If you notice your dog is having trouble standing up from a seated position or isn’t as confident going up the steps as they used to be, it may be time for a glucosamine supplement. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar in the body that helps form and repair cartilage, explains Rolan Tripp, DVM, CABC, founder of PetHappiness.
As dogs grow older, we see in them many signs of aging, but the most common are those caused by arthritis: stiff joints, the inability to jump on the couch, slowness, and obvious pain. Sometimes an old injury like a cartilage tear or herniated disc cause osteoarthritis to kick in even at a younger age, as can hip dysplasia, which is more common in certain dog breeds. We all want to keep our fur babies as active as possible, and we certainly want to keep them pain-free, so the use of supplements like glucosamine is a valuable tool.
Keeping your dog moving helps ease the effects of arthritis, and it’s important to find a natural way to allow your pet to do that without pain. Glucosamine can help prevent or ease arthritis or joint soreness, but there are lots of options to choose from. If you’re confused by the brands and terminology, we can help. Our guide has plenty of information as well as several of our top recommended picks to help you as you shop.
5 Best Dog Glucosamines in 2021:
Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM Chewable Tablets – The Cosequin Tablet MSM supplement helps give your dog maximum joint strength and mobility support. This is one of our top choices for best glucosamine chondroitin for dogs because of its good taste for a chewable tablet. And, it is not too expensive. If you are looking for the best glucosamine treats for dogs, this could be your choice.
Ok, seriously, we use this one because (1) they’re a little cheaper (we get the 250-count bottle) and (2) our border collie Quigley is 13 and not too fussy about having something that resembles a Reese’s peanut butter cup. He’s been taking it for the last 3 year since we adopted him.
This product has been recently repackaged and the price lowered. It is now the #1 Best Seller in the category of Amazon dog joint supplement. If your dog is not fussy about flavor, then this is the glucosamine for dogs you should use.
Patented Cosequin formula of the proper ratio and full doses (TRH12) chondroitin sulfate and (FCHG49) glucosamine hydrochloride, plus MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) in a tasty soft tasty chew.
- Natural ingredients
- High CBD content
- Organic and GMO-free
- Extensive CoA available
- Convenient for all dog sizes
- Small packaging
- Some complaints on slow delivery
The best formula for a glucosamine supplement is the one that your dog will happily eat, says Dr. Tripp—and it may take some experimenting to find the exact right one for your pooch. Many dog parents say they’ve had good luck with this liquid formula that they drizzle over their pup’s food once or twice daily (depending on size). It can also be given solo, if your pet is willing to give it a try.
In addition to glucosamine, this formula contains hyaluronic acid to help keep your pup’s joints lubricated and healthy. It’s made in the U.S.A., contains no sugar, starch, wheat, gluten, yeast, milk, corn, or soy, and was developed to be readily absorbed.
- USA-made and sourced
- Made in an FDA-approved facility
- Potent formula
- Contains 10mg of hemp oil and Q10
- Sparse customer reviews
The Anxious Pet Hip & Hop Supplement Bars are a unique glucosamine joint supplement for dogs, providing a convenient, natural way to give your dog efficient joint support.
Indeed, you don’t need to think of how to sneak glucosamine in dogs’ food with these bars.
Just give this peanut butter and a banana-flavored treat to your dog, and they’ll have all they need for their immune system to fight arthritis, joint reparation, and overall joint health.
Numerous Anxious Pet Supplement Bars reviews confirm the efficacy of these ingredients-rich bars. Moreover, MSM, Cat’s Claw, Devil’s Claw, willow bark, Yucca Schidigera, and organic turmeric are also added into the mix.
Each Anxious Pet bar contains 3 smaller bars. Meaning, there are exactly 15 doses of the glucosamine blend in the 5 affordable packs that they are offering.
Besides the richness and the budget-friendliness of these Kansas-made bars, we liked the fact that they are handmade, as well as grain, soy, preservative, and GMO-free.
- GMO and gluten-free
- Natural hypoallergenic flavor
- Easy to dose
- Not many discount options
Perhaps you do not want to give your dog a tablet, or they will not take it. Another great option to give them what they need is a glucosamine chew. Zesty Paws Glucosamine for Dogs is a great choice for your dog. The chews come in a duck flavor, which your dog will find hard to resist, so it will be very easy to give these to your furbaby. These “Mobility Bites” are specially formulated to relieve pains, aches, inflammation, and soreness in your dog.
