We hate to bring this up, but every dog ages (boo!) and as part of the whole ‘getting old’ package, achy and creaky joints become commonplace.
Though we can’t time travel at Pooch & Mutt (yet), we do know of a secret ingredient that fights the effects of ageing when it comes to joints – and that’s glucosamine. We love it so much, we use it in both our dog joint care food and joint care supplements, because its essential cartilage-building properties are too good to miss.
So why exactly is glucosamine for dogs so fantastic? Read on for a full guide to glucosamine and how you can use it to make your dog’s joints stronger and healthier.
What is glucosamine for dogs?
In technical terms, glucosamine is an amino sugar that comes in three forms: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetyl glucosamine. Researchers have found glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride to be most effective for protecting joints (1), so that’s what you’ll see listed on most joint supplements for dogs.
Though glucosamine is produced naturally in a dog’s (and human’s) body, it can also be found in the natural world – for instance, from the shells of crustaceans like oysters, mussels and crab.
Why is glucosamine so great for dogs?
The great thing about glucosamine is it forms the building blocks of cartilage; the tough, shock-absorbing substance that cushions two bones at the joint. Cartilage erodes over time, meaning as a dog gets older, their bones rub more closely against each other and inflame the joint, commonly leading to osteoarthritis.
Dogs naturally produce less glucosamine as they age, so their body becomes less effective at rebuilding this cartilage, essential for healthy, comfortable movement. Therefore, bolstering a dog’s diet with glucosamine-rich foods or a supplement containing glucosamine can give your dog’s joints the extra protection they need to stay happy and mobile – particularly when combined with other powerful joint-building ingredients such as chondroitin (2).