I’ve always seen advertisements for glucosamine for people who have arthritis, but my friend recently told me that she was thinking about giving glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL) supplements to her dog that seemed to have pain in his joints, so I decided to read up on it.
It’s very difficult to watch a beloved dog that you have raised from a puppy start to slow down and be in pain, so I wanted to find out for myself what glucosamine was all about.
Just what is Glucosamine and is it useful for dogs?
Glucosamine is a substance that both humans and dogs produce naturally, and it serves the same purpose in both species – it’s in the fluid around our joints, and the body uses it to repair connective tissue, like cartilage.
As we (and dogs) age, our bodies produce less and less glucosamine, and the cartilage in our joints begins to thin. This can lead to pain and stiffness in our joints, and arthritis. Also, the absence of cartilage in aging dogs can make them more susceptible to injuries.
While glucosamine can’t bring lost cartilage back, adding the supplement to a dog’s diet could stop further cartilage loss, and also relieve some joint pain and stiffness, especially when combined with chondroitin (see #3 below).
8 Benefits of Glucosamine HCL:
- It’s all natural. Glucosamine is naturally produced, not only in humans and dogs, but also in marine animals, such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters. In the lab, the supplement is made by extracting glucosamine from marine animals.
- It is easy to administer. The liquid form is easy to give to your dog (just put it on their food), and studies have shown that the liquid form, taken orally, was absorbed better and worked more quickly.
- It’s a super combo. When glucosamine HCL is paired with chondroitin (a building block of connective tissue), results are even more effective, because the two working together will speed the regeneration and recovery of bone tissues.1 Ecopetmax.com’s glucosamine supplement also contains MSM, which is a naturally occurring compound found in trace amounts of fruits and vegetables. MSM has been found to be an effective pain-reducer and an anti-inflammatory.
- It’s safe. Glucosamine HCL is safer for dogs than the glucosamine supplement made with sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to cause vomiting, diarrhea and digestive discomfort.
- It’s not steroids. Glucosamine HCL may reduce the need for nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for your dog. NSAIDs can provide comfort and temporarily relieve pain, but they may also produce side effects ranging from internal bleeding, stomach or intestinal ulcers, to liver or kidney failure.
- It’s excellent joint lubrication. Glucosamine is a natural joint lubricant! Its molecules attract and hold water, which make them great lubricants and excellent shock absorbers.
- Active dogs are healthy dogs. Glucosamine HCL can help a dog stay active, which may help them avoid expensive surgeries and medications, and help them live longer.
- It’s inexpensive.
- Ecopetmax.com sells the glucosamine supplement, Advanced Hip and Joint Care, for $37 for one quart. Daily dosages range from 1 to 6 teaspoons, depending on the weight of your dog.
“Glucosamine affects a dog’s body the exact same way it affects a person’s body. In both a dog and person, glucosamine is found in healthy joint fluid and cartilage. When joint fluid is degraded by injury or wear and tear, a glucosamine supplement can help restore the damaged fluid and tissue.”
~ Marc Smith, DVM
If you have an aging dog and you notice that they are slowing down or are in pain, it’s certainly worth a try to see if glucosamine HCL can help bring back some pep in their step!