If you are like most people, the very thought of watching your beloved canine companion struggle to get around is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it’s also a natural part of the aging process. In addition, some breeds are predisposed to certain joint conditions such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and osteoarthritis. These conditions can make mobility a challenge, even when the dog is still relatively young. A dog that is overweight is also likely to experience these types of problems. The question is, what can be done about these issues so that your pet can get around with less pain? Fortunately, a good exercise plan coupled with a good diet can go a long way toward helping your pet regain its mobility. In cases where that isn’t effective, all hope is not lost. There are still some things that you might be able to do that can help your dog start moving around more freely again. Glucosamine dog joint supplements are one option, similar in some ways to CBD oil for dogs. Although they are used by many dog owners to achieve these goals, it is important to know is how much glucosamine for dogs is safe.
What Is Glucosamine?
If you’re a pet owner who is now struggling to find ways to help your pet be more agile, you may be looking into supplements for dogs like glucosamine. The question is, how do you know which supplements are truly safe for your pet to take and which ones are not? It’s easy to listen to the advice of people who are trying to sell a particular supplement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that what they’re saying is entirely true, nor does it mean that the same supplement that works for your friends’ dogs will work for your own. That said, glucosamine is one of the most effective supplements out there and it’s one that can be purchased over the counter. This can go a long way toward helping pet owners because a prescription is not required. That means that repeated, expensive vet trips are not required in order to get the prescription filled every time you run out. Suffice it to say that glucosamine is a joint supplement that is designed to work on two levels. Primarily, it helps to support your pet’s joint health so that inflammatory conditions like arthritis don’t cause the bones in the leg to rub together, thereby reducing the amount of joint pain that your pet feels. As previously mentioned, it doesn’t work with all dogs, just like medication designed to help arthritis doesn’t help every human being. However, it does have a long-standing track record and has been found to be effective for a number of pets.
Can You Give Your Dog Human Glucosamine?
If you’re going to give glucosamine to your dog, make sure that the supplement you’re providing is designed specifically for canines. It is typically extremely unsafe to give glucosamine supplements made for humans to dogs. It isn’t necessarily the glucosamine itself that causes the problem. The issue is that many glucosamine supplements for human beings contain sweeteners to make them taste better. One of the main sweeteners typically used is Xylitol, the same sweetener that is often found in gum. Xylitol is extremely dangerous to your dog’s health. In fact, even ingesting a small amount can prove fatal to most dogs. Therefore, you should never give your dog a supplement that is made for human beings, whether you are talking about glucosamine or anything else. Make sure that everything you’re giving your dog is made for canines. That way, you’re less likely to run into any problems. Of course, it should also go without saying that before you start your dog on any supplements, even those made specifically for canines, you speak with your dog’s veterinarian. Have your veterinarian give your dog a full exam and discuss any questions or concerns that you might have regarding dietary supplements. That way, your dog can be properly monitored for potential issues and you’re not left playing doctor when you may or may not know what you’re doing.
What About Dosing (How Much Glucosamine For Dogs)?
As is the case with almost every type of medication, the dosing will depend on how much your dog weighs. Larger dogs will require a bigger dose in order to reach a level of medication that actually helps them. Obviously, smaller dogs won’t need nearly as much as large dogs. In addition, you typically have to give larger doses of medication when you’re first starting out because you are trying to reach a therapeutic level. For example, many dogs are given approximately 15 mg per kilogram of weight. Put simply, a dog weighing approximately 75 pounds would need anywhere from 500 mg to 1,000 mg per day in order to maintain therapeutic levels. This is the amount that keeps enough fluid in the joints to prevent inflammation and subsequent pain. Therefore, a loading dose may be required that equals roughly twice this amount per day. Typically, your dog will need this loading dose for a month, at a minimum. In some cases, it’s required for up to six weeks. Again, it’s important to remember that animals are a lot like people in the sense that therapeutic doses can differ. That’s why it is important to work with your veterinarian in order to find something that works. Your vet can also help you find innovative ways to get your dog to take a pill.
Are There Potential Complications Associated With Glucosamine?
