Glucosamine supplements for dogs provide the building blocks for healthy soft tissues and help protect and maintain our dog’s joints from adulthood into their senior years. The best glucosamine will be manufactured using natural ingredients and the highest standards of quality while including joint-healing ingredients, like chondroitin. 5 minute read

We all want our pups to live happy and healthy lives. Unfortunately, many pups experience joint pain or arthritis as they age, which can seriously impact their quality of life. Supplements containing glucosamine can work wonders at restoring our dogs’ mobility and alleviating their discomfort and pain.

With the wide array of glucosamine supplements available on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your dog. That’s why we’ve put together a list of answers to all your top questions about glucosamine as well as some helpful tips on picking the best glucosamine for dogs to get your pup feeling like their old selves again.

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Scroll down to find out more or click below to jump to a particular question.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a combination name made up of glutamine (an amino acid) and glucose (a sugar). It is a naturally-occurring compound that is found in our dogs’ bodies, specifically in the tissues around their joints. These tissues include cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and it’s also found in joint fluid.

As our dogs age, their body produces less glucosamine, which can lead to joint pain and stiffness. Taking glucosamine supplements can help alleviate these symptoms.

dog joint helped by glucosamine

What Does Glucosamine Do?

Our dogs’ joints, like ours, need healthy tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and joint fluid to function properly. Their bodies use glucosamine to build all of these soft tissues and keep them healthy and well-maintained. Just like people, dogs can experience joint pain and arthritis. Glucosamine supplements can help by preventing the breakdown of the soft tissues in the joints and helping to increase cartilage and joint fluid. This can also provide pain relief and improve function in painful joints.
happy white dog smiling

Does Glucosamine Have Any Side Effects?

Glucosamine has very few side effects. When there are side effects, they are generally mild and easy to treat.

However, there are a few special cases that it’s important for pup parents to be aware of.When making glucosamine supplements, manufacturers often harvest it from shellfish. That means dogs with shellfish allergies may experience reactions. If your dog starts having digestive system issues, showing drowsiness, or just “acting off” after taking a glucosamine supplement, they may have a shellfish allergy. If that happens, stop giving them the supplement and contact your veterinarian.

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Does Glucosamine for Dogs Really Work?

Studies have confirmed the effectiveness of glucosamine for dogs. And there is an abundance of positive individual reports, as well as recommendations from veterinarians, that help confirm glucosamine and chondroitin can be very helpful for dogs suffering from arthritis and other joint issues.

While every dog is different, many pup parents see improvement and even elimination of joint pain and issues in their dogs by using supplements containing glucosamine.

When my senior labrador, Cody, started having difficulties going up the stairs, I was concerned. After talking with our veterinarian, we modified his daily exercise to be more low-impact and started supplementing with Pawsomely Healthy’s Omega-3 and a senior supplement with glucosamine. Since then, he has been enjoying an active and pain-free life.

dog running no joint pain

What’s the Best Way to Give a Dog Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is available in different forms, including tablets, powders, and liquids. Powders and liquids aren’t the best choices, as they can be difficult to give to your dog. If they eat wet food, you can often mix it in, but there’s another important consideration.Dosage. When giving a dog any medication or supplement, giving them the correct dosage is critical. Unlike with powders or liquids, glucosamine supplements in tablet or chewable form are pre-measured so you can be absolutely sure that you’re giving your pup the exact amount they need. Always be sure to read the packaging carefully to see what dosage your pup needs based on their weight.
best glucosamine for dogs tablets

But are tablets or chewables a better choice? No one likes to fight with their dog to make them take their vitamins, and that can happen with tablets. While some pet parents buy special hollow treats to hide the tablets in, that is an added expense (and it doesn’t always work). With a tasty chewable supplement, you avoid those problems.  

Which Is Better for Dogs: Glucosamine or Chondroitin?

This isn’t really a question of which is better. Both of these ingredients work together to provide amazing benefits for our dogs. That means the best glucosamine for dogs will include chondroitin in it as well.

Chondroitin and glucosamine play different but supporting roles in protecting our dogs’ joints. Our dogs’ bodies use glucosamine to build up the components of healthy joints, and they use chondroitin to protect the joint tissues and keep them from breaking down. Chondroitin retains water and promotes elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and nourishment of the tissues that line the joint.

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Ideally, adult and senior dog supplements use a powerful blend of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. MSM is an organic form of sulfur that is widely used for the treatment of arthritis in dogs.

Together, these three powerful ingredients maintain and improve your adult and senior dogs’ joint health.

What Glucosamine Is Best for Dogs?

The best glucosamine for dogs will be made from natural ingredients and formulated to the highest standards of quality and safety. It also will include complementary ingredients like chondroitin to maximize its effectiveness. There are a lot of glucosamine supplements out there, so pup parents have to be careful that they are getting quality ingredients prepared in safe and responsible ways. 

How Long Does It Take for Glucosamine to Work?

While medicines can work very quickly, glucosamine supplements are not medicine. They are what’s called nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources that have additional health benefits. Unlike medicines, nutraceuticals will take longer to improve your dog’s health, typically 4-6 weeks, before you see substantial changes and improvements in your dog’s wellbeing.

How Long Does My Dog Have to Take It?

If your dog is suffering from arthritis or joint pain, it may be a chronic and lifelong condition. That means your pup will need to take glucosamine continually to keep experiencing its benefits.
active senior dog

The Final Woof

Glucosamine is a great, natural tool that pup parents can use to help their dogs lead happy, healthy lives. By picking a glucosamine supplement that is produced safely and responsibly, pet parents can rest assured that their dogs have the building blocks they need to support and maintain a more active life for years to come.



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