With age comes a few health issues both in humans and animals. It is common to hear of seniors complaining of back pain and joint pain, and usually, doctors prescribe a dose of glucosamine to ease the problem. Animals too at one point will need to take supplements if you want them to remain playful and pain-free; it will break your heart to see the once-playful puppy can no longer take the long walks he enjoyed. Before it gets to that point, take matters into your hands by introducing glucosamine to your furry friends. If you do not know anything about glucosamine for dogs; what is it, and what does it do, read on to have all your questions answered.
Understanding the importance of glucosamine in mobility
MyPetNeedsThat explains that dogs have three types of joints: synovial, cartilaginous and fibrous. However, our concern is in the synovial joints that enable motion. The joints are at the end of two opposing bones, and between the bones, there is a cartilage that acts as connective tissue. The cartilage prevents bones from rubbing against each other whenever pressure is applied, such as during jumping or walking. Usually, for mobility to be at optimum, the cartilage works in coordination with the synovial membrane and synovial fluid such that if there is a problem in any of the three, the dog will experience pain.
The synovial fluid comprises a substance called hyaluronan, which contains glucosamine. In a dog with healthy cartilage, glucosamine continues to be produced in adequate quantities enabling any wear and tear of the cartilage to heal quickly. Unfortunately, when your dog grows older, there is a decrease in glucosamine production which subsequently means that once the cartilage is damaged, healing will occur slowly, causing little cushioning between the joints. Thus the dog experiences more pain and less shock absorption. As a result, you will notice your dog walking with difficulty; even getting up will be a struggle.
What glucosamine does for the dog
According to Top Dog Health, glucosamine increases mobility by improving overall joint health. It also helps in lubricating your dog’s joints for painless movement and reduces joint inflammation. The article explains that glucosamine does so by thickening the synovial fluid and stimulating cartilage growth. Supplements have been said to slow down the progression of arthritis. However, you must take note that they slow down the condition, not cure its effects. Therefore for a dog that has already shown signs of arthritis, taking glucosamine supplements will only relieve it of its pain. The canine must, however, take the supplements for the rest of his life to experience the relief.
Still, some sources claim you do not have to wait until your dog suffers from arthritis or hip dysplasia to start administering the supplement. Since glucosamine is safe, puppies can take it, but always consult with your vet before any drug administration. Although it is a safe drug, too much of anything is poisonous, and Rheumatoid Arthritis enlightens us of the right dosage depending on a dog’s weight. For instance, a dog that weighs below 25 pounds needs only 250 mg once daily, while those below 50 pounds require 500 mg once per day. From there on, for every increase in 25 pounds, you should increase the dosage by 500 mg. However, those above 75 pounds should be given their dose twice a day.
Overdose of glucosamine for dogs
Dogs can be picky about the types of foods they will eat, but they will never reject tasty treats, even if it means counter surfing to get one. For this reason, even drug manufacturers have to trick dogs into thinking the medication is a treat; glucosamine usually comes as a chewy tablet flavored with bacon and cheddar. As a result, unless you keep track of the number of tablets that your dog takes, you might end up overdosing the canine.
While the supplements are safe, toxicity can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which is not alarming since it fades away with time. However, some supplements do not only contain glucosamine; they are added Vitamin D and zinc. Vitamin D toxicity can be fatal since it results in increased heart rate while zinc toxicity can also be life-threatening by causing renal failure. Therefore, if the glucosamine also contains such minerals and vitamins, then you should seek immediate help.
On the other hand, besides the supplements, glucosamine is found in certain types of food like raw chicken feet and shellfish shells. Moreover, some kibble brands have glucosamine, meaning that you might be overdosing your dog with the supplement. Besides, since most of the supplements are made from shellfish which your dog could be allergic to, you should watch out for itchiness, constant licking, diarrhea or constipation and vomiting.
The best glucosamine for dogs
Pet Honesty disclosed that you should be keen on the quality of glucosamine you feed your furry friend because what is absorbed, not what is eaten, matters. Therefore the old phrase “cheap is expensive” applies because most lab- synthesized glucosamine and cheap-quality supplements from China are sold at low prices hence may attract lots of pet owners. Since some places in which manufacturing takes place outside of the US are not regulated, the reports of illnesses and deaths due to glucosamine consumption have become a worrying trend.
Instead of allowing your dog to be the next statistic, you should stick to products made in the USA and in a facility that is GMP–certified. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification means that the facility is committed and complies with the international GMP standards. The standards focus on people, premises, products, procedures and processes which should give you peace of mind regarding the quality of the glucosamine. You should also look out for supplements that contain preservatives, sugar, corn or wheat because they may cause inflammation in the long run.