While glucosamine is typically considered to be relatively safe for most dogs, it is possible for problems to occur. Again, dogs are not really that much different from human beings in this particular sense. As such, some dogs will be able to take the supplement with few problems, if any. At the same time, another dog may experience an allergic reaction to the supplement. In some other cases, it can cause gastrointestinal upset that results in severe vomiting and diarrhea, as well as a loss of appetite. If your dog experiences an allergic reaction, it is a bona fide medical emergency that must be dealt with immediately. If this happens, make sure that your dog gets to a veterinarian right away. It is not something that can wait. Even if your dog doesn’t experience an allergic reaction, but is experiencing gastrointestinal distress, you should stop the supplement immediately and contact your veterinarian. Unfortunately, many pain medications and joint supplements have a tendency to aggravate the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. If your dog already has digestive issues, it is even more likely that he or she will experience this problem. Continuing to give the supplement can make the problem so severe that bleeding ulcers begin to appear in the lining of the stomach. This in and of itself can become a medical emergency and it can happen rather quickly. Therefore, you should always carefully monitor your pet after you start glucosamine or any other supplement in order to look for behavioral changes such as lethargy, blood in the stool, or vomiting.
Can It Be Used in Conjunction With Other Supplements (Like Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)?
Typically, glucosamine may be used with a canine pain reliever in order to help the dog experience less pain due to joint inflammation. Over time, it may be possible to reduce or even eliminate the pain medication. In many cases, the pain medication can eventually be given as needed as opposed to being given on a daily basis. That is because the glucosamine can eventually build up to a therapeutic level which increases the fluid in the joints, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. While glucosamine is not a pain reliever in its own right, it can eventually relieve the pain by better supporting the joints and stopping the inflammation that is causing pain from occurring in the first place. Until that happens, you very well may have to give your pet a pain reliever along with his or her daily glucosamine dose. You can even give it along with your pet’s daily dog multivitamin if you so desire. Before using it with variations like glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and glucosamine chondroitin, it is still best to consult with your vet.
Are All Supplements Created Equally?
If you’re going to go to the trouble of giving your dog a glucosamine supplement or any other supplement for that matter, it’s imperative that you choose one that is of high quality. Unfortunately, canine supplements are a lot like supplements designed for human beings. Some of them are of exceptional quality and others have barely any quality control measures in place whatsoever. You’re already spending money on the supplement and you’re doing it to try and help your pet feel better. It simply doesn’t make sense to choose a supplement that is of questionable quality. When you do something like that, you have no idea what you are actually putting in your pet’s body. It also dramatically reduces the chances that the supplement will actually be effective. As a result, you may end up ruling out glucosamine or some other supplement as an effective option for your dog when the problem isn’t really the supplement, but rather the quality of the particular supplement you are giving. It’s really best to stick with something that is of good quality in the first place. Choose a company that stands behind the products they sell. If you don’t know exactly which brand you should go with, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with some important guidance on the matter.
What About the Cost of Supplements?
You might think that the more money you spend on a supplement, the more effective it will be. The truth is, that isn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, some of the more economical supplements work just as well or even better than the more expensive options. That said, you shouldn’t base your decision on a glucosamine supplement on price alone. If you do that, you’re likely to end up buying something that is practically being given away and there’s probably a reason that it is priced so low in the first place. The truth is, you almost have to do a balancing act when it comes to cost. You don’t have to empty out your bank account in order to buy an effective supplement. By the same token, you do get what you pay for. Therefore, if you’re paying next to nothing for a supplement, there’s probably a good reason why.
Nothing is worse than seeing your dog struggling to get around. There’s a better than average chance that you can do something to help her by finding a supplement that will help the joints be less inflamed and less painful. A good quality supplement can reduce swelling and restore mobility over time. At the very least, you owe it to both your dog and yourself to give it a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you give a dog too much glucosamine?
You can give your dog too much of any supplement. More does not always equal better. As previously mentioned, the amount of glucosamine that you will give your dog is based on his or her body weight. The correct amount of glucosamine to give your dog is 15 milligrams per kilogram. If your dog weighs 75 pounds, you will end up giving her between 500 mg and 1,000 mg.
How much glucosamine do you give a 50-pound dog?
If you are just starting your dog out on glucosamine, you will probably give approximately 1,500 mg of glucosamine daily for anywhere from four to six weeks. Once you get past the loading dose stage, you will revert back to the formula of 15 mg per kilogram in order to maintain therapeutic levels.
Is 2,000 mg of glucosamine too much?
Again, it all comes back to how much your dog weighs. You will base the amount of glucosamine that you’re giving your dog according to on how much he or she weighs. Follow the formula of 15 mg per kilogram of weight. That will tell you how much you’re supposed to give your dog.
What human glucosamine is best to give your dog?
As previously mentioned, it can be extremely dangerous to give your dog glucosamine supplements made for humans. As opposed to giving your dog human glucosamine, choose an option that is made specifically for canines. Giving your dog human glucosamine can make your pet extremely sick. In a worst-case scenario, it can be fatal.