Glucosamine Treats for Your Dog
If your dog is experiencing difficulty walking or running, has started limping for no obvious reason or is exhibiting trouble getting up and lying down, there’s a good chance that it has osteoarthritis. Like humans, pets can develop arthritic conditions or joint disorders that can often result in severe pain. Osteoarthritis in dogs can occur as a result of various causes including muscle, ligament or tendon disease, congenital disorders, degenerative joint disease, metabolic problems and fractures involving the joints.
Glucosamine can help address some of the problems caused by osteoarthritis. To understand how it works, it helps to have an understanding of what glucosamine is. Glucosamine is a substance that is found normally in cartilage and in the synovial fluid which serves as a lubricant in joints. Healthy animals synthesize glucosamine on their own to keep their joints healthy. But as pets get older, their ability to create and synthesize glucosamine begins to diminish. This in turn leads to a gradual wearing away of the protective cartilage on the surface of the joint resulting in painful, bone-to-bone contact.
Glucosamine treats for dogs can help alleviate osteoarthritis by giving cartilage-forming cells the building blocks needed to create new cartilage for repairing or replacing worn out cartilage. When ingested, glucosamine is absorbed and distributed to joint tissues and can not only help slow down the erosion of cartilage but also actually regenerate it. Dogs that are put on glucosamine products begin to show improvement in about four to six weeks. But they generally need to be maintained on it for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, research has shown glucosamine products to be safe for lifelong use with no debilitating side effects.
Because of their proven success in treating osteoarthritis, there are numerous glucosamine products available in the market. Choosing the right supplement for your dog can be a tricky proposition and is something that should be dictated largely by the specific needs of your pet. Some glucosamine products are available as pills while others are delivered in the form of a liquid. Many consider glucosamine in liquid form to be a better alternative to pills simply because it is easier to get a dog to ingest the supplement. Glucosamine poured over dog food for instance, is likely to be accepted more readily compared to a pill which a dog might refuse to chew or swallow.
Besides the manner in which glucosamine is delivered, there are several other important considerations that also need to be kept in mind. The biggest of these considerations is the fact that there are three separate glucosamine types for dogs, each with very different chemical compositions. The three kinds of glucosamine found in supplements are glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine mixed with another natural supplement called chondroitin.
Glucosamine hydrochloride supplements and those combined with chondroitin generally cost less than glucosamine sulfate supplements. But there are some differences in opinion as to how easily the body can absorb these supplements compared to glucosamine sulfate supplements. Some veterinarians prefer glucosamine sulfate because it is believed to be the most bio-available, or most easily absorbed supplement of the three types. There are others however who think that
glucosamine hydrochloride supplements are more concentrated, and are absorbed more rapidly in the gastrointestinal tract than the other glucosamine supplements. Meanwhile the combination of glucosamine with chondroitin is viewed by some as being the most effective in treating osteoarthritis because it combines two cartilage building supplements.
The differences between the three types of glucosamine treats are substantial. It is vital to understand these differences before deciding on the right glucosamine supplement for your dog. Also important to understand is the right dosage. Though there is no fixed or recommended dose, many veterinarians base dosage on the dog’s weight. Some experts suggest using 750mg of glucosamine for every 50 pounds of weight which appears to be a rule of thumb that doctors apply when prescribing glucosamine for humans as well.