This specific supplement has a unique form of MSM. It undergoes multiple distillation processes for 99.9% purity. The purpose of that is to lubricate your dog’s joints so they can move with less pain. There are also no artificial flavors or ingredients, it comes in a grain-free formula and made with all-natural ingredients. Not only does this glucosamine supplement help your dog’s joints, but it also helps to promote immune and cardiovascular support. You can support your active dog with this supplement, as well as reduce pain and cushion their hips and their joints. They will have a better range of motion and feel better in general. These are great for any sized dog.
- Specialized MSM helps lubricate dog’s joints
- Reduces pain and inflammation
- Great for any size dog
- No international shipping
- Shipments may take longer than expected
cbdMD offers three types of glucosamine-infused, bacon-flavored chews, all with equal concentrations of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin per chew.
However, as numerous cbdMD for dogs reviews can attest, each strength provides different benefits (and effects) due to their varying CBD concentration.
cbdMD Hip and Joint Chews of 300mg are perfect for medium-sized breeds — hence why they are the most popular.
For their long-lasting effects, we can probably thank the quality of cbdMD’s oil, which is deemed one of the best quality CBD oils for dogs on the market.
Renowned for its highly effective anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (pain relief) effects, these cbdMD dog treats are infused with CBD oil isolate that is completely THC-free and pure.
What we liked the most with the 300mg cbdMD Hip and Joint Chews was this brand’s transparency. As we detailed in our cbdMD review, the lab test results are made public, which will offer peace of mind to any pet owner.
- GMP-standardized manufacturing
- Available lab test results
- Products based on breed size
- Contains omega-3 oils
- Free form GMOs
- Only one flavor choice
- Same glucosamine and chondroitin concentrations
What does glucosamine for dogs do?
Young healthy dogs produce enough glucosamine to keep their cartilage in top condition. They do this by continually producing this amino-sugar.
Unfortunately, older dogs can start to produce less and less glucosamine. This causes supplies to run dry. This is important when it comes to figuring out how much glucosamine for dogs is right.
When this happens, older dogs’ cartilage will gradually fall into disrepair. This causes a rather unpleasant condition called osteoarthritis.
As the cartilage degrades and isn’t replaced fast enough, dogs’ bones start to rub painfully at the joint. Generating pain in and of itself, along with inflammation.
What To Look For In A Good Glucosamine Dog Food?
If your dog is suffering from advanced arthritis or severe joint pain, your veterinarian might recommend a glucosamine supplement or an injection. For long-term joint support, however, a glucosamine-rich dog food is a better choice.
So, what do you look for in a good glucosamine dog food?
First and foremost, you want to choose a nutritionally balanced dog food made with high-quality ingredients. The shorter the ingredient list, the better – this simply means that there is a lower risk for triggering food allergies and products made with fewer ingredients are less likely to contain artificial additives and things that don’t add any nutritional value.
In addition to considering the quality of the dog food as a whole, you also need to think about the quality of the ingredients and their bioavailability. Bioavailability simply refers to how much of any given nutrient your dog’s body is capable of absorbing and utilizing. Generally speaking, animal-based ingredients are more bioavailable than plant-based ingredients for dogs. Bioavailability is particularly important for glucosamine because it won’t do your dog any good if his body can’t actually use it.
Is glucosamine safe?
A large percentage of pets suffering from joint damage can be helped by glucosamine supplements. Glucosamine is natural, nontoxic, easily available over the counter (without a veterinarian’s prescription), and causes very few side effects.
But there are some caveats. A few dogs are allergic to it, and some pooches experience diarrhea. If taken in high doses, glucosamine can cause excessive thirst and urination. And because it’s a sugar-based substance, some veterinarians are concerned about its use in diabetic dogs. As with any supplement, it’s always best to check with your vet before giving it to your pet.
- Exercise your dog. Keep your dog healthy with regular exercise even if he’s stiff, but don’t overdo it. Regular exercise helps maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints. Letting your pet be a couch potato only leads to more joint and muscle pain.
- Keep your dog at her optimum weight. Too much weight puts much more strain and wear and tear on the joints.
- Consider adding a physical therapy regimen to help with sore joints and weight control. Hydrotherapy, where your dog walks on a treadmill in water, can help immensely, since the joints are working while not bearing as much weight. Dogs can also benefit from massage, cold lasers, and ultrasound.
- Be patient. Don’t expect a sudden improvement in your dog’s symptoms. It could take four to six weeks before you see the positive results of a glucosamine joint supplement. If you don’t see any results after three months, you might want to reevaluate continuing with the supplements.