Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Glucosamine supplements for dogs

The essentials

  • Glucosamine is safe for dogs — It’s great for joint health, especially in older and senior pups!
  • Too much can pose a risk to your pet’s health — Symptoms of excessive use include GI upset and increased thirst.
  • It’s not just good for dogs — Glucosamine can also be used for joint support and pain relief in humans, horses, and other animals.

Glucosamine is known for its positive effects on dogs who live with arthritis and cartilage damage . It offers pain relief benefits, and recovery support, and is safe for long-term use — making it an ideal supplement for adult and senior dogs.

Read on to learn more about glucosamine supplements and safety for your pet.

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a part of our – and our pet’s — bodies. It’s a natural compound that you can find in cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions your pet’s joints. Many glucosamine supplements are created from marine animal shells, like the casings you’d find on shellfish.

The different types of glucosamine

Knowing the different types of glucosamine is the first step to supporting your pet’s joint health, connecting them with a personalized solution that will address their needs. Here are the three primary types of glucosamine, and what they do.

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride. This type is typically used for supplements and is harvested from mussels and shellfish. Some may consider this less effective, as it doesn’t have sulfur in its natural state.
    • Sulfur is essential to cartilage formation and joint health , which is why it’s commonly paired with glucosamine supplements designed to support your pet’s bones and joints.
  • Glucosamine sulfate. Like its hydrochloride form, this form is also taken from shellfish and mussels. However, it does have sulfur and is considered more useful for joint support, specifically. It can also be man-made.
  • N-acetyl-glucosamine. This form comes from glucose, specifically supporting the synovial fluid around the joint and the lubricating hyaluronic acid in the joint socket.
    • Many opt to use it for GI support, however, as it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can support those living with a range of gut conditions — including IBS and bacterial overgrowth of the stomach.

Glucosamine supplements for dogs are sold in a range of forms, including liquids, pills, powders, and flavored tablets. If you’re considering supplementing your dog’s diet, speak with your veterinarian for help picking the best option for your pet’s needs.

Benefits of glucosamine for dogs

There are many different benefits of glucosamine supplements for dogs and pets, specifically if they live with a medical condition that causes inflammation and pain in their bodies and joints.

Here are a few additional benefits you can expect when you give your dog glucosamine:

1. Glucosamine can aid in surgical recovery

There is anecdotal evidence that glucosamine can support an easy recovery process after joint surgery in some pets, per the American Kennel Club . Cited data from 2012 studies found that glucosamine offered similar benefits that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) would to pets in pain, allowing them to recover fully and quickly.

2. Glucosamine can act as an anti-inflammatory

Anti-inflammatories work to reduce pain in your pet. They might be given to pets living with joint disorders (like hip dysplasia) or other pain-related conditions. Supplementing glucosamine that is paired with chondroitin , another joint-friendly natural compound, can amplify the positive effects for your pet.

3. Glucosamine can increase your pet’s range of motion

Studies have shown that the use of glucosamine supplements can increase your dog’s range of motion. In a recent study published in Frontiers of Veterinary Science, researchers found that the group of pets that was given glucosamine to increase their ranges of motion showed significant advantages over the placebo group — further supporting this common use.

4. Glucosamine can protect your pet’s quality of life

Mobility, flexibility, and pain-free movement are key to your furry friend’s quality of life. Starting supplementation proactively and supporting cartilage health can give your pet’s body the building blocks it needs to prolong its natural vitality and “springiness,” possibly reducing the need for intervention later on.

Potential side effects of glucosamine supplements

Despite the benefits that glucosamine supplements can bring to both people’s and dog’s joints, there are a range of side effects that can occur — especially if you give a dose that’s too much for your dog’s body. Common side effects include vomiting, lethargy, and general GI discomfort.

Here are a few others to watch for as you start dosing with glucosamine supplements;

  • Trouble sleeping. This can take place in two primary ways — trouble getting to sleep and trouble waking up. Keep an eye out for your pet’s snooze schedules and report anything out of character to your veterinarian.
  • Increased thirst. Excessive thirstiness can be a symptom and can lead to water toxicity if left unchecked.
  • Increased urination. Dogs can seem to pee frequently. However, out-of-control piddling could mean that they’re on too high of a dose or that the supplement isn’t agreeing with them.
  • Trouble breathing; In some cases, glucosamine (like any other substance) can cause trouble breathing. If you notice gasping, labored breathing, or fainting, seek veterinary care right away. This could be a sign of anaphylaxis or an equally serious allergic reaction.

Glucosamine for dogs dosage chart

It’s important to remember that glucosamine should only be given with a veterinarian’s supervision. However, we’ve compiled a helpful table with average dosages to help you understand what normal ranges of glucosamine can be for your pet.

Dosage Dog Weight
200-500mg glucosamine 5-20 pounds
500mg glucosamine 20-45 pounds
1,000mg of glucosamine 45-90 pounds
1,500mg of glucosamine 90+ pounds

Joint supplements (like glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate) can be powerful products for dogs who live with joint pain and connective tissue issues. Understanding the different types of supplements available, what the ingredients do, and how to dose them are the first steps pet parents can take to support their animals.

While dog joint supplements that use glucosamine can be helpful, too much can cause a problem. If you’re considering dog supplements for healthy joints, consider asking your vet for medication support and recommendations based on your dog’s age.

Frequently asked questions

How do I give my dog glucosamine?

Glucosamine comes in many different forms. People can ask their veterinarian about the best type of glucosamine for their furry friends, choosing from pill, powder, liquid, and flavored tablet forms.

Should you give your dog glucosamine?

It might be a good idea to give your dog glucosamine as your dog ages, proactively addressing any damage or strain in their joints and soft tissues. (It’s also a great choice for pets currently experiencing the effects of degenerative joint disease!)

Too much glucosamine can cause a problem, however, so be sure to get your vet’s advice on dosages, frequency, and which high-quality supplement to take for best results.

What are the side effects of glucosamine in dogs?

While glucosamine can be great for your dog’s joint health, your best friend might have uncomfortable side effects with high doses. These include vomiting, GI upset, trouble sleeping, and lethargy, to name a few.

The good news? These risks are minimized with proper veterinary oversight and a high-quality glucosamine formula.

What is the best form of glucosamine for dogs?

Each of the three primary types of glucosamine serves different functions. Since the answer to this question is so subjective, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian to determine the best form of glucosamine to give your dog. (In general, glucosamine sulfate is the best form to take for a joint health supplement and as a preventative measure for joint pain).

Should I give my dog glucosamine everyday?

If your dog experiences joint health issues (like stiffness in the hips), they might benefit from taking a daily dose of glucosamine supplement. However, it’s best to speak with your vet any time you want to start something new since they can offer personalized advice based on your animal’s condition.