Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most common supplements given to dogs with general joint problems and arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin are often paired together in a single supplement, as they work together to help with joint pain and flexibility.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced by the body that helps build cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is a protein that actually makes up cartilage. However, as you know, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.
Glucosamine is a Building Block
Glucosamine is a compound that's naturally produced in your dog's body. It helps build connective tissues and promotes joint health. When your dog's body starts to produce less glucosamine, it can lead to problems like arthritis.
Glucosamine supplements are designed to help your pet maintain healthy joints, so it's important to monitor your dog's health and give them the supplement as needed.
Some safe, natural sources of glucosamine include:
- Beef trachea
- Chicken or duck feet
- Ox or pig’s tails
- Green-lipped mussels
- Bone broth
- Eggshell membrane
Chondroitin Repairs Damaged Cartilage
Chondroitin is a dietary supplement that can help your dog cope with arthritis. It's made from shark cartilage and cows' hooves, which are ground into powder and added to food or liquid. It can be added to any type of diet, including raw foods.
Chondroitin for dogs helps improve the quality of life for dogs who have arthritis by reducing inflammation in their joints and improving mobility. It also helps maintain healthy cartilage by preventing its breakdown, which can make your dog more comfortable as they age.
Natural sources of chondroitin in food sources include:
- Bird cartilage
- Pig trachea
- Eggshell membrane
Often Paired Together
Glucosamine and chondroitin are often paired together in a single supplement, as they work together to help with joint pain and flexibility.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar, whereas chondroitin is a protein.
These compounds can be found naturally in certain foods, but it’s usually safer for your dog or cat to take them in supplement form.
While glucosamine works on the surface of your dog's joints, chondroitin works on the inside. Glucosamine stimulates the production of new cartilage in your dog's joints, while chondroitin helps them heal faster after an injury or chronic condition such as arthritis.
Because they work together to rebuild damaged tissue, they're often paired together in one supplement.
No Official Dosage Recommendation
You can give your dog glucosamine and chondroitin in a variety of ways. Glucosamine and chondroitin are available as a powder or tablet that you can mix into your dog's food, or you can purchase it in liquid form and add them to your dog's drinking water.
If you choose to give him glucosamine and chondroitin every day, be sure to read the label carefully because some brands recommend giving the supplement with food, others recommend giving it on an empty stomach, and still others don't specify any particular way.
Regardless of which brand you choose, never give your dog more than 1500 mg per day unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian - anything more than this amount could cause side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting.
How Much Glucosamine Is Too Much For Dogs? And How Much Chondroitin For Dogs?
Dogs need more glucosamine than humans, which is why the recommended dose is usually safe. The recommended dose of glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs is approximately 10 mg per 10 pounds.
Remember to keep your dog's weight in mind when calculating how much to give him/her each day; as a general rule of thumb, if you have an extra large dog that weighs 100 lbs., then he should get at least 100 mg of glucosamine and chondroitin per day.
If you've been giving your dog the correct amount of these supplements every day for several weeks (or months), but continue to notice that he or she isn't getting any better - or worse - then it may be time to talk with your vet about increasing the dosage or switching from one supplement brand to another.
Recommended Dose is Generally Safe
The recommended dose is usually safe if you don't give your dog too much in a short time. Because glucosamine and chondroitin are not considered drugs, there are no specific guidelines for how much to give your dog on a daily basis.
It's also important to note that if you have any concerns about your dog's health, consult with your veterinarian before beginning any new treatment or supplement regimen.
Overdosing on Supplements
Most canine joint supplements are available as soft chews flavored with mouthwatering combinations like bacon and cheddar to make them more enticing to dogs. As a result, they may appear more like delectable snacks than supplements, and if your dog can smell them, they may devour the entire bottle and experience an overdose.
Glucosamine is fortunately more of a food supplement than a medicine, so hazardous overdoses in dogs from glucosamine ingestion would only happen in extremely rare circumstances.
Too much glucosamine for dogs can result in vomiting and/or diarrhea, but there likely wouldn't be any long-term problems.
However, this can be extremely hazardous and necessitates a quick phone call to your veterinarian, especially if the joint supplement also includes active components like vitamin D or zinc.
Eggshell Membrane Can Help Your Dog
Eggshell membrane is the substance that surrounds the inside of an egg. It contains a high amount of protein and nutrients that are beneficial for dogs.
Another important use of eggshell membrane is as an anti-inflammatory agent. It can help with symptoms like joint pain and swelling, which can be caused by things like arthritis or other types of injury.
Eggshell membrane also helps with bone health by promoting bone regeneration, so it can be useful for puppies who need their bones to grow stronger and faster than normal, or older dogs who have lost bone mass due to osteoporosis or other conditions.
Eggshell membrane has been shown to improve cardiovascular health as well, by reducing blood pressure and improving circulation.
Eggshell membrane contains the following components which are all helpful for promoting dog health:
- Collagen: A fibrous protein that supports cartilage and connective tissue strength and elasticity.
- Elastin: A protein that supports skin, cardiovascular processes, cartilage, and spinal health.
- Desmosine and isodesmosine: Amino acids responsible for elastin’s elastic or “rubbery” properties.
- Transforming growth factor-b: A protein that plays a critical role in cellular differentiation and immune function.
- Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs): Includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid; all of which are vital polysaccharides that are components of connective tissue, interstitial fluids and skeletal structure.
Talk to Your Vet
The best way to ensure that your dog gets the right amount of glucosamine and chondroitin is to talk with your veterinarian about his or her needs, how often you should give them and what dosage would be best for your dog’s weight.
Rocket Animal Health’s Canine Cush joint supplement for dogs was created with 100% natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin from eggshell membrane to eliminate the dosage guessing game.
Additionally, eggshell membrane offers these nutrients in a natural form which means that they will be absorbed at higher levels in the body and put to good use in your dog’s joints.
Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis
Efficacy of a dietary supplement in dogs with osteoarthritis: A randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial
Effectiveness of NEM® brand eggshell membrane in the treatment of suboptimal joint function in dogs